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Fable

When Peter Molyneux stated last year that “Project Ego will be the best role playing game ever created” at the Game Developer’s Conference, people started listening. Now re-named Fable, the game promises engaging gameplay that will evolve through time at the hand of the gamer in charge. In fact, there’s one phrase which describes this shift in purpose exactly: “In Fable, gamers decide: ‘Who will I be?’”

The character you choose will be totally developed from scratch by you. That is to say that the actions you take in the game will have impact in your on-screen character’s physical appearance, attitude and personality. You can become completely good or evil, although this time the changes will be subtle, even down to your character’s face changing.

Physical appearance will alter in the game quite dramatically too, with sun-loving loafers getting brown and fat and sporty, night-living creations becoming lithe and pale. Magical powers will also have their place with those enchanted by the possibilities of their magic experience crackling fingertips where their power dwells. In the same way sword-wielding heroes will grow big and strong with muscle definition as their medal of honour.

As you play you’ll be able to make as much or as little of your existence as you like. With power and fortune comes fame and enemies can be made just as well as friends.

You’ll have to explore a living, evolving world that you’ll be able to harness to your advantage as the game is equipped with dynamic weather systems, and deformable environments teeming with cultures, creatures, citizens and cities.

Honing scores of unique skills and extras, players will be able to master new abilities and add possessions as their character develops. They can learn to ride steeds, master the art of thievery, acquire pets, clothing or tattoos, and much more according to the game’s developer.

Longevity will also prove not to be a problem as you will never play the same game twice. Once one adventure is complete you can start all over again, taking different routes through the game and moving through areas you missed in your first outing.

When we run into some werewolves beneath the light of a full moon, the flickering shadows and smoothly graduated lighting effects show just how sophisticated that engine is. Which is more than can be said for the combat at this point, but then the team has only implemented the most rudimentary of fighting code. If the attention to detail that went into the graphics goes into that, then it’s going to be frankly awesome.

At the moment, Fable is looking way too good to be true and totally intriguing as a concept. The premise that you can create your own character from completely nothing and see as your actions effects their being, physical form and path through the game can be nothing less than compelling and inspirational as a game concept. And we’re definitely waiting with baited breath for the first playable code to fight over – let’s just hope it’s not another Black and White length wait, eh.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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