|Publisher: Feral Interactive Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.4 RAM: 512 MB Hard Disk: 3000 MB DVD-ROM Graphics: 64 MB VRAM|
Fable: The Lost Chapters was released for the PC in 2005 as an innovative role-playing-game with a high level of replayability. It was widely acknowledged to be one of the best releases of the year, and many Mac gamers wondered how long it would be until it came to the Macintosh. Now, over two years later, it has finally arrived. The question is, does it match up with the games of today as well as it did with the games of 2005? The answer will be revealed through...
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Running through the wilderness is much safer with a magically charged bow.
Gameplay:Fable: The Lost Chapters (F:LC) is a third-person role-playing-game (RPG) that takes place in the land of Albion. Your main character starts as a young boy who is given the task of buying his sister a birthday present. In order to afford the present, the main character's father offers to give him gold pieces in exchange for good deeds. What you soon realize, however, is that you can also gain gold pieces through... other means. For instance, at one point you're given the job of guarding some boxes. You can guard them faithfully and get your good deed, but you can also smash all the boxes and use the profits from that instead. Depending on which you choose, you either become more good or more evil. However, regardless of which choice you pick, the end of your childhood will always be the same. The rest of the game tends to follow the same pattern.
The main examples of this are the limited mission choices. No matter how evil or good you are, you will always be given the same series of missions. There are a few where you can pick between a good or evil version of the same mission, but those aren't very numerous. Also, you can easily make yourself pure good or pure evil in just a few minutes if you're willing to slaughter the respective targets. As such, the good vs. evil contrast ends up being meaningless. In order to reinforce this even more, F:LC has a few points where you can make a major good or evil choice regardless of how your alignment is actually oriented. Overall, it was slightly disappointing. You would expect at least a few consequences for choosing one alignment over the other, but there just aren't any.
Thankfully, the main gameplay of F:LC is extremely entertaining if you simply ignore the alignment system. This is mainly due to the simplicity of the fighting mechanics. Regardless of which fighting style you choose (melee, ranged, or magic), the controls are quite easy to master and feel very intuitive. By the end of the first few hours, you'll find yourself pulling off the decapitating bow sneak attacks and melee flourishes with ease. The magic spells are also quite balanced as a separate discipline, although you can easily break every boss in the game if you combine the magic spells with the ranged skills. (Hint: Slow Time plus Multishot + excellent bow) No matter how many times I charged into the center of a group of bandits, it still was just as fun to slaughter them all without taking a single hit.
The "boast" system gives you a chance to show your skills if you get bored with just running around as a freelancer, though. The majority of the quests in Fable: The Lost Chapters have a series of attached boasts that you can take to increase your quest reward if you're able to complete them. For instance, you could boast that you'd beat the quest naked, without using anything but your fists, without harming anyone, without being harmed, and without your escorts being harmed all at the same time. The boasts are an extremely good way of increasing the replayability of the same quests, and most are quite challenging.