Fable: The Lost Chapters

Pros & Cons:
Pertaining to My short list below.

Full Pros & cons re-review coming soon...

Overall, Fable is an excellent game. It has a dynamic story where every one of your choices effect the story. And while the graphics aren't the most technically impressive, the art style is unique and very well done, and the gameplay is incredibly fun and borderline addictive—you won't want to stop playing till the game's end. And although the story mode is very short, there is an incredible amount of things to see, do, and collect in Fable's world; and, once you beat the game, it places you back in, letting you finish side-quests, and do as you please. However, the framerate is quite spastic, especially when there's multiple enemies on screen. And while you can often select what mission to take next, once you're in one, there's only one way to complete it. The environments that make up the world are small stand-alone paths with invisible fences and load screens between each; and for an RPG, this is painfully short (without completing all the side-quests, I beat it in 7 hours). But, despite this, it's a satisfing, fun game, and worth any RPGer's time. Last of all, The Lost Chapters itself adds some great new quests, areas, items, and 3-5 hours to the game's length.

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© 2008-2010 jorimslist.com. All Rights Reserved. No part of this work, reviews or custom images, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted by the 1976 Copyright Act or in writing from the author, pertaining to the entire site, jorimslist.com. Requests for permission should be addressed in writing to Lindenville Publishing via the About page. The ESRB rating icons are registered trademarks of the Entertainment Software Association. All the original images are copyrighted by their respective owners.

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: Although the overall storyline is moderately intense, blood effects and overall combat are much more subdued than most games, and the language is laughably mild. However, there's an incredible amount of options; You can marry men and/or women, have multiple partners, have "sex", steal, drink, murder to no end, and be as evil as you want. These breadth of choices aren't good for younger teens, let alone kids—and although I could see some younger, more responsible teens playing this as a good guy, it's simply more suited to older teen and adults. So I recommend this game for ages 17+.

Full content re-review coming soon...

Blood: When you shoot or hit an enemy, blood splatters in large droplets, but in light amounts. You can cut enemies' heads off with sharp weapons, which will result in a thin jet of blood spurting from what remains of their neck. And enemies can also be decapitated with a fully charged arrow shot (which only works with stealth), and has the same effect explained above. Sometimes an enemy will fall to the floor and be stunned for a short time, and you can then use your weapon to finish them off, by stabbing straight down into their middle—resulting in some light blood splatter. Blood lightly splatters onto floors, but it does not stain clothing or linger. Bodies do linger, but eventually disappear, and there are some dead, bloodied bodies and skeletons scattered throughout. There is no option to turn blood off.

Specific scenes of blood:

  • A brief scene near the beginning shows a bandit shoot a villager with an arrow to the back, causing moderate blood to spurt from the wound, as he falls dead.
  • In an early scene, a storybook-like illustration shows the main character's sister being carried off by a group of bandits, as she holds her arms over her eyes, which appear to be bleeding (as the head bandit cut them out—it's not seen).
  • After his village is destroyed, and his family captured, you see the protagonist briefly throw up (you see the thick greenish stream come from his mouth) from shock, stress, and disgust (as there are dead/bloody bodies scattered about).
  • While escorting a band of merchants through a dark wood, you come across a balverine (basically a werewolf) eating on a dead, bloodied (once merchant) human body. There is blood around its mouth, and you do see it eating at the bloodied (undetailed) body, but the scene is extremely brief, and it's more like the balverine is "air biting" meaning there is more gesturing than actual detail.
  • A brief scene at the end shows the main villain slit a woman's throat, resulting in some light blood splatter from her neck, with you also hearing the effect.

Strong language: There are under a dozen uses of d*mn, and three uses of bastard and hell. Other than the main script, you eventually gain an optional ability to "insult" with the expressions system; if used, he'll say "Sh*t!". You can use this limitlessly, creating a possibly unlimited use of sh*t. There is no option to turn language off.

Violence: The overall narrative has a similar feel to a Grimm's fairytale (with a fair bit of Monty Python style infused humor) and is about a young boy and his family, whom live in a small village. While celebrating his big sister's birthday, a group of evil bandits come into the village and start slaughtering everyone in sight. The little boy hides from the chaos, as the bandits continue to ransack, murder, and set fire to the village. After they've left, a hero from what he (the hero) calls the "Hero's Guild" appears, and tells you that the bandits weren't there for the villagers, but for your family, more specifically you, your sister, and mother. They killed the father quickly, tortured the mother and sister, bound them up, and carried them away. He then tells you he's here to rescue you and that you'll receive training at the guild, in order for you to ultimately avenge your family...

