Before we got a dog and went to prison, and before we became a monarch crippled by fiscal responsibility, we were the hero of Oakvale, setting out on the grand adventure of discovering Albion for the very first time. We'll have the chance to relive those glory days later this year, when Fable: Anniversary is released for the Xbox 360. Sure, you could just as easily heave your original Xbox down from the attic and blow the dust off your copy of The Lost Chapters (mine is still sitting on my living room shelf), but there are a few reasons you might want to consider splashing out for a new version of an old game.
I had a very quick hands-on demo of Fable: Anniversary during Gamescom, playing through the beginning of the quest where you first meet Theresa and butting heads with a few bandits. Whilst the game definitely won't be coming to Xbox One, there's Fable Legends to look forward to sometime in 2014, so now might be a good time to immerse yourself once again in the grand old days of Albion.
It's a full visual and audio remaster
It goes without saying that a modern remake equals crisper edges, faster loading and spit-shined textures, but Anniversary goes a step further than most. Powered by the Unreal engine, it introduces new lighting effects and full 1080p high-resolution meshes and textures, as well as revamped facial and cutscene animations. It also adds widescreen support, a must for an age when 16:9 is the standard TV resolution.
Besides looking better, Albion aims to sound better too. Russell Shaw, the composer for the original Fable, has returned to remaster Anniversary's audio for surround sound, though Lionhead has stopped short of changing the original voiceover work, because it wants certain aspects of Fable to stay just as fans remember them.
There's a brand new achievements system
It may not appeal to everyone, but compulsive collectors out there (myself included) will be happy to learn that they can mine a full 1000 Gamerscore from Fable Anniversary's all-new achievement system - the original, of course, came out before achievements were conceived. There's also a special fan-made achievement thrown into the mix, the result of a recent fan contest. The winning achievement, "Are You Not Entertained?" can be unlocked by completing all eight rounds of the arena without taking a break.
Sounds legit, though we're slightly disappointed that runner-up suggestion "Farticus" didn't make the cut. We're still unsure as to what the game's other achievements will be awarded for, but Anniversary's lead designer Ted Timmins (who began his career as a tester on the original Fable) has hinted that there are achievements for good or evil choices, which suggests that completionists will need to play through more than once.