Fable: The Lost Chapters is far too linear and short (about 14 hours) to be labeled a “must-have,” particularly on the PC. However, on this platform it’s infinitely more pleasing to look at (thanks to the higher resolutions) and easier to play (thanks to the keyboard and mouse) than it was on the Xbox.
You begin as a small boy whose family is murdered by bandits. You’re taken in by the local Heroes Guild, where you learn all the basic skills of being a hero (melee fighting, ranged attacks, magic, and combat skills). Then, you set out to avenge your family. As with most of Peter Molyneux’s games, your choices have good or evil consequences, and the populace will react to you according to your deeds. Your visage also changes to reflect your alignment.
“The Lost Chapters” portion of the title refers to content that was axed from last year’s Xbox-only version but is included here. This extra content is literally tacked onto the end of the game and offers a new snowy region to explore, a few extra enemies to slay, and another ending steeped in clichÃ©. The transition between the original ending and new story content is rough and vague. We also experienced a bug with a significant side quest, and the game suffers from some audio issues, as well.
Thankfully, there are plenty of new items, spells, and side quests to discover that add greatly to Fable’s replay value. These righteous bonuses make the game’s flaws (and brevity) a bit more forgivable.
You’ll encounter plenty of mini-games traveling from town to town, so be prepared to go fishing, hunting for treasure, and chicken-kicking. You can even chat up the local barmaids and try to get a little “hot grog” from them, in a purely-PG fashion. Cheeky humor is a big part of the game’s allure, and in our opinion it adds a lot of heart to a title that might otherwise be easily passed over.
— Steve Klett
Month Reviewed: Holiday 2005
ESRB Rating: M