You start out as a small boy (you can't pick your gender) in your village, and are then approached by your father, who tells you if you do a few good deeds, he'll reward you with money so you can buy your sister a present (because it's her birthday). Right from the beginning, you have the ability to manually target anyone in the village and punch them (including little girls, which will earn you bad points). But, there is no advantage to this, because if you commit too many bad deeds you won't earn enough money to buy your sister a present, which in turn won't allow you to continue. But, it still gives you the option to be bad, and in this early area there are quests like letting a bully beat up a little kid, or protect the kid and beat the bully up; guard a man's supplies while he's away, or bash the crates and steal what's inside while he's gone; expose a cheating man to his wife, or take his bribe money to keep quiet. After you have completed your childhood, you arrive at the Hero's Guild and start your training. After completing your training, you start the real game...

The game makes use of a moral system, and constantly presents you with very clear black and white choices. As an adult, right out of the gate, you have the ability to kill anyone in the game's world (including women, children and the elderly), and though you'd probably get killed real quick if you tried it early on (as there are armed guards in every city), it is quite possible to kill most of the people in a village when you've become more powerful. However, like the smaller scale childhood quest, if you do the bad thing, there are negatives (more on this later). In other words, you are given the option to do anything you want, and you can be a completely evil, murderous, thieving (you can steal from anyone, anytime), pompous jerk, or a protective, giving, and legendary hero—it's entirely your choice. This plays into all your quests, your overall appearance (you'll eventually have horns if evil, halo if good), and the story (there are multiple endings). Any time you make a choice, you're rewarded with either good or bad points, and many of the quests have two contracts (one from bad, one from the good)—and depending on what side you choose, you'll get a different reward.

As mentioned above, you can steal, break into houses, break doors, windows, and murder to no end. However, there are plenty of downsides. For one, every time you commit a crime in a city, a guard will run toward you and make you pay a fine. If you don't pay the fine, he (and all the other guards) will start to attack you. You can kill them, but they are replaced by more guards almost immediately, and will eventually kill you. Also, if you kill a shop owner you will have to wait a long while for their replacement, meaning you won't be able to buy anything from that shop. However, if you want to be evil, and have lots of money, the game makes it easy to be evil. For example, if you murder someone in a town, the guard will make you pay $2000, and then he'll kick you out of town. But you can go back right afterwards and the guards will act like nothing happened—not exactly realistic. On a positive note, it always gives you a choice, and all the evil elements are completely optional.

The combat system is entirely in real-time, and your character is (at first) equipped with a stick, but then eventually gains access to swords, axes, staffs, hammers, and bows and arrows as the game progresses. You also gain access to magic powers like lightning, a force-like push, a protective barrier, etc. You'll be using these weapons to fight against hundreds of human bandits, balverines (basically werewolves), Undead (zombie skeletons), and many other types of mythical monsters throughout the main quest. The combat itself is moderately violent, with a good amount of blood and the ability to lop off enemies' heads. However, although it's intense, it isn't very graphic compared to many other games; there isn't severing beyond the enemies' heads, the blood doesn't gush in impossible amounts, nor does it linger all over the environment. And it's quite a bit more fantastically and exaggerated than realistically offensive.

Moral choices:

  • The first main quest has you choose whether you want to protect a man's farm from a bandit attack, or join the bandits and help them steal the hidden gems. If you choose the latter, you'll earn a bit more money ($1000 instead of $750).
  • One quest has you pursue a fallen hero (he's now leader to a group of bandits), who might know the location of your long-lost sister. When you find him, and then defeat him, you have the option to give him the final blow, or slowly walk away to spare his life. There's no reward, other a handful of good/bad points.
  • A panicked man approaches you and asks you to follow him; his wife is being attacked by a balverine. When you arrive, it seems a group of bandits (or city guards if you're already evil) had threatened to kill the man if he didn't lead you to them. After they're defeated, you can go to the coward, kill him and loot him for money; or forgive him, let him live—he'll then give his money as thanks.
  • One quest has you fight in an arena through multiple rounds. About 3 rounds through, your childhood friend and training partner shows up and fights by your side. After defeating all of the enemies, the leader of the arena announces that you'll have to fight to the death to decide the winner. Your friend whispers that she'll not kill you, so just put on a show. When you've worn each other down, you have the option to either kill her, or spare her life. If you walk away you'll still win your earnings, but if you kill her, he'll give you with an extra $10,000.
  • (Side-quest) After completing the arena, Lady Grey (the mayor of one of the main cities) invites you to her manor. When you arrive, she tells you flat out that she wants to marry you, but, she wants you to woo her first. You can then complete the quests necessary to do so, or you can speak to the man she has put on death row. He tells you that Lady Grey murdered her own sister, but he needs proof. He suggests you speak to her ghost (this is a fantasy game), but first, he says to speak to the dead woman's former boyfriend. While conversing with the boyfriend, he tells you Lady Grey killed her sister because her sister was the one originally running for office as mayor, and because Lady Grey didn't approve of her sister's relationship (he's a commoner). When you reach the sister's ghost, she leads you to a letter that proves Lady Grey murdered her. Lady Grey then appears, and tells you she'll forget about it if you hand her the letter, marry her, and keep your mouth shut. You can do this, or you can expose her, causing her to run away, and giving you the option to take over as mayor.
  • (Side-quest) You have the option to help a group of prison guards stay the area as they hang a criminal (a group of his friends will try to free him), or join the bandits, kill the guards, and free the criminal—The evil quest pay $100 more.
  • To open the gate the main villain is hidding behind, you must collect the souls of three dead (or living) people in specific places. The first soul you need to collect is of a former arena champion. You can either kill the living one you know, or you can go to the arena ruins and collect an already dead one. This happens two more times. So? you're probably thinking it sounds easier to collect the already dead ones (and also not evil), but, in all instances it's harder to collect the dead souls, as the main villain sends large groups of monsters to guard them.

