PC Game -- Fable: The Lost Chapters

Fable: The Lost Chapters is a fantasy role playing game (RPG) set in Albion - a typical mystical world of heroes, monsters and magic - and you play a small boy who sees his family murdered by bandits. Fortunately, you're rescued and trained by the Guild of Heroes - a not-so-secret society founded on the arts of sword and sorcery. On completion of the Guild's basic training, you're let out into the world, where you follow the conventional path of growing, training and levelling-up by taking on various quests for money, skills and notoriety.

Depending on how you interact with others, you'll start to align with the light or dark forces of Albion. Being a nice guy is possibly the more sociably acceptable way of proceeding, but I personally couldn't help thinking how cool my character looked with facial tattoos, red glowing eyes and horns. As I wandered the streets looking for action, other characters ran away in fear - welcome to The Dark Side!

It doesn't take too long to realise the game is fairly linear in design, but there's so much to see and do that being unable to wander off of the beaten track isn't really a problem. Speaking of things to do, one great example is the Arena, where gladiators (including yourself) fight to the death to win money and fame. It's at this point where - depending on a crucial decision you must make involving a friend - family secrets may be revealed and new characters introduced.

Camera angle niggles aside, the game plays well and is beautiful to look at. Albion is a lush world of glades, lakes, castles and forests, and the graphics engine serves it all up in amazing detail. Varied gameplay coupled with an excellent soundtrack (including orchestral elements from Danny Elfman - Elfman, geddit?) makes this an excellent game with strong replay value.

Click here to view a screenshot.

Visuals: Colourful detail, great characters and lovely scenery.
Audio: A powerful orchestral score, good ambients, and vocal talent with regional accents - what more could you ask for?
Gameplay: Linear gameplay doesn't detract from the sense of involvement - you'll be playing this for a while.
Score: 4 1/2 PC World Recommends
Developer: Lionhead
Distributor: Microsoft
URL: www.microsoft.com/games/fable/
Price: $89.95

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