Wind the clock back 10 years and the original Fable was being released on the Xbox. It was released to favourable reviews and went on to become one of the best selling games on the platform. Fable takes place in a land called Albion. You take the role of a young boy who’s family is brutally killed by bandits. An old hero rescues you and trains you up to become the hero of Albion. The story still holds up quite well even though it hasn’t changed in the last 10 years.. The main story itself is quite short so it never really feels like it’s dragging on. Story-wise, I still feel like this is the best game in the series. It’s easy to follow and provides a simple narrative that’s easy to follow. Unlike the more recent games, you can still only select to be a male hero, which may annoy some people.
The biggest thing to talk about with Fable Anniversary is the upgraded presentation. The game has received a visual upgrade which puts it in-line with the newer games in the series. Whilst it is a welcomed upgrade, I couldn’t help but feel that some of the visual charm was lost with replacing the cartoony character designs with a more realistic model.
The real improvement comes in the form of updated weapon models and the spell effects. These make the game much more immersive and realistic. The landscapes are also much improved and have a lot more personality. In the original game, environments looked extremely similar and lacked a certain visual quality. Unfortunately, there are a few graphical issues. There are some glaring framerate issues, particularly in areas with a lot of enemies on screen. There is also some quite noticeable pop-in during some cutscenes. Something that seems strange to me was the decision to leave the original interludes in the game. Surely it wouldn’t have been much of an effort to recreate these to better suit the Anniversary editions upgraded visual quality?
The biggest change in Fable Anniversary comes in the form of updated controls. Fans of the 2nd and 3rd game will be pleased to know that dedicated buttons for magic, melee and ranged attacks have now been bought across. If you preferred the older way of manually switching attack types, a legacy control option has been bought into the game. It really is the best of both worlds.
The combat was extremely enjoyable in the original and i’m happy to say that it’s just as fun 10 years later. There is a ton of variety in the way that you can attack situations. Cast a spell, attack using a melee weapon or use your bow, the options are endless. I really enjoyed the fact that the game never limits you to any attack type. The only fault that I had with the combat is the old-school lock on system. You can lock on to targets by holding the left trigger to engage in lock on mode and then to tap the same button to change targets. It feels extremely cumbersome and had me constantly missing targets.
Fable Anniversary is still just as easy as it was 10 years ago but I never felt like this hampered my enjoyment. You are able to hold enough potions and food to always get out of sticky situations. It does kill the tension a little but it ensures that the game never gets frustrating. Another new introduction is the ability to save anywhere. The game also auto-saves and has checkpoints. Some minor SmartGlass functionality has also been included. You’re able to view your world map and some minor backstory stuff. It doesn’t really add anything to the experience but it’s there for those who would want to use it.
Included in the Anniversary Edition is the full Lost Chapters expansion. This will add a few more hours of play-time to your quest. The Lost Chapters expansion adds new items, a new town and a new ending. It’s definitely a valid addition to the game as the main story is quite short.