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Customer Review

34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Albion renewed - but the wasps aren't the only bugs., 7 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Fable Anniversary (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
NOTE: The first Lionhead patch failed to eliminate all the bugs and glitches noted at the end of my review, and for me reduced the framerate to unplayable levels in some areas. I cannot recommend a purchase until the problems are fixed.

I'm not a retro gamer, tirelessly revisiting classics on Amiga, N64 or whatever, so it was odd to find myself looking forward to a reworking of a ten year old game with what, on the face of it, is little more than a new paint job. Yet the original Fable: The Lost Chapters that I played on PC proved to be something special, a rare instance of finding a game that was a perfect fit for me in particular. I loved its lore, its look, its humour, its combat and magic systems, its particular sense of place and its unapologetic Britishness. I played it through twice, and would probably had played it at least once more if our subsequent PCs had shown the ability and good taste to run it. Since then I've snapped up each release in the Fable saga, and while Fable 2 was arguably its equal, I still look back on the original release with particular affection.

So here I am taking the opportunity to play the rejuvenated version, and I'm loving every minute. I admit that I approached it with a niggling feeling that the use of Unreal Engine 3 and the worked-over sound envelope might in some way bury the old Albion, but it emerges intact. The sense of place that was so vital to my earlier experience is as strong as ever. I still recognise the Albion that forms its skeleton, and fully appreciate that the new textures, lighting and effects have fleshed it out whilst making it acceptable to eyes used to the visual and aural advances of the last decade. Nothing is lost from the character models either, and not a little gained: the old Chicken Chaser may be made up of many more polygons, but his slightly awkward but heroic self emerges with added dimension (though the animation seems limited by today's standards).

Overall the look is now very much in line with Fables 2 and 3. Smartglass, which is well integrated, offers comparisons to show just how much it has improved, as well as prviding a handy map.

All that said, there are visual glitches here and there, moments when the camera seems a bit skewed and some awkward pauses when accessing dialogue. And having said what I did about wanting the fabric of the old game to be retained, I could wish for the supporting cast of village folk, sundry brigands and interlopers et al to feel as alive as they do in subsequent Fable chapters. Combat also seems a little easier than it used to, though maybe that's simply because I've played so many games in the intervening years that I'm better at coping with them. IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: Since writing the review I've experienced a couple of lock-ups. The core experience remains, but it's advisable to make regular fall back saves. Lionhead are preparing a patch.

In the end, I can't bring myself to dock more than one review star for those limited shortcomings. If you are visiting Albion for the first time I simply envy you; if you come having played from Fable 2 onwards, then you'll enjoy uncovering the early history of Theresa and finding out more about the history of the heroes guild; if you're a fan of the original, then it will be like revisiting a place and friends you haven't seen for years but still love.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Feb 2014 12:36:29 GMT
J Bell says:
I'm glad to hear that the revamp sounds good. I too have played the original several times and was glad when I read they were upgrading it to HD. Will be buying it in the near future, and looking forward to traveling the roads of Albion once again.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2014 14:37:55 GMT
RoseP says:
I'm sure you'll enjoy it. If it has one inbuilt fault it's that knowing it all so well I'm something over halfway through after about nine hours of play.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2014 15:24:15 GMT
N. Retter says:
does it include the lost chapters like the pc version that both you and I seemed to love so much

Posted on 7 Feb 2014 18:16:44 GMT
J. Richards says:
I'm making this my Easter weekend game, which will be when i make a purchase. Got so many other games to clear out before playing this. But i'm glad it's a good improvement as it were.

Enjoy it my friend.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014 00:23:41 GMT
RoseP says:
Yep, it's all there. One word of warning though: save often. I've had a couple of lock-ups now, neither fatal but meaning some retracing of steps.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014 00:27:11 GMT
RoseP says:
Thanks, and all good wishes for your own playthrough. As noted above there are some annoying glitches (kind of like playing the old PC version...), but the core game shines through it all.
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