MCV looks at the HD update for the first classic Fable title.
Fable Anniversary will be in stores on February 7th.
Fable Anniversary is one of the last big Xbox 360 exclusives. It is an update of the original Fable game which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. It also includes the extra content from that title’s re-release, The Lost Chapters.
The series is the brainchild of legendary video game director Peter Molyneux and has become famous for its sharp writing and sheer ambition.
Molyneux’s series has a focus on interactions with both the world and other characters that help to make players more connected to the title. In addition, every choice the player makes goes on to have huge consequences later in the game.
There is also a morality system, whereby players can only access certain skills by being good or evil. Characters can also specialise in certain areas of gameplay such as magic or social skills.
This title employs many of the advancements from later games – these include the option of using the improved control scheme from Fable II and III as well as the ability to save anywhere, even during quests.
The 2004 title has also undergone a graphical overhaul and benefits from a new lighting engine, updated textures and it now runs at 1080p.
Anniversary also comes with SmartGlass connectivity. The second screen acts as a map, can give hints to secret locations and allows players to share pictures from the game via social media.
The Fable series celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Gamers first visited Albion in 2004, and that original title – initially called Project Ego – sold just under 3m units on the Xbox. An updated version hit PCs the following year, dubbed The Lost Chapters featuring new weapons, monsters, missions and areas.
A follow up was released in 2008 to critical acclaim and as well as selling over 4m copies, it received a Proggy Award from PETA for being the most animal friendly game of 2008. Fable III launched in 2010 and sold over 5m units.
Two spin-off games arrived in 2012: The Journey and Heroes, to mixed results. An Xbox One title, Legends, is in development at the moment.
The series has managed to attract the vocal talents of some big names over the years, including Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Michael Fassbender and Simon Pegg, as well as the voice of Nathan Drake, Nolan North.
Alongside Fable Anniversary, Prima is releasing a Limited Edition hardback game guide. As well as tips and hints for finishing the game, it comes with concept art, a look behind the creation of the title – including interviews with the developers – and extra stories from the world of Albion.
Microsoft is also releasing Fable Trilogy on Xbox?Live. This collects the first three games, including Fable Anniversary.
The original Fable pioneered the way for one of the most compelling and immersive storytelling approaches in gaming – providing consequences to the choices players made. Anniversary is the definitive Fable experience with an entirely new lighting system, slick new interface, all new textures, SmartGlass integration and Achievements.
We expect Fable Anniversary to perform well at retail – fully re-mastered HD visuals and all-new Xbox 360 exclusive content will delight faithful franchise fans and new players alike.
The most exciting feature will be the inclusion of the Lost Chapters DLC, which expands the story, include greater customisation and new quests to bolster the Fable experience for everyone who purchases Anniversary.
Fable Anniversary might be the last Xbox 360-exclusive title on the release schedule for the time being, but there are a number of blockbuster titles coming to Microsoft’s older console over the coming weeks.
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