Lionhead Studios, 2004
Windows, Mac 和 Xbox
Lionhead Studios, 2004
Windows, Mac and Xbox
有些人怀念起《神鬼寓言（Fable）》时，会将这款游戏当作引领新一代主机玩家进入西方角色扮演游戏的作品，但其他人想到这款作品主要是因为它的创造者 Peter Molyneux 和他荒谬的承诺。《神鬼寓言》被炒作成一个创新的 RPG 游戏，一个广阔的模拟世界，据说在那里，岁月会流逝，你的角色会变老，你可以组建家庭，被你杀害的敌人的儿子会发誓要复仇，而更著名的说法是，你甚至能够种下一个橡子，看它一点点地长成一棵树。不出所料，这款游戏并没有实现它所承诺的一切，就算过了十多年，这也依然是任何关于这款游戏的讨论避不开的污点。对《神鬼寓言》这样一款优秀——尽管优秀得有限——的游戏来说，这无疑是一种遗憾。
作为一款为初代 Xbox 打造的游戏，《神鬼寓言》的目标受众不只是硬核 RPG 老手。Molyneux 着手为所有玩家创造一个从《塞尔达传说（The Legend of Zelda）》、《星球大战：旧共和国武士（Knights of the Old Republic）》甚至《模拟人生（The Sims）》中汲取元素的 RPG 游戏。得到的成果是一个精简的动作 RPG 游戏，玩家将在幻想世界的旅途中做出非黑即白的道德选择，并承担相应的后果。虽然不像承诺那样独出心裁，但游戏仍然得到了相当好的反响 。
There are those who fondly remember Fable as the game that introduced a new generation of console gamers to western RPGs, while others remember it for its creator, Peter Molyneux, and his ludicrous promises. He hyped the game as a revolutionary RPG – a simulated world where years would pass, your character would age, form a family, the sons of murdered enemies would swear revenge and, famously, you would be able to plant an acorn and see it grow into a tree in real time. Unsurprisingly, the game didn't deliver all that, and those promises still taint any debate about the title. Which is a shame, since Fable is a great game even without that acorn.
Designed for the original Xbox, Fable's isn't aimed at hardcore RPG veterans. Molyneux set out to create an RPG for all audiences, taking elements from The Legend of Zelda, Knights of the Old Republic and even from The Sims. The result is a streamlined Action RPG, where players will make binary moral choices and endure the consequences, while traveling across a simulated fantasy world that, while not as revolutionary as promised, is still quite reactive.
这些细节是《神鬼寓言》的优势所在。游戏的模拟实际上是无数个小系统的集合，虽然这些小系统本身很肤浅，没有什么亮点，但捆绑在一起就会让你产生一种身临其境的幻觉。例如，通过与 NPC 调情，把他们带到你购买的房子里并献上一枚婚戒，你可以与游戏中几乎所有的 NPC 结婚。你甚至可以在事后离婚，而街上的其他 NPC 则会对这件不幸的事情评头论足。
这一切听起来非常令人印象深刻，但细看就会发现该系统有明显的局限性。你与 NPC 互动的选项有限，如“调情”（Flirt）或“性感的英雄姿势”（Sexy Hero Pose）；结婚没有任何作用；买房子也几乎毫无用处；NPC 对你的每一个重要行动都只有一两句台词回应。
You begin as a child, just as your village is raided and your family murdered. Rescued by a wizard, you are accepted at the Heroes' Guild, where you'll learn melee combat, archery and magic. These are tied to three stats – Strength, Skill and Will, respectively – which are the core of Fable's character system.
Every enemy you kill or quest you complete wields XP, but you'll also gain extra points for how you act. Using magic wields Will Experience, which can only be used to improve Will-related skills. Thus, by casting spells you'll learn new ones and become a better mage, and the game will reflect that visually.
You'll exit the guild as a weak, skinny teenager, but your appearance will change as you play. You'll grow larger as you raise your Strength, taller as you raise your Skill and, if you focus on Will, arcane signs will appear over your body and begin to glow. Even more, you can grow fat by eating too much food, gain scars as you get injured, get a tattoo, cut your hair and beard, and even grow horns if you become too evil.
These details are where Fable excels. The game's simulation is in fact a collection of countless small systems that, while shallow and unimpressive on their own, bundled together create an immersive illusion. For example, you can marry almost any NPC in the game, by flirting with them, taking them to a house you purchased and gifting a wedding ring. You can even get divorced afterwards, and other NPCs in the street will comment on how unfortunate that is.
It all sounds very impressive, but looking closely you'll see the obvious limitations of the system. You can only interact with NPCs by choosing a limited set of expressions, such as “Flirt” or “Sexy Hero Pose”, getting married serves no purpose, buying houses is almost useless and NPCs have just one or two lines to say for every important action you perform.