Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Fable: The Lost Chapters

Fable Fun!
I must say that this game sucked me in completely. Over the past few days I did little else than play Fable. One could say that it is one of the more addictive games I have played in a while. The concept is really simple - it is an arcade style RPG.

What do I mean about arcade style? Well, it's the kind of RPG where there is no limit on the amount of items you can carry and the experience system is largely simplified. You have 4 basic attributes (Physique, Health, Toughness, Will), 3 skills (Accuracy, Speed and Guile) and a handful of magic spells. Each attributes/skill/spell has 6 levels which can be bought via experience. You gain general experience by killing enemies. In addition you also get bonus experience in Will, Strength or Skill depending on how you kill them. For example, if you kill them in HTH, you get Strength experience (that can be used on Physique, Health or Toughness only).

Your character also has Attractiveness, Scariness, Renown and Alignment. You get renown by doing quests. Attractiveness and Scariness depend on what kind of clothes, or tattoos/haircuts you wear. Alignment I will talk about later.

There are maybe 3 general types of armor (leather, chainmail, plate) that comes in bright/dark/standard varieties. There is slightly more weapons with various stats. Some are magical, and some can be augmented with special stones you find to make them slightly better. In addition you have classic diablo style potions - health, and will for replenishing your consumable stats and few other ones (like resurrection phial). It's all very simple and basic. You do quests, get experience, buy better gear and do more quests.

So what's so fun about this game? For one, no boring dungeon crawling (as in diablo) or aimless wandering to find a quest (as in Morrowind). You get quests at a central location, and most locations are connected via Cullis Gates. So the only time you do allot of foot slogging is when you are on a quest. And once you enter a quest location, you usually are to busy killing shit to be bored. This makes for really fast paced, and enjoyable gameplay.

But the biggest fun-factor of fable is the ability to choose to be either a total badass or an angel. When you are in towns, you can kill the innocents, break into their houses, still their stuff. You can raid traders on the roads. You can even take mercenary quests from bandits (for example, there is one quest where you help bandits to raid a trading post). When you do these bad things, you accumulate negative alignment - and your character starts looking sinister and grows tiny horns. If you play as a total angel, you often miss out on easy money but you have clear conscience and a nice little halo above your head :P

Some spells and weapons are more powerful when used by a totally evil, or a super good character. Your alignment also affects how the NPC's react to you. If you are evil, they are afraid of you and run away. If you are good they clap and cheer when they see you (provided that your renown is high enough for them to actually recognize you at all).

All of this is tied together with a really cool story. Or at least for the most part. For me, the story was really good up until the middle of the game. After a huge, climactic battle all the main storyline seems to be resolved. The second part just feels like an tack-on expansion set :P Even though both halves of the game are closely related, they feel as if they could almost be two separate games. This is probably due to the fact that the whole second half of the game did not exist in the Xbox original of the game.

It's a really cool game though. Definitely try it out. It is totally addictive :)

Update Wed, January 04 2006, 11:39 PM

I added the screencap above - just for the hell of it :P

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