Not long after I did that glowing review of Fable for e-AAGH.net, my Xbox died. I was unable to play Fable anymore, or any other Xbox game for that matter. Needless to say I was very excited to get back to Albion on my PC. Although it’s not perfect, Fable: TLC is just what I needed to rekindle my love for the game.
The biggest addition is the mouse and keyboard control scheme. It’s a little awkward, but for anybody who’s played a Grand Theft Auto game on PC it’s a simple transition. The biggest addition is the hot bar, which allows you to bind up to 10 commands, items, expressions or spells to the number bar on your keyboard. This eliminates allot of the hoping for the right context sensitive icon to pop up, lest you’d have to scroll through menus to find what you want. The only thing I wanted was to have several of these to scroll though, depending on the situation. Imagine one for combat, one for wooing townsfolk, and so on. Sadly, you only get the one, but it’s better then the original. You do get three context sensitive slots tied to your F1, F2 and F3 keys as well. Also, F4 through F12 each access different menus, making inventory management easy.
The magic system is good and tight as well. You hold shift to activate magic mode (and draw experience orbs toward you), roll the mouse wheel to find your spell pair, and press the corresponding mouse button to cast the spell you want. Of course, since this is made for standard PC mice, you only get two spells per set instead of the three from the Xbox version. This means less spells readily available overall since there’s a limited number of possible slots to use. In my case some spells never got put in a slot because I’d tied them all up in useful pairs. There’s only two new spells as far as I can tell, Divine Intervention and Infernal Wrath. Both are area effect spells that aren’t nearly as neat as you’d hope for from a pair of newly added spells.
Combat is just as simple as on the Xbox, so long as you’re used to controlling a third person persona via mouse and keyboard, like CJ from San Andreas. It’s not as bad as many would make it out to be, and I’m perfectly comfortable with the control scheme. Once you’re ready to go exploring, you’ll find several new things to see in the existing world such as the Darkwood Bordello and the Chicken Kickin’ contest in Oakvale. However, the neatest stuff lies past the original endgame. You head to the Lost Wastes up north to end a new treat, and interact with some familiar faces in the process. All in all I have to recomend this version to anyone, even if they’ve beaten the original already. The new content isn’t earth-shattering, but it’s just enough to make a second go around worth it. Plus, with the new Custom Tattoo option, you can make yourself a Mario arm tattoo to wear around for the heck of it. And isn’t that worth the price of admission by itself? Alphasim out.