Fable the Lost Chapters

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 95/100

Fable - The Lost Chapters Review
Format Reviewed: PC
Published By: Microsoft
Developed By: Lionhead
Review by: Wencke Schuncken

2004 should have been declared as "Fable" year as the most hyped and awaiting xbox Role Playing Game was released. Gamers experienced the game as a wonderful adventure and some were disappointed as the gameplay was rather short and easy. You can count me in with the category enthusiastic players and was really impressed by the story, the graphics and the gameplay. And even one year later I still have the urge to experience it again. But hold on, the developers stayed on working on fable as they wanted to resolve the gamers’ complaints and wanted to expand it. They named the game Fable the Lost Chapters and released it on the PC. Again I was thrilled to play and review this game and discover the new features.

As soon as I started the game, it felt like coming home. Really comfortable and I was really looking forward to experience the adventures again with the new features of course; new quests, the graphics have been polished, the world of Albion has been expanded and the "engine" to turn into an evil or holy hero has been tuned. As I already completed Fable on the xbox, the most motivating part was the hunt to find the new expansions / features. And so my adventure began.

Fable - The Lost Chapters Review

For those who haven’t played fable yet, shame on you. But let me first tell you about the story. As a twelve year old boy you grow up in a world called Albion. In the beautiful and peaceful town, Oakvale, you live together with your family until suddenly bandits arrive and take over the town and burn it into ashes. They slaughter each and everyone which comes on their path, except you. Maze, the leader of the famous Heroes’ Guild saves you. He takes you to the Heroes' guild as he believes that you could become a great hero. You'll be trained to handle a sword, a bow and even magic. These trainings are very important to get prepared for your future quests. The main quest is to find the one who is responsible for that terrible and horrible event which took place in your village, when the bandits destroyed Oakvale.

As soon as you start the game, you are going to be tested if you're a bad or good boy. For example if somebody is asking for your help to watch over the farm for a short period of time while he's gone, you'll going to be tempted by another little boy to smash down to crates as there should be something interesting in them. Now it's up to you to decide if you're going to smash the crates and therefore do evil as the crates don't belong to you, or just keep on watching over the farm and standing on the assigned place to be a good boy. All actions and choices made have an impact on your character, looks and how people react on you as evil and good points are going to be calculated on your behavior. If you do some evil things like steeling items, killing innocent people or eating too much red meat, the evil points increase. Compensate it with doing good things like eating tofu or offer gifts to people will increase your good points. So please consider what your actions result in before you actually take action. Consequences, people, better think twice before you make your move! In time your body grows, becomes stronger by handling heavier weapons and of course you get older. If you choose to take the devilish path in life don't be surprised to get little red devils horns eventually. On the other hand if you choose to be a good boy you'll turn up as a holy one. People will clap their hands if they see you when you've done some good things in the past or will run away in a panic attack fully frightened by you.

Fable - The Lost Chapters Review

During your quests you'll have to fight a lot against bandits, fairies and monsters but thanks to the training in the Heroes’ guild you'll be able to fight the enemies. If you're not able to beat them, you probably need to upgrade your skills which can be done at the Heroes’ Guild by exchanging points. These points can be earned by collecting orbs which the enemies drop after being conquered. The characters' strength, skill and will can be upgraded, depending on your strategy. For example if you're fond of using magic spells you can "order" them under the will skill upgrade. Later on you can even upgrade most of the spells to make them more powerful. And we want to be powerful! Another way to upgrade is to attach new or stronger weapons to your inventory. Around Albion there are lots of traders where you can purchase or upgrade weapons and if you're lucky you'll even find some in treasure chests. Now that we're talking about traders, not only supply they weapons but also clothing, food, presents (to conquer the love of your life) and even tattoos, a haircut, moustaches and beards in different styles.

Fable - The Lost Chapters Review

There are several kinds of quests to do; beat an enemy, collect special items such as blue mushrooms, dolls and books, win mini-games at the taverns, protect traders on their way to a village, win a running race, find an archaeologist or become the winner of a chicken or fishing competition. I could go on and on as you even can marry a woman, donate money, buy a house, get a tattoo, haircut or proof your strength in the fight clubs around Albion. As you can see there are lots of different things to do, besides the main quests to follow the story. You can even boast a quest which means that you earn extra money by doing something extra during your quest. For example if you need to escort a trader to another village and must avoid bandits, you get the option to boast the quest with getting the villager to his destination without a scratch. For each successful quest you'll get money, even without boasting. If you complete a main quest, the reward is not only money but also a trophy. This trophy can be used to show off to people (hey, look how good I am) or increase the value your house by hanging them on the walls.

