The New Review: Critics: Radio & Games: GAMES: Perfidious Albion: Fable Anniversary Xbox 360, Microsoft, cert 16
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The original Fable was an ambitious action role-playing game set across the medieval realm of Albion. Although not the first to do so, it also hammered home the repercussions of player choices, with the world, its inhabitants and even your character's appearance reacting to the heroism or villainy of your actions. Ten years on and, aside from a beautiful visual overhaul (pictured), not much has changed.
Fable's moral quandaries were, and remain, simplistic, clearly delineated between the actions of a mawkish do-gooder and a supervillain who would put the Red Skull to shame. The combat seems dated too, keeping the basic attack/ block/fire-a-magic-bolt approach and feeling sluggish for it. That the more refined system used in Fable II or III hasn't been reverse-engineered into this feels like a missed opportunity.
Simple isn't neccesarily synonymous with bad, however; while seasoned players will find little real challenge here, the game still provides an enjoyable, charming experience, gifted with a particularly British sense of humour. Equally, the inclusion of the spinoff "Lost Chapters" content and good use of the Xbox Smartglass app improves the whole package making for entertaining, if undemanding, fantasy fare.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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