a game by Simbiosis Interactive
Simbiosis Interactive are a relatively small developer based in the middle of Paris... quite why they're based in Paris is unclear as the entire staff seems to be either American or Swedish. Oh well. Anyway, fable is the team's first fully-fledged game and is in turn the first original game title to be released by Telstar Electronic Studios.
Unlike many other teams and development houses who would try to launch into the market with something over-ambitious and somewhat crappy, this pair has been working for the past year or so on a traditional point-and-click adventure. Okay, so it may not be a particularly original idea, but having taken a look at the game at the Simbiosis studio, the whole thing seems to be shaping up rather nicely indeed.
The game takes place in a mythical land called Bulkhane where humans are watched over by strange alien creatures known , as the Mecubarz. As the action begins, you learn of an act of A treachery by a group of humans which leads to the damnation of the people of Bulkhane and the division of the land into four elemental domains ruled by twisted overlords. The Mecubarz are pretty pissed off you see... and seeing as these human things are terribly unreliable they have decided to punish them. To do this they've made each of the domains take on many of the attributes of the appropriate element. In one place it snows a lot... in another it rains etc.
All this is your typical twisted fairy-tale stuff, but things start to get interesting when you learn that your job is to traipse around and sort everything out. Playing the role of a Disney-esque weedy little kid by the name of Quickthorpe (Quickthorpe! I ask you!), your job is to explore the world and bring together four elemental jewels that will restore normal conditions to Bulkhane. Once you've done this, you have to go a-meanderin' again and track down a big book called The Archive that will put everything into perspective and pull together the pieces of the fable so that they make sense. Apparently.
As with any adventure game these days, it's quite clear that the team have the LucasArts games set quite firmly in their sights. The point-and-lick interface is intelligent and extremely simple to use and all the characters have been nicely drawn and boast a remarkably cartoon-like quality.
Where Fable really excels, though, is in the background artwork. If you take a look at the few shots that we have scattered across these pages I'm sure you'll agree that the quality of the art is fantastic. As with Sierra's King's Quest adventures, all the backdrops were originally hand-drawn before being scanned into the pc and then coloured. The end result is stunning and with added effects such as sunlight streaming in through windows and subtle animation ranging from rippling water to swirling smoke, it has to be said that this is one of the best looking point-and-clickers around.
Obviously it's not just the graphics that have been laboured over - as with any self-respecting adventure game Fable is a full talkie with thousands of lines of dialogue. As we go to press Telstar are still negotiating the signing of a 'big name' to supply some of the voices. Nothing is confirmed as yet but there are numerous rumours concerning certain English comedy talent. And his name is J... ooh. No. Can't tell you. Sorry. You'll just have to watch out for the review when we take a look at the game in detail in a couple of month's time.
2018-12-04 Fable game added.