From the people that brought you the wildly popular “Black & White” games from a few years ago on PC, “Fable” is an Xbox only title that brings RPG action gaming to a new level. Starting out as a simple farmboy, gamers are allowed to control his decision for good or evil, which affects his looks, his missions, and his whole entire world. Encapsulated within an impressively rendered 3D word, “Fable” is a game that offers up new dimensions in the world of RPG gaming.
There’s little doubt that a lot of the appeal to “Fable” lasts with the amazingly details and impressive 3D world that changes as time goes by. The environments are easily the best thing about the graphics as they are sure to impress all Xbox gamers. The characters are equally impressive, with most of the detail being given to your farmboy / hero/villain character who evolves over time with battles and upgrades. The monsters in the game are pretty fresh, new, and downright freaky in places, and overall, the graphics of “Fable” get excellent marks.
Getting the hang of “Fable” is very easy with an S-Controller … the tutorial basically explains it all with the use of the buttons and triggers to control fighting and movement. It’s a pretty unsophisticated system so gamers of all levels should have a good time getting to know the game without frustration. On the flip side, the developers have done a nice job making sure there’s enough to the gameplay to make sure you play it a few times through, because the game is indeed short … about 12 hours of gameplay will take you through the entire story. That being said once you’ve played it through once, you’re going to play it through again because you are going to want to see how the story and missions go as a character of a different type (evil/good). The game is mission based, so players will be able to pick and choose in most places the missions they go on and the objectives they have to reach. Good missions tend to be more difficult because the whole “when in doubt, slash it” mentality doesn’t really fly.
The gameplay of “Fable” gets a great score … it’s fun game to play and the controls can be mastered by gamers of all levels. The missions are fun, the environment rich, and the ability to really customize your character is very impressive.
Playing the game with a 5.1 surround sound speaker system was a completely different experience when I also played the game on a regular setup with sound coming out of the television. “Fable” is an excellent example of how a surround sound system can really augment a game’s environment. So many times I was tipped off as to something going on behind me or to the side because I was able to hear the separation. The soundtrack has your typical medieval music and is nothing spectacular, however, the sound effects once again are very impressive and get good marks.
Longevity & Originality:
As many gamers will ultimately conclude, the longevity factor of “Fable” is the game’s main and only real weakness. With about 12 hours of gameplay, the entire story has unfolded and ended. This really brings gamers to conclude that the game was too short for the money, but most end up playing the game once again all the way through as a different character type (I was good the first time, then evil). With all that being said, there’s about 24 to 30 solid hours of gameplay here, which is still a tad short of most games these days. However, the originality of the experience is like none other ever created in the video game industry. The premise of having a character whose actions dictate their appearance, missions, and entire environment has pretty much been a pipe dream for the most part up to this point in the history of gaming. “Fable” has stepped above and beyond the rest for a perfect mark in originality.
The simple truth is that if a gamer were to ask, “Hey, is ‘Fable’ a fun game to play?” the answer would be a resounding “Yes!”. The environments are rich, detailed, and impressive, and the story and gameplay offer up a unique and entertaining experience. It’s a very unique and original title that all RPG players will have a ball playing. The game does meet the hype, and in doing so, “Fable” wins an Editor’s Choice award from Gaming Illustrated.
FINAL SCORE: 94%