The controlling of your character or toolbar is very easy and will be explained in the beginning of the game while you're still a young boy and experiencing the world around you. The camera is in third person view (behind your character) and moveable with the mouse. Walking can be done with the familiar WSAD keys or by using the arrows on the keyboard. Each object or person with a purpose changes color and with the TAB button you can interact with it. Easy with enemies as you can lock them with the spacebar, so equip your sword with the E key or the bow with the Q key and deal with your enemies! Press the left mouse button to swing that sword, special attack with the right mouse button! Oh you equipped the bow, hold the left mouse button till the bow is fully spanned before releasing the arrow! There are lots of other key definitions and shortcuts with the F keys possible but the main handling is quite easy.

Fable - The Lost Chapters Review

The graphics are simply awesome and even better than the xbox version, not that the difference is that enormous. But fable is simply breathtaking! Of course the environments and characters are brilliant designed and styled, the animation is fluently but what is very special for the picky gamers are the little details such as the glowing effects of your weapons, the butterflies fluttering around, the scarves on your body, flowers on the paths, the shadows, the water effects, etc. Oakvale, fable’s birth place, is still my favorite place to hang out. It is near a beach, very colorful with the different flora and lovely characters all over the place (except for the guards who are always picky on me for wearing weapons and doing bad things). But each place has its own charisma and should be respected as art. The most impressive graphics highlight is of course the changing of your character, from young to old, from tiny to strong, from scratch less to Mr Scarve himself.

The symphonic tune of Fable is addictive and you’ll not be able to forget it. The orchestral music changes and adapts to the actions and atmosphere in the game, there are ambient effects and the voice actors did a great job. I don’t really care that a lot of voices of different characters sounds the same or are voiced over by the same voice actor. The way they tell their story and the animation included is more important. If you select a quest, an animation will take place and everything is subtitled so even if you may have some problems with some English accents, you still now what to do. The most irritating sound in the whole game is the giggling sound of a young girl transformed in a Fairy enemy, flying around and hard to get or to shoot at. So you can imagine why I hated that giggling, as if she was laughing at me, not being able of hurting her with my arrows.

Fable - The Lost Chapters Review

There are lots of female character starring in fable, but the leading role is devoted to a young boy who you’re going to control. Nevertheless, the mother and daughter play an important part in the story. It already starts in the beginning of the game where you need to get a present for your sister, right before the bandits burn down the village. A more positive thought is to have the chance to get married with a lovely woman. You can flirt with the ladies by stating nice words, showing of with your body, offer them chocolates, roses, diamonds and eventually a wedding ring will close the deal…ehm that is if you own a house of course. The more women you please, the more hearts will show above their heads. The bigger the heart, the more change you’ll have to make one of them your wife. For clever gamers it’s obvious the best strategic way to marry a woman who’s a shop owner. One of the most impressive characters besides the mother and the daughter is Whisper. You’re going to meet her in the beginning of the game and is a co-trainee in the Heroes’ Guild. Not only do you train with her, but also she’s going to be very important during your fights in the arena.

Fable - The Lost Chapters Review

As already a big fan of the xbox version, the love for the game only grew by playing it on the PC. Searching for the extra regions, the extra quests, meeting new enemies and the expanded storyline, I started the adventure. Within an hour I totally forgot about my detective plans to find the new things as soon as possible as I was positively trapped in the story again and lived my gaming life for what it was. When I found a new spot or new quest, an energy boost ran through my body. The most funniest expansion found was the chicken competition, where you need to kick the chickens as far as possible to win the first prize: a chicken hat! The most impressive expansion is the new added region Northern Wastes where the big end-boss is waiting for you. The one gamers missed in the original fable. The configuration possibilities for your character also expanded; more magic spells, new weapons, more tattoos and an increase of expressions (giving the finger haha). The end conclusion is that it is a very good and addictive RPG game. If you played it already on the xbox, revive it again but this time with the expansions and a decent ending.