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game: Fable
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
date posted: 12:00 AM Wed Jun 16th, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Wed Jun 16th, 2004

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By Eric Bodrero

  When we all heard of Project Ego?, in what is now called in the good ole' days that seem like years and years ago, we were all excited about the possibilities and promises the creator, Peter Molynuex, made to us, the gamers-- promises of the best RPG ever?, and graphics that would blow us all away. After hearing hype upon hype upon more hype for months and months, I was more than ecstatic to know that I would be playing Fable for the first time at this year's E3.

After dodging and wading through gobs and gobs of eager gamers, I finally made it to Microsoft's booth (actually, it was more like a large hangar) and immediately started scanning the floor for the much-anticipated title. After a surprisingly short search (just look for the big crowd?, I told myself), there it was. In all of its mythical and hyped up glory. I was actually watching gamers play Fable! I must be dreaming?, I thought to myself. It's actually here, and people are actually playing it!?

After a quick moment to gather my thoughts and a proverbial change of shorts, I meandered over to the Fable isle.? After suffering through what I thought to be an eternity of watching what seemed like an eight-foot gamer and his girlfriend slashing thugs and opening treasure chests, all the while giggling, laughing, and pointing, the giant gamer finally relinquished the controller¬ľand I was at last in control of this ethereal digital destiny!

I was playing Fable! The grin on my face must have looked stupidly curious to the gamers on the other side of me and to the game-tester/demonstrator that had probably seen that same look a thousand times that day. They couldn't have said much, though, because they had the same cheesy smirk on their faces as well. Everyone was in a blissful Fable coma, complete with slack jaws and spinning eyes, practically slipping in their own pools of dribble.

Let me know if you have any questions?, the game-tester said. If he only knew just how many questions I had, he would have quietly slithered off into the crowd undetected when I wasn't looking.

Yeah, I've heard you can thrust your hips and make a lewd gesture. How do I do that??

What the hell was I saying? I've waited for years for this one moment in time, my fifteen minutes with the famous Fable, and out of a thousand questions I had, I wanted to know how to thrust my hips at someone?

However, after speedily navigating his way through oodles of incredible looking menus, he finally got to a screen that had specific movements that I could assign to my X, Y, A, and B buttons, some of which were Hip Thrust?, Manly Arm Pump?, Middle Finger?, Belch?, Fart?, and Giggle?. Name one RPG where you can fart, then give somebody the middle finger. Just one. The game already reeked of cool.

After assigning Hip Thrust? to a button, he got me back to the game, and lo and behold, my character up and starting doing just that, boldly thrusting his hips, which resulted in some snickering from behind me from more anxious gamers. I would imagine it has something to do with the marrying of the opposite sex during the course of the game, or maybe other uses if you're the more creative type.

That is too cool!? I said laughing, then wiping some drool away from the right corner of my mouth.

Another cool thing is?, the tester said, is that when you chop someone's head off, you can actually kick it down the hillside.? My smile of course got wider¬ľand more evil looking.

Okay?, I said, how do I change weapons??

That's easy?, the tester stated. You just push your black button to cycle through your arsenal of weapons.?

I started to do just that when my on-screen character swiftly yanked out a kick ass bow and some arrows. Sweeeeeeet? I said, suddenly realizing I had put just one too many e's in that response, making my walk to the dork side almost complete.

You can go into first-person, and actually zoom in on the bad guys and snipe them in the head with an arrow.? I tried it. It worked. I smiled.

The rest of my Fable run included cutting down thugs with my sword using special moves, opening treasure chests and getting such goodies as gold, health vials, and a full set of Bandit's clothing, which I would need to pass through the gate to get to the boss' hideout, and talking to various NPC's, which is also a good place to practice some of your manly? maneuvers.

The game clocks in at around twenty-five hours of playing time. Of course, with all of the side quests and whatnot, it should easily be closer to fifty. The graphics are pretty darn near perfect. The frame rate is smooth as well, with no stutters or slow down at all. Honestly, navigating the menus takes some getting used to; they are complex but easily learned. The sound is nothing short of incredible, with a magic sound while opening chests, metallic swords clanging together, convincing voice-over, baddies screaming in agony. Awesome.

Lionhead Studios should finally have this experience? ready to go by end of summer. It's been a long road and an even longer wait for this title, but gamers will soon be experiencing it for themselves before the leaves start falling. The hype is well founded. It will be worth the wait, and with a few more months of testing and tweaking, gamers should be thrusting their hips and flipping the bird for a very long time.