Fable: The Lost Chapters Review
Fable: The Lost Chapters has been largely successful in the console realm winning over many game fans by providing an original world to explore and a degree of complexity not normally available in console RPGs. Fortunately, this trend continues with the PC version and the game continues to do an excellent job of connecting the player with the character and the RPG world. By far, the most entertaining part of Fable: The Lost Chapters is making choices during the game, and then watching the character, and the world around them, change to reflect your decisions.
The story behind Fable: The Lost Chapters is pretty simple: you are a young boy who becomes orphaned from his family when bandits raid your hometown. Luckily you are taken from the town and brought to a Guild where you are trained to become a Hero. The game starts you as the young boy in your hometown, and although you do get to do some exploring and interact with the townspeople, the game doesn’t really get rolling until the raid is over and you arrive at the Guild. It is here at the Guild where you as a player will learn about the 3 main Hero attributes available to develop in the game: Strength, Skill, and Will. Strength is primarily a physical ability and can be developed during the game by leveling up the characters physique, toughness, and health. Skill is dependent entirely on your character's use of ranged combat weapons. In Fable: The Lost Chapters there are two main ranged weapons: the bow and the crossbow. Finally, Will is the ability to use magical powers. A multitude of spells are available to use and each spell can be leveled up as you gain more experience. The Guild will become your base of operations and the quests you will receive originate there.
Overall the singular character in Fable: The Lost Chapters is more than interesting enough for most gamers, even the experienced RPGers. There are lots of ways to exercise alignment choices and affect the development of your character. At the very beginning of the game you will learn this lesson quite well when you must deal with the consequences of catching a local man cheating on his wife. As a young boy the game confronts you with a decision: will you keep the man’s secret or reveal his adulterous ways to his wife? Adding complexity to the question you can choose one way while in front of the man, and then choose the opposite when you run into his wife later on. Hint: If you choose to keep his secret, then tell his wife later on, make sure you run after the wife; she definitely makes a “scene”.
Although some may complain that the game is “too short” (there are many reports of players completing the game in under 12 hours, sometimes under 10) the developers did go to noticeable lengths to try and add “meat”. Fable: The Lost Chapters is billed as 1/3rd larger than the original game. The majority of the additions are extra optional quests. The keyword here is optional. For example, frequenting the Darkwood Bordello and enjoying the company of the women there, or competing in each of the town fight clubs, will add time to the game, but it won’t really change that much in the world. By far, the most change comes about by completing the core quests you receive from the Guild. In my case, I finished up the core quests in less than 16 hours with only casual play. Of course everyone will play differently, but I found that the real fun aspect of this game is about exploring every little nook and corner of the world. The enjoyment doesn’t come about by thinking of the story as an epic or judging the game solely on how many hours it takes to complete.