It has become a lot of HD-refurbished versions of classic games, often titles released earlier in the 2000s, and newly released to the Xbox 360 / PS3 generation.
The gaps in playability are usually not so huge in comparison to today’s games, and the graphics are not so lousy that they do not tolerate a little ” makeover ” to still look OK.
Such new releases by classics, whether it’s ” ICO ” and ” Shadow of the Colossus ” , ” Hitman “or ” Metal Gear Solid ” , are, however, just a bit sharper and a bit more detailed, without any massive overtaking.
Updated with love
It is said that Microsoft has treated its core games with a little more love.
A couple of years back, we received a jubilee version of the first ” Halo ” , ten years after the original launch, where the visual was completely redone, and really thoroughly updated to the current standard.
A nice extra feature was that you could switch between the original graphics and the modern look at the touch of a button.
It was also nice to record how good the playability of ” Halo ” was, a proof that Bungie’s creative vision really was ahead of his time.
This brings us to ” Fable ” , another game series that has always been synonymous with Xbox.
The first ” Fable ” game fills ten years this year, and consequently gets a similar release, where significant improvements have been made to the visual.
At launch, ” Fable ” was a controversial game – creator Peter Molyneux had promised a revolution as usual. Half of his promises were never included in the finished product. Having said that, the result was nevertheless an enjoyable action roles game, which was easy to like perhaps most because of the unique charm, the British humour and the beautiful world.
There are also those elements that last well today. But there is also a lot of “Fable” that does not work especially well anymore.
2004 and 2014.
The story of the anonymous hero who grows up in Albion finds that his village is burned by bandits and continues to become a powerful warrior set to find out what happened in childhood, including many moral choices that would affect how others looked at you how they treated you and how you behaved yourself.
Today much of this appears to be incredibly simplistic and shallow, the moral choices are very clear and subtle, and the results equally clear. And they do not have a massive impact on playability.
It’s the age of the game that shines through – what was unique in 2004 is not so exciting in 2014. Many games have since experimented with morality and responsibility and did better.
Clumsy in battle
Also, the fighting system in ” Fable ” is not something to brag about today. It is relatively slow, clumsy and less responsive.
The worst is the locking system, which will make it easy to focus on the relevant enemies, but instead regularly locks into wrong opponents, random passers-by or the environment. The process of switching weapons from near-combat-based (swords, axes or hammer) to armed weapons like arches and armbrushes is exceptionally slow.
Fortunately, Lionhead has taken the time to incorporate the control system from ” Fable 2 ” (and the tree) into ” Fable Anniversary ” , so if you wish, you can switch to a more user-friendly system where the various attacks are activated directly from the corresponding buttons. It works better, but the fighting is far from elegant anyway.
A familiar experience
The content of the ” Fable Anniversary » identical to the original game, but it also includes all the extra missions and additions that came in 2005 with the package called ” The Lost Chapters ” . This means that the game is simply longer and more content than the first version.
However, no adjustments have been made regarding the assignments for this new release.
And this is where ” Fable ” still manages to shine. It’s a story that’s easy to be fond of, with a clear, evil opponent, nice variety of missions and great amounts of secrets to find.
Even though ” Fable ” does not take place in a clean open world, rather continuous environments that you can move between and explore, there is room for taking a large number of page assignments, unlocking chests, fishing and digging for taxes, and generally building turn yourself into a powerful hero who gradually gains access to increasingly lighter weapons.
Additionally, the freedom comes to wander and be just as cool or heroic as you just want. You can steal, you can flirt, you can impress the village people with your muscles, you can buy new nicknames and pay people to sing songs about you.
All these elements have been significantly developed in the ‘ Fable ‘ s sequel game, where they are better integrated into the experience and more entertaining to implement. But the first “Fable ” game lay the foundation, and it’s quite sweet to retry it again.
Much is fixed, but not everything
Lionhead has clearly spent a lot of time brushing up the visual. It’s quickly forgotten, but when ” widescreen support ” is highlighted as one of the improvements in “Fable Anniversary, ” we realize that much has happened over the last ten years.
The game has definitely become much prettier and resembles the expression of its followers. Interest artistically speaking, ‘ Fable ‘ scommunities great, and the crisp graphics and new textures highlights the quality of the artistic. Albion villages, forests, lakes and caves can now be studied in much more detail than ever before. And that’s obviously a good thing.
The figures are also much more detailed and a little more human – the original ” Fable “appeared as more comic-like, while Anniversary takes some small steps towards realism. But without destroying the whole.
However, it is a part that has not been updated. The animations on the figures belong in 2004, they are rigid and repetitive. And unbelievably, the game manages to struggle with the image update in certain areas. Come on, the Xbox 360 is an old machine, but it should be able to run a game that originates from the generation before without chopping?
Lionheads games are generally known to be unpolished, and ” Fable Anniversary ” is no exception. Objects and figures disappear and appear again, the camera sometimes lives its own life, dialogues are repeated at random, and we’re just glad there were no bugs that killed the whole experience.
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