Fable is an action role-playing game that is currently exclusive to Xbox. In Fable, the player takes control of a young man's life from childhood to old age in the fictional world of Albion. The choices one makes have consequences on the character and the world—good and evil actions will change the character and their reputation. Fable was developed by Big Blue Box (http://www.bigbluebox.com), a satellite of Lionhead Studios and was published by Microsoft.
Fable was shipped to retail on September 14, 2004. The game was received with mixed reviews. On one hand many reviewers thought the game was fun to play, but on the other they say it hardly lives up to the hype that was generated, and what Lionhead also wanted to achieve with the game. It was billed as a lot more open-ended, like Morrowind, with more game play available. The delivered game is fairly linear (with the only major difference between the story lines being good or evil), and is more comparable to games such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic than Morrowind.
The game centers around the only playable character, a male referred to as the hero. As a child, the hero's village was raided and destroyed by bandits. His family was murdered and he was left orphaned. He was taken in by the Heroes' Guild and trained to be a hero. He then embarks on a journey to discover the reason behind his village's destruction, discovering along the way the true fate of his family and his own destiny.
Fable features a reasonably unique character customization system based on the concept that everything the character does should affect him. If he eats too much, he will gain weight. If he swings his sword constantly, he will build muscle. Every article of clothing the character acquires will change his in-game appearance. He can be further customized by using haircut, facial hair, and tattoo cards which allow for a range of body modification options.
The clothing, hairstyle, and tattoos the character wears will affect the way he is seen by the non-player characters. If he is porting a clean-shaven, well-dressed style, he will become more attractive but less fearsome. If he is brandishing scary tattoos and dreadful chainmail armor, he will become more frightening. These options change the responses given by the non-player characters. A terrifying character will cause villagers to cower in fear. A charming, virtuous hero will receive admiration and applause.
The actions the character takes will score for him good and evil points. If he is killing monsters or saving villagers, he will receive good points. If he commits a crime or kills an innocent person, he will receive evil points. These affect not only the responses of the non-player characters but also the appearance of the character. A hero with an abundance of good points will soon find a halo and a pleasant glow surrounding him. An evil character will sprout horns and emit toxic fumes.
Experience and leveling-up
The experience system used in Fable is rather simple yet unique and follows the general concept of the game: every action has a consequence. Points are gained in four categories: General, Strength, Skill, and Will. General points are gained through completion of quests and killing enemies and creatures. How you go about killing those creatures will affect in which of the other three categories you will gain points. Use your favorite sword or axe to hack an enemy apart and you will gain Strength points. Fire your bow and acquire Skill points. Zap them with lightning or a fireball to gain Will points. These in turn can be used to purchase or upgrade abilities and statistics.
- Fable official site (http://www.fablegame.com)
- Peter Molyneux's Fable - Interview with game designer Peter Molyneux about his Xbox game Fable from Geartest.com (http://www.geartest.com/sections/games/petermolyneux_fable.html)