“Fable III” is the latest installment to the action packedand critically acclaimed Xbox 360 exclusive franchise that has sold more than six million copies. Fans new and returning will now embark on an epic adventure, where the race for the crown is only the beginning of your spectacular journey.
Five decades have passed since the events of “Fable II,” and Albion has matured into an industrial revolution, but the fate of the kingdom is at peril. In “Fable III,” you will be called upon to rally and fight alongside your people, ascend to the seat of power, and experience the true meaning of love and loss. The choices and sacrifices you make while fanning the flames of revolution, and then as you rule as King or Queen or Albion, will lead to an ever evolving world of consequences that will be felt across your entire land. This sets the stage for unparalleled action and adventure that offers even more ways to fight and engage than ever before.
Fable II is a game that took me by surprise and it remains one of the very few current-gen RPGs that I have played through more than once. Needless to say, the wait for Fable 3 to hit the shelves was agonizing, but I am happy to say that the game has arrived with most of my expectations met despite a few disappointments. Set 50 years after the events of the last game, you play as a well-meaning prince wants to overthrow King Logan, his older brother, who has become mad and tyrannical with power. The meat of the game is performing various good deeds in order to gain followers who will join you in overthrowing the king in a coup d’état of sorts. Side quests, buying property, working menial jobs and getting married and starting a family all serve to flesh out the game and give the world striking personality. Below are the pros and cons of the game based on my having played 13 hours and beaten the game.
- Graphics and Sound. It’s been said countless times already, but Fable 3 is a gorgeous game in which the living, breathing world of Albion is the main draw. The scenery is vibrant and well detailed, as well as being varied enough to minimize monotony. The voice acting is also top notch, with a stellar cast including John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg and Ben Kingsley and they, along with the voices of the townspeople and peripheral characters, all do a stellar job at bringing their characters to life. As with the other Fable games, the score is fantastic and it effectively sets the mood for each part of the game.
- Intuitive combat controls. Fable 3 feels more combat-heavy than it’s predecessor and the controls have been streamlined to make combat more enjoyable. The three-button system (melee weapons, range weapons and magic) is very accessible, but the enemies this time around are a lot faster and smarter, so dodging and aiming will yield better results than simply button-mashing your way through.
- Good inventory management system. I was skeptical about how I would like the revamped menu system, and by revamped I mean almost non-existent. The menus are totally gone, expunged from the game in favor of an interactive “hub” you can drop in and out of at any time. There is a main room with a world map, which is excellent for pin-pointing quests and fast traveling to certain areas, to a wardrobe, trophy and weapons room. At first I thought this would break up gameplay in a bad way, but after playing it I feel it works very well. The lack of menus is a big departure from the standard RPG formula, but it works for this game.
- Varied quests. While most missions involve fetching items and killing characters, the setting and style of each mission is varied enough to prevent the game from getting repetitive. The people you meet in the town also give you missions in order to win their friendship, and these are rather fun despite being mostly garden-variety fetch quests.
- The economy system is back and it allows you to buy and rent property, which is handy for earning money. You can also get married and start a family, though the game is more story-driven and the incentive to do this is less in this game than it was in part 2.
- Bugs. Common for these types of games, the game world is full of bugs that range from minor blemishes to mission-stopping crashes. I am not concerned about things like texture pop-in, screen tearing or cosmetic imperfections, but I found the constant slowdown to be rather annoying. When walking into a new area, and sometimes before and after the “Save” icon appears, the graphics slow down and stutter briefly and it gets especially choppy during the really crowded fights. There are also instances where the camera zooms away from the action, the dog gets stuck and other oddities occur that disrupt the flow of the game.
- Lack of emotional connection. Fable 2 was not a perfect game but it provided a strong emotional connection with the player, especially with the dog and the family you build. This time around, this connection feels flat. You don’t spend much time building your dogs character, so he functions as little more than a treasure sniffer. Additionally, you have far less variety of responses and gestures that you can use on people, so there is little fun in forming attachments to others.
- False flexibility. As an open-world game, you do have the freedom to explore and carve your own path, but the game feels more restrictive and linear than Fable 2. The story is rigid in what you have to do, and the “moral choices” have less impact. In each situation, you need to select a “good” or “bad” choice that will impact the attitudes of others around you. However, the choices are very black and white and you need to be good in order to gain followers, so I had no incentive to play as a bad guy. While the world in Fable 2 grew with you and your actions affected how the town looked and even how you looked, the decisions you make don’t have nearly the same impact in part 3. This false sense of flexibility does drag the game down somewhat.
- The ending. Others have mentioned that the ending is unsatisfying and I have to agree. Without giving anything specific away, the ending involves a moral choice that you need to make, and it provides the only real gray area in the game, since both choices involve some kind of unsatisfactory outcome. Think that good actions always lead to positive outcomes? Think again.
To Buy Fable III from Amazon, Click Here.