Platform Presentation Controls Variety Audio Depth Value & FunOVERALL
Xbox 7.00 6.00 7.00 8.00 7.50 7.006.97
General Information
Television set-up: 19" Sylvania CRT, SDTV 480i, composite cables.
Gameplay Description
Fable is an action-RPG set in a traditional fantasy world.  Your character improves by defeating enemies and collecting experience, and the story is progressed by completing quests.
Dedication Meter 15.00
Because of the nature of the combat system, there's a lot of buttons involved, but other than that it's a very inviting RPG that is easy to get right back into if you go without playing for a while.
Presentation 7.00
The story is very simplistic and very derivitive, progressing through either in-engine dialogue sequences, or still frame artwork with narration.  While the game pitches growing up from a boy through becoming a legendary warrior, your days as a youth are brief and merely the tutorial for the game.  The visuals are fairly nice overly, particularly the environments, but suffers from some frame-rate issues and ugly character design.
Controls 6.00
Westernized RPGs have much of their origins and history on the PC, leaving translation to consoles a difficult and mixed bag, particularly due to how controls are handled.  Binding keys to the keyboard is one thing, making it work on a gamepad is another, and Fable is a mixed bag in that regard.  I general, the layout works well enough, with attack bound to X, and block/dodge to Y.  Magic is used by holding R to switch the face buttons to your different spells mapped to X, A and B, while Y switches to the next set of spells.

The main issue derives from lock-on.  You lock onto others using the L-button, and you must lock-on in order to attack (the exception being switching to first-person with a bow).  You can lock onto anyone, which is a result of the good/evil system that has you either performing good or evil acts at your own preference.  Because of this, it is very easy to hit allies by accident, not helped along by magic that attacks an area.  The lock-on system is not particularly accurate to begin with, and the only way to switch targets is to release and repress L, which is even less precise.  What pushes it further into frustration is the fact that it will additionally lock onto targets that are behind you, leading to it suddenly spinning you around when you're just trying to target the enemy right beside the one you were just targeting.
Variety 7.00
Progression through the game is entirely through quests that you get from your headquarters throughout the game.  These quests are at the heart of them either escort missions, kill everyone missions, or fetch quests.  Aside from missions, there are a few parlour games to distract you, but not much else.  There is also a marriage mechanic that is simply empty.  Talk to a woman and give her a few gifts, provided you've bought a house (which you can rent out, or use for marriage), then you can marry.  The only purpose for this once you're done is that your wife will buy you gifts.  There are no also mechanics or gameplay to this.

Given it is an RPG, the actual character attributes are of importance.  There are three categories: Power, skill and magic.  Power is broken down into melee strength, health and toughness; skill into speed, accuracy and guile, and magic into various spells.  Ultimately, you're going to choose either a close-range weapon or long-range, then supplement with magic.  Magic alone will not work, and ignoring magic altogether will just make things difficult, as well as wasteful as the increased cost with each level up will make the skills not upgraded into bargains pointless to ignore.

Weapons and armour are limited and straight-forward.  You wear the best armour you have, and for weapons there's not a great deal of difference between the individual options for close range or long range.  Essentially, there are two ways to reasonably approach combat.

Enemies are much the same way, with them either attacking from a distance or hacking you, with pretty much no other threats.
Audio 8.00
The music is typical, but rather well done and enjoyable, without being distracting; it stays in the background and keeps the mood appropriate.  This is augmented by mediocre voice-acting, with the NPC villagers particularly irksome.
Depth 7.50
While the combat is going to be approached pretty linearly, you have a few options in the specifics, and combat regardless is enjoyable.  Magic isn't strong enough to work as a primary weapon for very long into the game, leaving the attack spells for the majority of the game useless.  There are also instances in which certain attacks are mostly useless (for example, an enemy that is resistent to physical weapons) meaning you can't really be a specialist.  Combat is balanced by having the enemies, one within a cetain distance, more slowly approach, meaning you aren't going to be constantly ambushed from all over.
Value & Fun 7.00
The gameplay is generally fun.  There are no aspects of the game that stand out as particularly special, but it well-rounded as a whole, with the combat marking the most enjoyable aspect, as it should.  The game concluded in 9.5 hours for me including a very introductory first hour, so a bit short on content for a game of this style.

While the combat is enjoyable, that's somewhat hampered by frustrating controls.  Additionally, by the last couple hours of the game, the enemies you face have been relegated infinitely respawning from nowhere in large numbers.  It can hinder the ability to appreciate the battles when they never end.
Overall 6.97
The game is a relatively solid, but short and flawed, RPG with plenty of action.  You'll need to be able to handle copious amounts of fantasy cliché but at the right price it may be worth a look so long as you understand what you're getting.
Posted by Ellyoda Sun, 22 Nov 2009 07:53:09
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Mon, 07 Dec 2009 18:26:07

Fable sucked.
Mon, 07 Dec 2009 19:09:01
^ You suck, GG.
Wed, 09 Dec 2009 12:09:21
Not as hard as Fable!
Thu, 10 Dec 2009 01:01:20
Fable was alright, it was just another example of the negative influence of "hype" (largely fueled by its designer, but still) in the way a game is received. People were promised the moon, and all they got was an alright game.
Thu, 10 Dec 2009 10:01:52
I was lucky in that I never followed Fable before I bought it. Shoot, I didn't even know who Peter Molyneux was before Fable! I saw a gameplay video for it on a demo disk just before it came out, and thought it looked good, so I picked it up. I loved the game. Sure it has some annoying issues here and there, but I still had a LOT of fun with it. I played through it multiple times, which is rare for me.
Thu, 10 Dec 2009 13:01:47
But you dont like Fable 2? Everyone else says its a huge improvement?
Thu, 10 Dec 2009 17:13:04
Fable 2 is everything Fable one promised to be, and then more.
Thu, 10 Dec 2009 18:23:08
So in conclusion, Fable 1 sucked. Nyaa
Thu, 10 Dec 2009 19:29:58
Must I like the sequel if I enjoyed the original? That seems unfair somehow.

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 19:42:13
Suck it up! Grinning
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