Final Look: One groundbreaking RPG coming right up?Maybe?Soon?Please?
As anyone who actually reads my scribbling knows, I'm not much of an RPG fan. However, as an Xbox owner, there are several stunning RPG's on their way that I will be running to purchase on release day. Fable (formerly known as Project Ego), the ambitious game from developer Big Blue Box and game designer Peter Molyneux, promises to be an incredible experience featuring an unprecedented level of character development and interaction with the game world on a whole new level. And now that it finally has a release date, we'll see if the end result was worth the wait.
Fable begins with the gamer taking control of a youth of 15. After an errand in town, you return home to find your family kidnapped and your dog slaughtered. Vowing to find your family and avenge the pooch, you set out on a quest for greatness. At this point virtually everything about your character development is up to you, and it is this in depth metamorphosis that is the games signature. Depending on how you play the game (aka: live your virtual life) your character will change and grow in dramatic ways. For example: if you spend a lot of time swinging a broad sword and honing your combat skills in numerous battles, your character will develop into an archetypical Robert E. Howard hero (think Conan or Cormac Mac Art) big, brawny and deadly. Conversely, if you choose the ways of a thief, you'll be more of the silent and quick assassin type, perhaps not as strong, but able to dodge daggers and arrows with quiet efficiency.
As you progress in the game, you will have the option to grow facial hair, choose your style of dress and weapons, or get a tattoo. Every action undertaken will affect the game world in some way. For example, as an adventurer, your travels will take you to many towns and villages. If you choose the actions of a hero, you will be welcomed by the townspeople (and you'll have a shot at all the maidens during your stay) however, if you roll in and slaughter half the village, I can guarantee that their reaction to you won't be so magnanimous. If you are cut in battle you will retain the scars, and as you continue through the adventure you will age appropriately. Magic can be harnessed and used as well, but prodigious casting of a legion of spells will age your character faster than normal. The game will also make use of compressed or expanded time in whatever way best serves the narrative. In this game, you could get tossed in prison for a stretch?.and age accordingly during your time in the big house. Graphically the game looks simply stunning (though since it's been in development so long now, we'll really have to wait and see the final product to be certain) and I'm blown away by Fable's look. High polygon models for all of the characters and a beautiful game world full of gorgeous landscapes and structures are evident in every screenshot. Huge mountain ranges highlighted with stunning lighting effects, as well as insanely detailed interiors, put the game in the upper echelon of visuals and promises to immerse the player like never before. With an incredible main adventure and numerous side quests, gamers should be busy for months when Fable is released in September.