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Fable: The Lost Chapters Review - PC

8.5
Gameplay: 8 stars 8
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 10 stars 10
Innovation: 7 stars 7
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The words "exclusive to Xbox" popped my fantasy bubble when I saw the first TV ad, and sent me crashing back down to reality. I was a man starved of a decent RPG, and I was almost ready to rush out and buy the system; which, incidentally, is exactly why console developers pay large amounts of cash for games to be exclusive to their system. Obviously the PC has no sugar daddy of this type.

So here it is - another fantastic release from the frequently brilliant Peter Molyneux (Magic Carpet, Theme Park, Black and White). This third person action adventure RPG is extremely easy to pick up, it looks beautiful, the characters are extremely entertaining, the world is vast, the game is acceptably non-linear, and it caters for such side entertainments as taking a wife, or multiple wives. Unfortunately for the hardcore RPG fan the game is relatively easy when compared to classic epics like Morrowind and Wizardry 8.

Gameplay



Much of Fable involves gallivanting around a beautiful 3D environment as a robust hero, hacking your way through various evil minions and talking to NPCs with very broad regional English accents. What makes the game more than just a good-looking hack and slash is the vast attention to detail Lionhead Studios have paid to the repercussions of even the minor gaming events on your character.

As with Black & White, your choices throughout the game are predominantly between an action that is clearly either good or evil. These actions then affect how your character's model aesthetically looks. Enjoy killing villagers? Then you'd better like growing horns out your head too. Vice versa, good actions will lead to the appearance of a faint lingering halo.

Furthermore, your character will age as you progress through the game beginning as a young man and ending as an old one you'll notice the various wrinkles appear over time. The scars of previous battles remain on your torso and face this effect is almost overdone, as just after the first few fights my character began to look like he enjoyed playing with lawnmowers. On top of this, you can customize your character's beard, hair and tattoos to your liking by visiting any number of barbers and tattooists in the Fable world.

More than just being purely appearance related, all these things actually affect the 'scariness' and 'attractiveness' rating of your character. How scary you look will determine weather people laugh at you, or run away from you whilst attractiveness speaks for itself. I do enjoy waltzing into a quaint little village only to have all the lovely young womenfolk instantly fall in love with me and it's rather fun in Fable too (har har har).

The combat is fairly basic action adventure stuff - most of the time it involves hammering your left mouse button while your character hacks and slices his way through crowds of undead. The only thing to add interest ... (continued next page)