I’ve been playing games since Zork 3, and I’ve done contract work for a couple of game developers. As such, I understand that the pressure on development teams and rapidly evolving markets can result in an abnormally buggy product.
When I bring games home from the store, the first thing I do–before installing them–is visit the game’s website and download the patch (or, more often, patches) I need to get the post-release bug fixes.
I picked up Fable: The Lost Chapters on the cheap at Future Shop. It had a fair bit of buzz when released, and the critics liked it. As I started playing it, it seemed like a decent enough slice-and-dice RPG in the style of Dungeon Siege.
Then came the plague of locusts.
The game freezes and crashes back to my desktop with shocking regularity. I’d say it happens half of the sessions I’ve played so far. This would be more tolerable if the clever developers at Lionhead Studios let me save whenever I want. Instead, I may lose a half or three-quarters of an hour of progress when the machine crashes. Note to Lionhead and Microsoft Games Studios: games are meant to be fun, and this isn’t.
I’m confident in describing the game as buggy because my machine is about four weeks old with a standard Windows installation and easily exceeds the system requirements. In fact, Fable is the first game I’ve installed. Also, I can find plenty of corroborating reports online.
I’m afraid Fable is destined for the shelf, or the local Freecycle group.