Retro Monday: “Fable”

Title: “Fable

Developer: Big Blue Box (Now Lionhead Studios)

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: 14th September 2004

I might as well say now that I have never owned an Xbox. I have played 2 out of 3 of the consoles and played the big franchise games on the console. I just didn’t see the point in getting one because I either didn’t like the games (HALO has had a decent story but boring gameplay so never wanted it) or I could just get them on my PC. And even then I don’t count myself as a PC gamer. There always seems to be a few bad connotations when people say they are PC gamers so I never did. Plus, having PC gamers rant and rave about ‘gaming master race’ is, in my opinion, stupid and pathetic because they couldn’t have missed the point any more than they already have. Epically now, considering the new PS4/Xbox One both have PC architectures.  (There’re meant to be cheap, affordable and standardized!) Anyway, on to an Xbox game I played on the PC.

Fable, as you may know, is a shooter. No, I’m kidding. It’s a role-playing, 3rd person, fantasy adventure set in Albion, (AKA ‘Ye Olde England’). The game is based on all the fantasy tales of yonder. I’m not sure where to call its story un-creative and where to call it innovative. I don’t think it’s necessary to go through the story of the game considering is straddles the line of un-creative/innovative wholeheartedly. (ED: Do it. It’s your ‘job’.)

So there’s this boy who loses his parents in a tragic event, a la Batman, and is saved by a guy from “The Heroes’ Guild.” The boy grows up to either destroy the world or save it. *DUN DUN DUN*. Well that was easy. The whole story of Fable condensed into one sentence. I’m not sure if the overall story deserves the asterisks of sound because, if you know any fantasy story, it’s more or less the same. The kicker of the story is that the boy/man is you, the boy/man/girl/woman/other player. And, as we have learned by the “GTA Principle,” most people, in my opinion, are dicks and given the chance will destroy all. And, when I say destroy all, I mean they will kill everything but the children and the animals and cause no property damage whatsoever.

As you may have guessed, there is a moral choice system in Fable. Sort of like the one that’s in “inFAMOUS.” When I say sort of, I mean exactly the same. There is good and evil. You can either be the second coming or a hell demon. And by that I look like one. The effect you have on the world is purely cosmetic. Even the big choices you make have little effect. If you save a story character rather than kill them, they write themselves out anyway so you never see them again. The moral choice system the game has is the bad sort, cosmetic at best. People die, but they’re never mentioned again anyway so it has little effect. The only effect is that you have to play the game twice to see everything. The black/white moral choice system is just not good because a) life isn’t like that and b) it’s just plain boring. Like “inFAMOUS,” you choose an alignment before you start playing and play that to the hilt. Either levitate by your own grandeur or see how long it takes to kill someone by farting.

Apart from the aforementioned moral choice system, the game has aged pretty well. Looking past the graphics of the game, as always,Fable has a big world to explore with many things to do in it. Well, many things by a 2004 standard. With Blu-Rays discs and the rise of the Duel layer Blu-Ray disc there is much more to do in games of this ilk. Like “Fallout 3,” that has a huge world and many things to do but no loading times. Unless you go inside a building. Processors aren’t that big yet.

So time has been kind to Fable. Just bigger, more adventurous and generally better games have come out since.

Retro Score: 4.5

Modern Score: 4

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