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It’s time for another Retro Ad Replay article! This is the series where we head backwards in time to reminisce and celebrate the anniversary of some of the most significant moments in gaming. If you find yourself wanting more content like this, be sure to visit Mandatory.com.
In this September 14 edition of Retro Ad Replay, we’re taking a trip back 15 years to when Fable first launched on Xbox in North America. That’s September 14, 2004. Developed by Big Blue Box Studios (and later enhanced by Lionhead Studios) and published by Microsoft Game Studios, this was a tale of a hero who could choose to be good or evil, with advantages and disadvantages on both sides.
Most unique to this game was the way that the hero would change to look more angelic or devilish, depending on which side of morality they chose.
The GameRevolution Fable review awarded the game a score of 4/5, praising the “good action,” “moral considerations,” “immersive world,” there being “plenty to do,” and “nice delivery.”
Here’s a snippet from the GR review:
Albion itself, though, is impressively realistic while retaining a distinct, whimsical feel. NPCs go about their daily business in real-time; when the sun goes down, shopkeepers close their stores and walk to their homes to bed down for the night. Townsfolk frequent pubs and can actually drink too much and pass out. Bandits threaten passers-by as traders wander roads carrying items from town to town. The game has its own economic model, meaning you can buy low, sell high, and affect the prices of goods by showing traders the sharp end of your sword.
There’s simply a lot of stuff crammed into this game. You can buy houses and collect rent (much like in GTA: Vice City) or propose marriage and settle down. You can break into shops at night, steal goods, and sell them back the next day. You can visit barbers to try on different hairstyles or tattoo artists to add some ink. Though such peripheral action primarily functions as a diversion between quests, it helps keep Albion lively. The game world lives and breathes and is a genuinely cool backdrop for your adventures.
It helps if you stop thinking of what FABLE isn’t and think more about what it is – a solid RPG with good action set in an immersive world. The lengthy tale of this overhyped game might not have a storybook ending, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it.
Check out a Fable trailer from 2004 below (hosted by Stormspirit 86 on YouTube):