I had never played a Fable game before and this looked like a good thing to try. I had heard much about these games, how they were ambitious in some ways and failed in others, and while I didn't know what I was getting into, I thought it would be some kind of third person action RPG with farting. It was more or less that, but the action RPG part didn't feel great and I also didn't feel much involved in the farting aspect of the game. I know this game is also quite old, but there's not much I can do about it, playing it only now.

After a prologue where I played as the legendary Chicken Chaser, kicking people, breaking barrels and buying a gift for my sister, I was sent to hero training and then I learned all there was to know about using my two hands at once on the keyboard in order to be able to properly hit all the keys that I needed to do everything. There are plenty of systems, melee, archery, magic, dodging attacks and locking on enemies, but nothing felt really great. Some enemies just kept knocking me back when I attacked them, archery seems to take forever to get yourself aiming at something and the spells I had unlocked had me cast them over and over on the same target with the apparent effect of throwing small rocks at my enemies.

Even with the best equipment I could purchase - which reminds me that the interface is a bit terrible, with the ESC key not doing the same thing in all places, needing you to use both mouse and keyboard to navigate it properly - I got my ass kicked by some enemy during a mission, and I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do, so I brute forced it with non-stop attacks, only saved by the auto-revive items you begin the game with. I also failed a quest that required me to kill more enemies than another NPC and I thought I did my best there! There's a system where you can 'bet' you'll be able to do certain things in a quest - not use any armor, fight with your fists only, not using potions - and it's a neat idea, but the interface was so unwieldy that I activated all these bets at the same time while trying to figure out what they were and what they did.

And the whole thing about interacting with all NPCs and farting next to their houses and get married didn't hook me at all. Walking around and talking to people and doing emotes seemed like a bad way to build meters and 'grind for reputation'. There would have been more elegant ways of doing it. Also, the game didn't surface what I would gain for doing so. Maybe if it told me that farting ten thousand times next to the blacksmith would net me a better sword, maybe. It's still a big system, but I didn't really want to jump into it, I wanted more or less to fight things and level up.

I understand why Fable is important, in a way, but I didn't have fun with this one. The controls weren't feeling right and the battle system was too clunky for me to get into it. Forever a chicken chaser, I suppose!

AuthorJérémie Tessier