Article Author :PCGS Date : 6th Oct 2005 Comments :
As kids, our parents teach us (or at least attempt) to steer us down the right path. The path of the virtuous, the helpful and the good. To help little old ladies across the street. To share your sweets with your pals at playtime. To be considerate to your fellow man. As lovely as that is, sometimes you jut want to be, well, a bit of a reckless badass. To stuff your face with all those sweets, as well as the ones you stole from your much weedier class mate.
More and more games these days are giving you the opportunity to make that choice. BioWares Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic titles for example gave you the choice of basically being a 'goodie' or a 'baddie'. Even Lionheadís Black and White gave you the opportunity to be a mercilessly cruel god. Lionhead have decided to take that choice a step further, with the introduction of Fable: The Lost Chapters (the PC version of last years Xbox hit). The idea behind the whole title being that you can choose your own path throughout the entire length of the game's main storyline.
These choices come in many forms. For example, soon after you begin, a trusty townsman offers you a little reward for looking after his stock while he departs for a few short moments. As soon as he leaves however, a fellow child lets it be known that heís heard that these barrels of stock contain items well worth stealing. So you find yourself at a cross roads. Do you ignore this evil sounding child, keep guard over the traders stock and collect a token of his gratitude? Or do you break open each casket and see what pleasures may well be inside?
Each time you make such a choice, your standing in the world will change. If tales of your good deeds are spread, people will greet you with amazing glee and respect. But if you mercilessly slaughter an innocent woman in the street, your name will strike fear into peopleís hearts, and they will be more than happy to plunge a knife deep into your back. But it is not only others reactions that will be affected by your in-game moral choices. Your physical appearance can change quite dramatically too, with a halo floating atop your head if you are as good as gold, and horns sprouting if you are alarmingly bad to your kin.
Unfortunately, things are not as open ended as they initially sound. While you are more than capable of taking on short side-quests to earn a little extra cash/respect, chances are you will tire of this lack of progression and get right back into the storyline. The opening of the game shows your home village burnt to the ground, your father murdered, and your mother and sister taken as hostage after the culprits fail to find the one they came to capture: your character. After you have been saved from death by a kind looking fellow, you are taken to the Guild for hero training. Having got to grasps with the basics in combat training, you are on your own to explore the big wide world. The world itself compromises of a number of villages to explore, as well as short routes to wander between each. Inside a cities walls you will be able to talk to NPCs, go for a drink at the pub (even getting stupidly drunk) and even find yourself a companion for the night. But you still need to remember that every action you take has a bearing on how everyone else in the world perceives you.