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Fable III Review

Blake_Morse By:
Blake_Morse
11/05/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action RPG 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER Microsoft Game Studios 
DEVELOPER Lionhead Studios 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
M Contains Blood, Language, Sexual Content, Use of Alcohol, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Dear Mr. Molyneux,


Let me start off by saying that you are genius. You've made some seriously enjoyable games and Fable III is no exception. It's just as fun as Fable II, maybe even a tad more fun. But I'm not talking leaps and bounds here; it's more like some decent baby steps with a few falls along the way. You are a man who has great vision and a lot of ambition when it comes to making video games.

click to enlargeBut it's not really what you promised, is it? No. It never is with you. Your nasty habit of over-hyping your games has given you somewhat of a reputation as a pathological liar and that makes Fable III pale in comparison to what you said it would be. Normally, I'm not one to mention something like this in an review, but when you do stuff like this with so much consistency, you deserve to be called out on your BS.

By today's standards, Fable III is a mixed bag at the very best. The plot and how the decisions you make effect the endgame are where your brilliance really shines through. Everything about the story compels you to progress further and discover even more wonders in the world of Albion.

But one must wonder if the experience is anything what it's like to be you. In the game your character must make promises on their way to becoming king, then decide which to keep and which to reconsider in order to keep your people safe. The could be interpreted as being a developer before a game comes out and then having to deal with not living up to everything you said you would. Of course, building a brothel instead of a homeless shelter and sending kids to work in factories instead of sending them to school are very different types of decisions.

click to enlargeYour decision to get rid of menus and opt for one central hub for all accessorizing and map-checking is an interesting one, but a mini-map would've been great for getting your bearings straight quickly. And while I do appreciate the effort to get rid of the sub-menu navigation altogether, I would prefer to have the more useful menus - an inventory list and a screen where one could track the development of their character and their weapons - still at my disposal. Still, it does serve as an example of how you think outside the box and are constantly trying to improve.

Gameplay itself is just as enjoyable as the last Fable, but doesn't bring anything new to the table, really. You still end up finding the best combination of weapons and spells for your character and using them throughout most of the game. The whole unlocking special treasure chests thing to unlock new NPC interactions and skill upgrades is a good idea, but should focus more on combat in the future. Ending up with not enough credits to upgrade your melee skills because you chose to learn how to be a good parent or play the lute does not make for a rewarding experience.

And then there are all the glitches. To be fair, most of these involve your new hand-holding system. Nothing like trying to seduce a woman and not being able to walk her through the door to your bedroom, because she keeps getting stuck on the door. This concept of touch was touted to no end and then barely ended up in the final product at all. Tsk tsk, Pete.

click to enlargeThe multiplayer has not improved much, if at all. Playing local co-op was more of a headache than it was worth, and I had a hell of a time getting myself into any online games I tried to join. This is something you really need to work on more than anything else. Your worlds are so immersive that adding more human involvement to it will do nothing but make it even more addicting.

Still, all these problems did not stop me from enjoying the game thoroughly. I spent five hours alone in the town of Mourningwood seducing as many hippie women as I could, then taking them back to an abandoned shack for a little “quality time”. Everything that makes your series great - the humor , enthralling plot, and unique quests - are there and will keep people coming back for sure.

The fact of the matter is Fable III feels like Fable 2.5 rather than a full-on sequel. Just like the King of Albion, you need to be responsible for the things you say and the promises you make, no matter what the consequences. Or just learn to keep your mouth shut until the game is totally done. Fable III is a good game, but it should be a great game, and that's all on you.

I still love ya, though, Pete!

Sincerely,

Blake Morse
B Revolution report card
  • Faithful Fable fun
  • HUDlessness is good
  • ...but needed a couple of menus
  • ...and a mini-map
  • Brilliant plot
  • Consequences for your actions
  • Horrible multiplayer
  • Needs to live up to its hype

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More information about Fable III
Also known as: Fable 3