My first Fable game was Fable II, and I fell in love with its world and just that charm it had. Fable III on the other hand didn’t go down so well with me. I’ve always thought to myself though, “When will I finally play the first ever Fable?” I was told by other Fable fans that it was the best one, and that it was a must play but I just never got down to playing it. Fast forward to 2013, and Fable Anniversary was announced, making it the perfect time to finally play the original Fable.
For those unaware in Fable you start off as a young and innocent child who’s town is attacked and almost everyone is killed, as the story goes on you become older and turned into finely tuned warrior thanks to the Hero’s Guild. You will then journey through Albion and go on a wide variety of quests, which lead towards getting revenge for your family. Sounds like a serious game? It’s quite the opposite actually as Fable Anniversary will have you laughing with its quirky humor.
I watched some gameplay videos of the original Fable on Youtube before playing Fable Anniversary so I can really appreciate how much the graphics have changed from one game to another. I was happy to see that it’s not a lazy port with a higher resolution, pretty much everything has been recreated, character models, scenery like tree, and even down to something little like chairs. Although the graphics are still outdated they are a big improvement, and players of the original can truly appreciate that.
The charm that I felt in Fable II was to be found in Fable Anniversary as the world feels alive and has meaning. Throughout the game NPC’s would shout their feelings about me depending on my choices made during the game as well as what my morality was at the current time. Interacting with NPC’s is still as fun as ever, I can’t even explain how much I laughed at farting at some random poor woman and watching her run away, yes Fable really does bring that inner child inside of you.
Choice is a major factor in Fable Anniversary, as I mentioned previously during missions there will be parts were you will have to make choices that move you towards being a hero or evil which effects the way people around Albion think of you. Your choices and the way you act also changes the way you look physically, if you are good then you will have a halo appear above your head but if you are bad then your character will start to grow horns out of his head.
Sadly the game has really shown its age, except it wasn’t for visual reasons but for design choices that were made those many years ago, and was not changed. Fable Anniversary is an RPG, and one of the biggest features is leveling up your character along with customizing the character with your own choice of upgrades. For some reason that I don’t really understand, you have to travel all the way back to the Hero’s Guild and walk into a green light which then takes you to the leveling up menu. Maybe this was something that people could look past many years ago but now you just think “Why can’t I just press start and level up?”
I also felt the world was cut up into way too many tiny sections. One mission early in the game shows you have cut up it is as you have to go through 6 loading screens to get to the one area. It didn’t help that the locations have hardly any size to them making them extremely unmemorable locations. It’s nothing really “bad” it’s just a case of showing what was expected from players back than compared to what we expect now in 2014.
I felt like the combat in Fable Anniversary was frustrating during my playthrough as “friendly” characters would get hit at times instead of the targeted enemy causing my evil rating to go up when I didn’t even want to attack the character. Attacking the wrong target happened to me more times than I can remember and wasn’t just a one time thing, it’s like why build up a good character just to get evil points accidentally?
The Final Verdict
Fable Anniversary suffered the effects of me playing the upgraded version of that game first (Fable II) during the game I accidentally was trying to do things that were added in Fable II just out of habit. It’s still a good game that fans of Fable should try again or like me play for the first time.
+Albion feels alive
+/- Although graphics are improved they are still pretty outdated
-Age is showing