Sexual themes: This game does allow you to get married. To do this, you have to first court a woman by flirting with her (with the Expression system) and giving her gifts; once she's ready, you can propose, and then marry. After the marriage, you take her to your house (which you have to buy) and move her in. You can have "sex" with your wife. However, it doesn't show anything. Instead, the screen fades to black, and you'll only hear what's going on, with her saying things like "(giggle) Oh you're norty (British for naughty)!" This goes on for about 20 seconds, and then ends. Other than marrying women, you can court and marry men (but this is harder to achieve), which obviously makes the main character gay; you can only be male. The dating and marriage go the same way, except the sound during "sex" (remember, you only hear these scenes) is your "partner" screaming in fear/pain (go figure). You can also have multiple wives and partners (it can be a mix of genders—you can be bi-sexual), but you're limited to one "partner" per town.

You can abuse your spouse (by punching them with the attack button), or just plain neglect them, which will often end in divorce (and net you lots of evil points). Right after divorce, if you're evil, you can go a step further and travel to The Chapel of Skorm (an evil diety's sanctuary), and then sacrifice your ex-wife to the altar. (You can sacrifice anyone else in the game too. Although the sacrificial process only shows the victim disappear) Last of all, The Lost Chapters adds a new area called Darkwood Bordello, a prostituion house. If you visit, the lead prostitute will tell you a man has stolen and hidden the deed to her facility, and because of this, he now owns it. She wants you to get it back. You can either get the man drunk, which will make him blurt out the location of the deed, or you can disguise yourself as a prostitute, and sleep with the man, which will cause him to reveal the deed's location. Once you gain the deed, you can turn the facility into a refuge for women, or keep it as it is, which will allow you to continue to have optional "sex" with the residence of the prostitution house (this side-quest along with everything above is entirely optional).

Crude humor: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) The Expression system also includes the ability to pass gas, belch, give the finger, and use the "Kiss my a**!" expression, which will have your character turn around and taunt people by smacking his own behind; Crotch Grab, which will have him do a Micheal Jackson impression, including the Ow!; and a pelvic thrust, as he says "Come on!" Once you aquire these expressions, you can use them anytime during the game (although they're entirely optional). Also worth mentioning is that you can have your character tattooed on several parts of his body, raising your "Scary" factor.

Use of alcohol: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) You can buy beer from the game's many merchants and taverns. If your character drinks about two dozen beers, the screen will warp and sway, gradually getting worse and worse, making it almost impossible to see. After about a minute, he'll bend over and vomit twice (you see the greenish stream come from his mouth), and the effects will then wear off. Alcohol has no other (or positive) effects in the game, and is completely useless. If anything, I think this would be a deterrent to get drunk in real life.

Drug reference: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) The Lost Chapters adds an optional side-quest, which involves two (high) hippie-like characters, who ask you to retrieve their blue mushrooms, which obviously have a drug-like effect on them. However, the mushrooms are part of a bigger side-quest, and are used to make an anditote for a boy that got sick by eating one—you can't use them on yourself.

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© 2008-2010 jorimslist.com. All Rights Reserved. No part of this work, reviews or custom images, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted by the 1976 Copyright Act or in writing from the author, pertaining to the entire site, jorimslist.com. Requests for permission should be addressed in writing to Lindenville Publishing via the About page. The ESRB rating icons are registered trademarks of the Entertainment Software Association. All the original images are copyrighted by their respective owners.