A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, unlike with most games, Fable Anniversary lets players choose to be a noble character or a despicable one. The game's hero can become evil if the player chooses ruthless actions, and his appearance changes over time to reflect his good or evil nature. Play is centered heavily on combat -- both might and magic -- used to defeat human and nonhuman enemies. Blood and some gore can be seen, including beheadings. This game also has profanity, suggestive sexual scenes, and alcohol consumption.
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What's it about?
As its name suggests, FABLE ANNIVERSARY is a remastered version of the 10-year-old game Fable, which originally launched on the Microsoft Xbox, Windows, and Mac. Now available for Xbox 360, Fable Anniversary features high-definition graphics, advanced lighting, better-quality sound, a new interface and some extra content, including The Lost Chapters, Achievements, and Xbox SmartGlass integration (for second-screen play). As with many fantasy role-playing games, Fable Anniversary starts in a peaceful medieval village that falls under attack by an army of ruthless warriors. As a young and orphaned boy, the player's character takes cover to avoid harm and soon discovers the invaders are searching for him. A mysterious figure appears and whisks him away to the Heroes Guild where he begins training as a fighter and magic wielder. The rest of the story depends on decisions made while a user explores the world of Albion and works through various quests. Depending on the player's choices, the protagonist will become a respected hero or a feared villain. Help a poor woman find her stray husband, and game characters might applaud him. Pillage the woman's home and game characters likely will panic.
Is it any good?
Similar to LucasArts' Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, the protagonist's appearance changes over time to reflect his benevolence or malevolence. He'll enjoy a divine glow if he becomes a beloved hero, and he'll sprout horns and become red-eyed if he becomes evil. Fable Anniversary enjoys a unique balance of action (via melee combat, ranged weapons, and spell casting), puzzles, and exploration. The single-player game has mandatory quests and optional side quests, plus other mini-games and challenges.
It can be entertaining, but there also are some irksome quirks -- such as "invisible walls" that prevent players from exploring where they might like and some control issues during combat. However, get past these annoying shortcomings and Fable Anniversary -- which is a "lighter" RPG than something like the much more hardcore The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim -- should satisfy via its engaging action, revamped visuals, and a solid story that gets even better about halfway through the adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Should parents be concerned about kids choosing to play as an evil character? Or can it be healthy to role-play as a bad guy? Read Common Sense Media's study entitled Media and Violence: An Analysis of Current Research.
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: February 26, 2014
- Genre: Role Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses and Fairies, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Language, Sexual Content, Use of Alcohol, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.