Fable: The Lost Chapters

I’ve been intrigued by the work Peter Molyneux has done on games since I first saw Black and White, a game where you take on the role of a deity who oversees your followers. It was interesting in that your actions in the game directly affected your appearance and the development of those around you. Unfortunately, I never actually played Black and White or its expansions and sequels, they weren’t quite my style, but I was interested in the good vs. evil subtext going on behind the scenes. Fast forward a couple of years and a game called Fable appears on the XBox that has this same kind of character development, but more in an adventure setting. I’ve never actually owned an XBox, so I didn’t really seek out any information about this game until a couple of years after that when the game was expanded (i.e. finished) and released on the PC.

I picked up the PC version on the cheap in the Summer, and though it wasn’t as expansive as I would have liked, it was still an enjoyable experience.

One of the most talked about features, at least in the reviews that I read, was the good vs. evil thing going on. In a nutshell, every time you do something good, you get Good Points, and every time you do something bad, you get Bad Points. The points move your reputation along a spectrum, the further you go in one direction, the more ‘good’ or ‘evil’ you become. It’s interesting in concept, but my experience showed that people just react to you differently depending on your position on the spectrum. Well, that and the appearance. Just like in Black and White, the more good or evil you become will affect how your character looks in game: lean toward good and you’ll get light hair and a faint halo, lean toward evil and you get dark hair and faint horns. On top of that, however, virtually everything you do has an affect on your character’s appearance. For a time my character didn’t wear a helmet (they’re all pretty ugly), and he got smashed in the face with a large rock. It hurt, and my character had a gash across his face. It healed into a pronounced scar that would fade slightly, but would always be visible.

I found the story to be good, with some nice twists, but even with the additional content it felt a little short. In fact, it was extremely obvious where the old content ended and the new content began. The game felt like it was over and then, oh wait, here’s four more hours of stuff to do.

As short as it felt, the game was enjoyable enough to warrant a complete play though, maybe two to experience both ends of the good/evil spectrum.

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