Create your life story from childhood to death, your every action
determining your skills, appearance, and reputation... Chris Haythornthwaite
had a look - will he choose to be good..or...eeek...evil?
smooth intro this time, no fancy way of setting up the review
talking about leggings, swords or big bugs, not this time, just
straight in for the kill, this game is fantastic, and if you don't
believe me then read on and I'll prove it to you.
first glance you would be forgiven for thinking this is a hardcore
RPG (Role-Playing Game) that will only to appeal to those people
that just can't get enough of player stats, dice and going to
see Lord of the Rings 27 times. Well you're partly correct it
is all this and yet it is so much more.
a nut shell, Fable is a game comprised of three different genres,
you have your RPG elements as stated, and let's not get confused;
first and foremost it IS an RPG, but then there is the action
genre and interestingly the sim (simulation) genre mixed in as
well. I use the word sim here because if any of you have played
'The Sims' then you will recognise certain elements of this game
immediately. So I will go through each of these genres and explain
how the game uses them to blend an engaging, thrilling, exciting
experience together on one small plastic disk.
Role Playing Game - If you enjoy playing any role-playing games
from traditional board inspired games such as 'Dungeons and Dragons'
to more modern interpretations like the 'Final Fantasy' franchise
or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, then you will like
what Fable has to offer. All the usual features are here from
a plethora of weapons to the basic attributes that you build up
using experience from victories in battle, in Fable you have three;
Strength, Skill and Magic. You take quests that will earn you
gold so that you can buy better weapons and over the course of
the game you will learn new skills depending on the different
skill roots you take. Classes also exist where you can choose
to be a thief, assassin, rogue etc, however in Fable you can choose
to adopt a class whenever the fancy takes you because you purchase
them from traders and if you would like to change then you just
buy a new one, you will then be known by that new class. This
means you can have a go at being a warrior for some of the time
then a thief for the rest or whatever you like, which adds a little
more variety into this incredibly deep game.
A new feature of this RPG is the boasting system, this is quite
a nifty idea. When you take a quest you can choose to make a variety
of bets on the quest which if won wins you extra gold and allows
you to become more renown, (which I will come onto in the next
section). For example, I took a quest to defend some goods from
bandits and I made two bets, firstly that I would not let any
of the other guards defending the goods die and the second to
perform the quest naked apart from a loin cloth (therefore removing
all of my armour). I then set to the quest and when I had completed
it I won the bets, which got me better prizes. This again adds
a little extra spice to what could be just your standard go on
quest, level up, buy a new sword, go on another new quest and
so on. However this is just the tip of the innovation iceberg.
Action Game - Although not as deep as the RPG elements, there
has been some thought put into the action elements of this game.
The control system is good allowing multiple different attacks;
melee, ranged and magic all can be used at the touch of a couple
of buttons. There is also a handy multiplier that has been added
to the combat which means when in the heat of a battle the more
enemies you slay the more your multiplier goes up. When you come
to collect the experience orbs at the end that have fallen out
of the enemy you get multiplier bonuses based on how many you
managed to slay. This means that the normally monotonous hack
and slash sections that come in most RPG's don't appear here because
you are always keeping an eye on your multiplier. You can only
access some of the side quests if you can get your multiplier
high enough in certain battles. Another feature is the flourish
move, when you manage to land more than one hit without getting
hit yourself you can activate a flourish move, this is unblockable
and helps to build your multiplier up, it only disappears once
you get hit. And of course coupled with the levelling up system
the action elements subtlety change, as your character gets faster
Sim Game - Now take all of the above and integrate that into the
Sims, you are now getting the sort of idea that of what Fable
is like. As well as the quests, the levelling up, the new weapons
and the ability to boast you also have a character that you must
nurture as well, and this is completely open ended, I'll explain
what I mean. Your character has social interactions that you can
access and use on anyone you meet. This will affect how that person
or people treat you.
instance if you talk nicely to some of the traders you can get
discounts, but it goes so much deeper than that. You can meet
a lady, woo her, get married, buy a house, get divorced, meet
another lady, woo her and so on, all independent from the main
storyline. The game keeps track of all the marriages, divorces
and kids you've had, it'll even tell you how many times your character
has had sex. It's like a whole separate game that has been integrated,
it really does take the term role-playing game literally.
can even change your characters appearance so you can go to the
barbers and get all manner of hair cuts or facial hair, you can
also get all kinds of tattoos and clothes. However these are just
little extras that the developers added, the main feature of the
simulation is a technique that was adopted by Star Wars: Knights
of the Old Republic (KOTOR), where you choose whether you are
going to take the good path or the evil path. Like KOTOR, Fable
offers you decisions and which option you decide upon will either
give you good points or evil points. The outcome of this is it
shapes the way the game plays through. People might fear, or celebrate
you, you might be welcomed or people might drive you away. Even
your appearance will change, for instance if you go down the good
path butterflies will be attracted to you and you will glow, whereas
if you pursue the bad path you will grow horns and attract insects.
The way these choices are put forward are more subtle than you
might find in KOTOR often being hidden, meaning that sometimes
you don't realise you have just got evil points for breaking that
barrel that belonged some villager and therefore you have destroyed
their property, the depth here is amazing.
there you have it, a very brief description of some of the best
features about this game. There is so much I have not mentioned
that appear in the game and that really is Fable's strength, it
is so deep and playable that it will suck you in for months and
not let go. However this is also its weakness, if you don't 'do
complicated', if you're not into stats and levelling up, or fantasy
settings then you won't like this and that is shame, because I
really think this is one game that is a genre beater, it stands
above the rest as the pinnacle of the Role Playing Game at the
moment (at least that is my opinion).
if you have read this and you still disagree with my original
statement that this game is fantastic, then thanks for reading
and I might suggest that this game really isn't for you, however
that doesn't stop it from being a truly fantastic game in every
sense of the word.
Now I'm off to patch things up with my fifth wife...