I'm going to try like hell to stay objective on this, but WHAT THE HELL?!?!?
I'm reading this and see for starters the review is a 9.3. Alright, I'll take that from the top. Then I start reading....
Overall, the guy liked it. It sounds like Fable is "My First Adventure" combining Zelda like gameplay with Animal Crossing style world-involvement. One thing the reviewer points out again and again is that NPCs have limited interactions, yet if you pester them enough then they say something different. Apparently. The plus being all the vocal work, which I can imagine adds tons to the believability of the game.
That being said, it's when the reviewer starts pointing out all that's actually there that I began to realize all that was missing.
I've not been following Fable's development, as when it first started it wasn't something I was interested in, hence I ignored it. Recently my curiosity has been piqued, but here's the thing:
And then there are the optional quests themselves, which break the entire idea of "consequences" in Fable. Let's say you take an optional quest to help someone get to a certain location. If that person should die during the quest, you immediately fail it and your only option is to retry the quest. That's right, you can't just fail and lose renown, you must actually redo the quest again. That's just plain stupid. If the idea is to make me feel like I am constantly fighting to be a hero, then failure has to be a part of the equation. If I fail at a quest, it would make more sense to drop my renown and put pressure on me to boast and succeed in my next quest to redeem myself. At least give the option to either redo the quest or to let the results stand. I can understand a lot of things left out of Fable, but that's one design choice I can't comprehend.
That right there in a game based around the ideas of choice and actual role-playing would be a game-breaker. This is a game where you have to deal with the consequences of your actions, but if you let someone die on a timed mission then you have to re-do the quest??!?! The world miraculously resets and it never happened, until you succeed? What happens if he dies, and the next guy I try to save won't let me because I let a buddy of his get eaten while en route from a nearby town? With the scale of this game, and how your actions affect reactions to you, how bloody hard would this small thing have been to put or leave in?!?
And if you have all kinds of heal potions available, that brings death to mind - from the sound of it, you can't die with one of these potions on you, let alone 15. Where's the challenge in that?
So this game scores so high based on graphics and ambition? To this I say, "Bah!"