One of the most hyped games of 2004 was released exclusively for the original Xbox by developers Big Blue Box and Lionhead Studios. The action-role playing game was said to be “the best game ever” by Lionhead co-founder Peter Molyneux. It’s safe to say the game was overhyped but is it still worth a playthrough today? Lift your leg to fart in this Fable Review!
Fable begins in the small town of Oakvale. You are a young boy and it’s your sister’s birthday. After getting her a birthday present the town is raided by a gang of bandits who slaughter everyone in sight including your family. You were able to hide in a field and watch as the destruction unfolded. After the chaos, a mage named Maze finds you and tells you to come with him to be safe. He takes you away to the Hero’s Guild and raises you into a young man through rigorous training in fighting, archery, and willpower (magic).
Eventually, you will have the opportunity to leave the guild and take quests of your own. During your quests, you soon learn that your sister is still alive and being kept at a bandit camp. You slaughter the camp and rescue your sister who spent her childhood being tortured and having her eyes gouged out by knives. She is thankful for you rescuing her but she’s definitely on the weird side.
As time passes and more simple quests are completed you learn about your bloodline. Your family had the power to unlock a legendary sword that would bring the ultimate destruction to anyone who wields it. The sword has since been locked away and only a member of your family can unlock its tomb. Your sister tells you that your mother is still alive being held prisoner to Jack of Blades, a powerful figure that seeks your family’s sword. You try to rescue your mother but are captured while escaping and are tortured for two years in prison. Eventually, you escape with your mother and she unleashes a power within you to defeat Jack.
The leader of the Hero’s Guild, Maze, has always been a dick but he ends up kidnapping your sister and mother in an act of betrayal. He hands them over to Jack who immediately slits your mother’s throat killing her and spilling her blood. He begins to open up the four locks unleashing a horrific power over the land as he raises the dead. You catch up with him as the final lock is activated unlocking the sword. Before he can use it, you two battle and you kill him. In the end, you have the option to kill your sister with the blade to become even more powerful or cast the blade into a vortex to banish it for good.
Fable is an open-world RPG. After the tutorial section of the Hero’s Guild, you are set free to do whatever you wish in the game. It offers a lot of things to do in no particular direction. If you want to hunt for treasure and dig holes throughout the land, you can do that. If you want to go fishing off of piers and waste the day away, you can do that. There are even multiple women to woe over and get married but I didn’t have time for love in my Fable review! You can buy or rent houses out or go item hunting for shop owners. There’s a ton of content that will fill your day up if you want to play small side missions.
My Fable review took me just under ten hours to complete but there were a lot of frustrations during my playthrough. First, the voice acting sucks. Don’t let them fool you, the NPCs are forgettable and have annoying voices. Every character strangely has huge heads and hands that make them look like circus freaks.
Glitches come into the game in various ways. Sometimes if you wander around towns, you’ll notice wooden boxes just floating in the air or huge lag after unpausing the game. If you run to new areas, expect textures to not fully load for a few seconds leaving the ground and buildings smooth until details come into focus.
The first few quests were very boring during my Fable review like escorting some bum trader from city to city which led to more glitches. This mission had two traders that needed to be safely escorted. One of them got stuck between areas and no matter how many times I went back and forth between areas, he was always stuck in the gate leaving me one choice to complete the mission. I had to kill him which gave me evil points.
You can play this game as a hero or a villain. Your choices affect how people react to you and how your appearance is shown. People will clap and cheer for you as you walk through towns if you are a hero or they will run and cower in fear if you are evil. I tried to be the hero in all situations during my Fable review but glitches like the one I mentioned made me kill some innocent people.
The programmers really wanted you to like their “expression” buttons that allow you to make faces or wave at people to express how you feel toward them. I never used it and thought it was stupid. The only thing I kept doing was the farting expression which made me laugh due to my ten-year-old boy humor.
I almost threw my controller out the window during an early mission during my Fable review. There’s a big difficulty curb where you need to rescue a boy from a mine filled with little midget-like creatures. It took me 45 minutes to get to the end of the mission only for the boy to die right before we left the cave. The second time I played through it I rescued him only by a miracle. In combat, you can fight in three different ways. You can bash people with your melee weapon, shoot them with arrows, or cast magic. I fought with a melee weapon for most battles but found it numbing to push the same button over and over to attack the same enemy for the 100th time. Once I beat that stupid mission I had enough gold to buy a very powerful sword that killed most enemies in two hits which made the game a lot more enjoyable. Most missions were boring and repetitive, but I enjoyed the arena mission that has you fight different opponents for money like a gladiator. There aren’t a ton of bosses in this game but they weren’t overpowering and most of them I beat on my first try like Maze and Jack.
I didn’t experience all the secrets that Fable has to offer like the demon caves, silver treasure chests, or getting married. (One wife is enough for me to handle!) I can see how you can spend nearly 50 hours playing Fable and unlocking the secrets to it. If you do that, good for you, if not, I don’t blame you as the combat isn’t rewarding. Speaking of rewards you may power up your character with experience orbs that you collect after killing enemies. I was probably 60 percent powered up during my Fable review before I fought Jack in the final battle and had no issues killing him.
The story was better than I thought it’d be but with the numbing combat, annoying NPCs, and short playthrough, Fable left me wanting to finish it quicker instead of taking my time to explore the land.
When I was in middle school, my stepdad bought me an Xbox. I would only see my mom and him every other weekend and about once a month he’d buy a new game and stick it in the drawer for me to find. There were a few games that I was addicted to whenever I went over there but one month I found Fable in the drawer. Curious, I popped in the disc and turned the game on.
I didn’t spend much time playing it. It never hooked me in and I maybe spent a few hours playing it before losing interest. I don’t know what it was that turned me off, perhaps the lack of direction? Anyway, I didn’t play it again until over 15 years later when I decided to dig it out of my collection and complete a Fable review.
Fable Review Score:
Fable promised a lot and delivered little compared to the hype that it had. Its attempt at being an open-world game falls short with the small world size and lack of interesting characters. Glitches make their way into the gameplay that making for an unforgiving and frustrating time. There are better RPGs to explore.
Fable scores a 6.9 out of 10.
What would you write in your Fable review? Do you remember when Fable first came out? Did you choose to be a hero or a villain? Did you end up getting married? Did you play as a warrior or mage? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!