Much like Albion’s industrial transformation from medieval fantasy-land to steam powered empire, video games have witnessed major revolutions over the last decade. It’s sometimes risky to look back.

Anniversary's loyalty to its namesake is often its most admirable strength, but consistently its biggest flaw. While it retains the mechanics and structures Lionhead established in 2004, it also leaves intact its most noticeable problems. Where Fable 2 smoothened the melee, range and magic combat, Anniversary sticks with the original game's clumsier controls, which lessens the ability to experiment with all three styles on the fly. There is the option to use Fable 2's control layout, but this doesn't improve the flow of battles. The quest system also feels old fashioned, requiring you to continuously visit the Hero's Guild to seek new things to do.

Thankfully, the game is mostly very easy. There are some instances where the game borders on infuriating – the rock troll stage in the Arena is a key example – but this is due to the sluggish controls making targeting enemies a frequent hassle. For the most part, Albion is wondrous and a joy to inhabit, brought to life with eccentric British humour and its new HD appearance. There’s a ton of stuff to do, including unlocking elusive Demon Doors, collectible silver keys, and even the decent-if-unessential Lost Chapters DLC.

However, Fable now stands alongside Halo as an Anniversary re-release, and the latter stands as the pinnacle of its respective series, while Fable’s sequels surpassed it in almost every way. This may make the trip perhaps less impressive than you may have hoped, and it’s tricky to justify the expensive price tag despite the pretty presentation.

Just be sure to recognise that, while Anniversary may feel like Lionhead is doing a sloppy job in 2014, that isn’t the case; it’s a testament to what an excellent job it did in 2008.

Version tested: Xbox 360. Played for 8 hours – was a shining beacon of Avo.

7 / 10

  • Looks gorgeous.
  • Distinct humour.
  • Feels dated.
  • Clunky controls.

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Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

@CharlesSketch - I believe the Lost Chapters is included, but is referenced in the article as being DLC originally for the initial release, back in the day.

Can't wait to get my copy on Friday. Just a shame the Inventory system of F2 can't be replicated properly, or the option to paly as a female added...
Posted 10:56 on 04 February 2014
CharleSketch's Avatar

CharleSketch

Wait. They're seriously releasing Lost Chapters as paid DLC? What a let down.
Posted 06:14 on 04 February 2014
essex1212's Avatar

essex1212

I'm gonna pass, was hoping they would fix the controls but sounds like they are still bad.
Posted 11:12 on 03 February 2014

Game Stats

Fable Anniversary
7
Out of 10
Fable Anniversary
  • Looks gorgeous.
  • Distinct humour.
  • Feels dated.
  • Clunky controls.
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Release Date: 07/02/2014
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Lionhead
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Adventure
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 454 22
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