Previews

Fable: The Lost Chapters

Let's get this out of the way immediately - Fable: The Lost Chapters isn't going to be a simple port of the Xbox version. Don't forget, Fable was originally envisaged as a PC title, and it's looking like this might well be the edition that Peter Molyneux and his Lionhead cohorts were planning on making all along. It's around a third bigger, for starters. Sure, Xbox owners are currently turning as green as the light emanating from their console, but c'est la vie. You got it a full year before PC gamers, fellas, and now it's our turn for a treat (Well, not quite so as Xbox owners will soon get their own version of the Lost Chapters - C&VG Ed).

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If you're unfamiliar with Fable, it's a combat-heavy action RPG with one hell of a hook: you start off as a child, and can live your in-game life - right up to old age - pretty much how you see fit. Any actions you choose to take will slowly warp your character's appearance and the way in which other characters react to him; it's kind of like Fallout meets Black & White with a dash of Knights Of The Old Republic.

I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
The Lost Chapters is the Xbox version plus a heap of added content. There are more missions to be undertaken, more regions to explore, more spells to fling around and more people to meet. Or kill, if you want - like we said, exactly how you play the game is up to you. New enemies like the Ice Troll (big, white and made, funnily enough, of ice) and Summoner (nasty über-mage who does a natty line in electric balls) also make their debut.

Both these baddies look fantastic in action, and much of this is down to the revamped graphics engine powering the game's visuals: high-resolution textures, improved draw distance and bump-mapping on characters all come courtesy of Fable's move to the PC.

Also getting an overhaul is the control system. We all know that what works for a gamepad probably won't work for a keyboard and mouse, and Lionhead is particularly keen on making combat feel right for PC gamers. Sword and bow controls will be assigned to your right hand and spell control to your left. This means that you can hack a couple of times, then immediately loose off a fireball or put up a magical shield.

EVERYBODY DANCE NOW
You can also expect to see lots in the way of what Lionhead calls 'fun' content: stuff that doesn't really affect the plot, but simply makes Fable more enjoyable to play. You can import images to tattoo upon your character's body, make a photo journal that can be displayed online and prance around like a flamenco dancer. Lionhead is currently polishing the game like mad, and the version we saw looked tantalisingly close to completion. We'll soon know if Molyneux's mob can deliver the definitive Fable it's been promising all along.

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We recently tracked down Big Blue Box creative director Dene Carter to get his take on the game, as well as securing some exclusive C&VG-themed screenshots. Simply click here to learn the latest on a new chapter in the fabulous franchise.

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