Xbox: Fable

Oops. Turns out the disc for the Spider-Man 2 game was—to use a technical term—scratched to shit. It wouldn’t play in my Xbox at all, so I brought it back to Blockbuster and exchanged it for:

Fable: The Lost Chapters (Xbox)Fable

Fable is the brainchild of game designer Peter Molyneaux (Populous, Black & White ((Black & White is an interesting game. The player is essentially a god, affecting his or her will upon the people of a small island. The first time I played Black & White, I nearly jumped out of my chair when one of the island folk died and a little voice whispered “death” in my left ear.)), The Movies). Molyneaux promised that the RPG would be more open-ended and dynamic than any game in history. The final product fell far short of its creator’s hype, and Molyneaux eventually apologized for Fable‘s shortcomings. Earlier this year, a remake titled Fable: The Lost Chapters was released. The remake expands upon the original, as well as adding a few of the features that were missing. Naturally, I picked up the original game instead of the remake. ((It’s called “keeping it real.”))

Fable takes place in a medieval fantasy setting and follows the adventures of a young boy whose entire family is killed by bandits. Bandits who were — as it turns out — seeking the boy himself. The boy (who doesn’t seem to have a name) is rescued by a wizard named Maze and whisked off to the Hero’s Guild, where he is trained in the ways of combat (melee and ranged) and magic (referred to as Will). The training takes place over several years, and by the time he is ready to venture out into the world again, the boy has become a young adult. In the course of the game, the main character will eventually become a man ((In the biblical sense.)) and will learn why the bandits sought him.

As is often the case with recent RPGs, the main character is presented with opportunities to make choices that will incline his character toward either “good” or “evil.” As is always the case, I am playing him as a friggin’ Boy Scout. I always tell myself that I’ll go back and play the game as a right bastard when I complete the “good” campaign, but my track record of actually completing games is dismal. ((I did complete Deus Ex, the finale of which depended upon the main character’s actions, but the ultimate outcome really came down to a single decision made at the very end of the game. Great game, though.))

I played Fable for about an hour last night before bed. ((My Sleep Number is 55.)) It’s a very pretty game, with lush, detailed landscapes, decent voice-acting, and a fairly intuitive interface. With or without all the dynamism Molyneaux promised, it seems to have a lot of promise. I’ve heard that it is far too short, but that probably translates to “finishable” in KJToo parlance. We shall see.