Fable Anniversary review
Albion looks beautiful in this remastered version of the first Fable game, but it really is scarred by time.
The original Fable game made by Lionhead studios has gotten an overhaul and a new release, which initially has caused some stirring and hype in the gaming world – mostly due to nostalgia and love for the original game that came out ten years ago on the original Xbox. I am here to take down the high expectations – or at least level it to more reasonable highs.
So this is how it all starts…
We’re in Oakvale. Everything is light and dandy, but it is your sisters birthday – and you don’t have any present for her. Your father, very pedagogical, tells you that he’s happy to give a gold coin for every good deed you do in the little town, and while scouring the area for good deeds, you’ll meet the trader, who has a very cute and sweet package of chocolates for only 3 gold coins. Convenient.
When finally giving your sister the chocolate, all hell breaks loose, bandits attacks the little town, kills everyone, and set everything on fire. Your character is of course devastated and after crying his eyes out and fainting or falling asleep caused by the fatiguing, he wakes up in a warm bed in Hero’s Guild. It turns out he’s quite important for the future of everyone in Albion. Now, you’re in for some training in the form of a tutorial in battle.
In general, the story is cute, believable magical and full of memorable characters, though I am not happy to have a silent protagonist, it feels so weird every time someone talks to your character, but he doesn’t respond – I haven’t even seen him nudge his head as response.
Magic is part of this world
You’ll experience the typical RPG experience in an open world – go from place to place, collect items, talk to people, fight beats and more. All this will contribute to your characters evolution. The world is all in all interesting to explore, you’ll meet a lot of different characters, many of which are fun, quirky or… annoying. You have three ways to fight, melee, bow and will powers – were of the latter one is magic spells. Interaction with other characters is also possible by the use of the directional buttons which will change to fit the situation. You can go evil or you can go hero in your quest to save Albion, and depending on what you chose, your character will change his appearance.
The only real thing that drags this game through the mud is the animations, voices and facial expressions – while Lionhead has given the game an overhaul, especially in the textures department, animations are wonky and so 2004. Especially facial expressions and when a character is talking is taking its toll on the final experience and inevitable, the result I am gonna give this game. Lionhead has used about 15 months of this game, and that should have opened up time to update the game to the generation of the X360, not an HD version of the old Xbox version.
The game still has one foot in last decade…
Other things that was irritating right from the start is the loading time of the pause and select screen (2-5 seconds, which on this new hardware really shouldn’t have this delay!), and don’t even get me started on save points. When I need to stop playing, I have to look out for the save icon, and under that it has to say “saving…” and not “checkpoint” as if I close the game down whenever, I risk losing 20 minutes of gameplay (also when saving manually, it will be the last save, not the current state of the game). That is not okay with todays standards. Of course these savepoints are close enough to live with – but even those are supported by only small areas being loaded at a time, and loads of load time between these areas – again something Lionhead didn’t do anything to during the remastering of the game.
One really good job Lionhead did was naming and describing the achievements. I had so much fun reading these that I just had to play the game as soon as I was able to – of course there was also the embargo which was this morning, my time, to take into consideration as well.
I have so far really enjoyed the game, and I can’t wait to get back in Albion on my quest to find blue mushrooms, change my haircut to fit the taste of some girl and get on my core quest to fight the evil. And possible find out who, what and intentions the top wizard, Maze, is up to. The game definitely feels like last decade, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable, just be prepared for the details I am mentioning in this review and you’ll be fine playing this game.
Miss; Not pulling the game into the new decade by not doing something about animation.
Need; Nothing to write here – this game includes “The Lost Chapters” which would have been here if the game didn’t contain these.