- Jul 2, 2009
[HEADING=1]Fable: A Story Told in too Few Words.[/HEADING]
Further proof that Peter Molyneux can sell a crap and say its brown gold.
Fable, an fantasy RPG by Lionhead Studios, isn't what I'd call one of the best games I've ever played; in fact I'd say it's as far from that as humanly possible, and then some. While it had some potential, it still fell horribly short on standard RPG elements that have been mastered by both elder and newer games. Many of the best games I ever played are RPGS. What can I say? I love them so. [footnote]*Hug copy of Ocarina of Time*[/footnote]
Fable starts out with a terrible cliche. A boy is living a happy life when suddenly his village and family are killed by bandits. So the boy goes off to an elite guild of warriors and vows for revenge. I can name a hand full of games that have used this idea both before and after this game. Maybe not the exact theme but something similar version of it.
It seems like the Games Industry prides it's self on using old ideas over and over again until the sewage passed as "originality" eventually overruns our consoles and PCs. It's lamentable how much we gamers let The Industry get away with this blasphemy. Someone bring the rope and I'll make the gallows, time for some much needed cleansing.
Soon enough, the player discovers that he was not the only one that survived the attack. Big surprise, huh? Anyway, there is some originality in the game I feel should be pointed out. Never before have I known farting was an effective way of flirting, or that completing a trivial missions only to come back to a village where everyone suddenly loves you.
Which compels me to point out, what self respecting person, seeing as you can marry guys and girls, would fall for someone for farting at them? Another laughably effective way of finding love, and sex, is to be extremely perverted. Depending on which moral side the player picks, he can hip trusts at someone to impresses them. There's also no clear cut way of impressing an NPC; something that just worked a second ago could make you lose all of the affection they had for you the next. If something impresses an NPC then it should logically always do so, just like with any normal person.
The term Play Boy fits well with the game because you can get married, have sex a few times with them, ignore or beat them till they leave you only to get married again within an hour. Rinse lather and repeat till you're bored to death. You can have a spouse in each town as long as you have a house and a ring to give them. However, in some cases if they don't live in an area that has houses for sale then you can be engaged to them but you can't marry them because apparently moving seems like a foreign idea at that time in history. Apparently Peter Molyneux has never moved from his mom's basement if that wasn't seen as an issue.
Fable has what is called a moral choice system (MCS). For those out there who don't know what it is, in most cases this usually means you're given two ways to play out a situation that, in some way, effects how the entire game plays out; usually an option is given that is either good or evil . The effect can be mild or severe depending. MCSs look good on paper but, much like communism, don't work out so well in practice. There have been some games that have made it work well like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, but like most are very limited with there really only being two choices such as kill the villagers and help the bandits (evil) or save the villagers and kill the bandits (good). Sadly, Fable falls into the latter style
Life is not like that in anyway, people aren't either Jack the Ripper or Jesus. Why not have someone that doesn't leave a tip that also takes home lost kittens, or reversely someone that bites the heads off of the kittens and give the tip to Make-A-Wish. Even a priest can have a dark side.
The vast combat system, which incidentally will inevitably not matter, is really just a hack and slash. Peter Molyneux made a point to state that Fable will have many spells and attacks at the disposal of the player but most hostile NPCs are melee oriented and will hack into your health bar like Lizzie Borden and her father's skull. That's fine, I like a good hack and slash, however I did say good.
Fable is basically boiled down to mash the attack buttons till everything is dead and maybe even drink a health pot somewhere along the lines. To me a good hack and slash has combos of more then just the basic attack over and over again. If you're going to give experience for spells, then make them as useful as melee and keep the cast times low. Yes there are a ton of attacks, but why bother if all you need is what you have from the beginning?
Combat can make or break a game, and with Fable it's broken beyond help. Lion Head needs to know this saying, "Less is more." Maybe Fable 4 will be better if they follow that saying and keep the amount of available attacks low and useful. Though I'm honestly hoping Fable 3 will kill this franchise for good and great games won't be in the shadow of this... I'm not sure if I can think of a word strong enough to describe how bad this game is. I'll just make up one, this fugnutcrapa. [footnote] Definition, To be of such poor quality as to force one to create new jargon. [/footnote]
I have a really hard time seeing how this game has done so well and how it has made so much money. I like to think that behind every bad game there is a crack team of marketing agents that shine it up and make it look pretty. Quite a catch 22 seeing as if they spend spent less money on marketing then they would have more for good game designers and won't need the marketing team to make it look better than it really is.
Fable was a good idea but good ideas can go bad once someone messes with it. There is one name that comes to mind and it is obviously Peter Molyneux. Lion Head, next game you make, for the love of god, lock him up in a damn padded room like the Man in the Iron Mask. Maybe then his massive corruption will end and his empty promises will be gone as well. Fable is a prime example of good intentions gone extremely bad with the plague known as hype. [footnote]Ruing lives since 1982. That's right Howard Scott Warshaw I'm talking about you.[/footnote]
Many thanks to [user]Pimppetter2[/user] for his advise and editing.
Also, thanks to you for reading! Please Comment!