Reviewed on Xbox

Fable

Reviewed By: Shaun Graves
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Xbox (Microsoft)
Produced by: Lion Head Studios
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Overall Rating:
Genre: Role Playing Game (RPG)
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 3 of 5
   (average)
Violence: 3 of 5
   (mild)
Adult Content: 3 of 5
   (mild)

Fable.  Illustration copyrighted.

Every choice has a consequence. Ah, how true those words are…, well at least in real-life anyways. Fable's whole premise is that everything you do affects you either positively or negatively and because of that it does make Fable kind of a unique experience, but only kind of.

You begin the game by being introduced to the story in a story-book like fashion, you are give pictures and very well narrated story. You are young and your village gets raided and burned to the ground by bandits, killing everyone in their way. You survive and are found by a man named Maze. He takes you to the guild of Heroes where you will begin to train as hero, to either take revenge on the bandits that killed you, or become a great Hero.

After a few training scenarios and a few more narrated scenes you get to play the game. Peter Molyeneux, the games creator whose famous for such titles as Black and White and Populos, actually fails at his first adventure/rpg. Fable was first announced as Project Ego, when the Xbox first came out. The game is just now making it out to stores. He promised too many things that just didn't make it into the game, an openended world being the most noticeable thing missing.

Aside from what was left out of the game, I will be only reviewing what did make it into the game. Sadly though, that is not much. The game does give you freedom to be either good or evil. You can chose quests to save people, or to murder them. One quest has you saving a farm, or if you prefer you can chose to join the bandits raiding that farm. You can chose to buy items from people, or you can chose to steal from them. You can chose just about anything, even how your hair/beard looks, to the clothes you wear, to if you have any tatoos as well. You even get scars from battle. Also of note, is that your character actually ages throughout the game as well, and how the character is played determines what he looks like. Do you fight with swords and heavy weapons alot, then you will be a big, muscular fighter. Do you use your bow a lot, they you will be muscular and lithe. If you use magic alot you will be frail. One of the neat things is if you are good a whole lot, you get a halo, but if your evil you actually sprout horns!

I have found this game as far as Christian offensiveness and adult content to be as much as the user wants. Your character doesn't have to do anything you do not want him to. If you play as a good person, and I honestly don't know why a Christian would chose any other, then the offensive material will be mild. However if you play as an evil person, well then…

But I will list some things to be wary of. There are tatoos on other characters in this game, just like in the real world don't want one then don't get one. You can learn to swear but who would want to? However, even if you don't learn to swear you will still hear a few swear words. In 7 hours of play I heard about 3-4 minor swear words such as the d-word and the h-word. You encounter some adult situations such as a husband cheating on his wife, but only see them making out. You can then lie to his wife, or tell her the truth about what you saw, Like I said every choice has a consquence. One thing I found admirable is they give you choice on whether to spare the Bandit that killed your family and friends or not, (I spared him.)

The reason this game gets 3.5 is that it is kinda of lackluster, The graphics are kinda neat in a storybook like way, but are ultimately too dated. The combat engine, while intuitive is just too unpolished and not very satisfying. And the way the story is unfolded is not as dramatic as it could be. The game for as long as it has been in development (4 years) feels actually rushed! That's not to mention that most of the game's features didn't even make it into the final product! Morrowind did a better job, even with it's bugs and glitches on Xbox than Fable. Don't get me wrong Fable is a good game, but is far from being original or innovative, because you can customise your character and because he gets older as the game goes on. That and Morrowind literally gives you hundred of hours of play time, in Fable you get a about 12-20, depending on if you do side- quests or not a farcry for hard-core rpg gamers! One other thing I should mention, you can actually get married in this game, you can offer gifts to someone you like, get married and have children with them. Don't worry no love scenes. But the one disturbing thing is that the developers do give you the option to marry one the men in the game!! Although it is actually harder to do so, but still this kinda stuff should not be in games.

I have played this game for several hours and have almost completed the game, I did not finish it because it ultimately bored me. If your mature and like to play as good guy, and understand that you should play open-ended games as you would act in real-life, then the offensive material is not that great. However, if your immature I recommend staying away as you would be exposing your self to things that you shouldn't be exploring, in real-life or in a videogame world. But here is the question, would we as Christians develope games that allow one to explore the paths of evil? I would think not, but this is a game that does, and for me to play any game on the market I have to play the ones in which I am the good guy, and at least this game gives me the option. If it didn't give me an option and forced me to be the bad guy, I wouldn't even play.

Year of Release—2004


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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