Fable III screenshot
Fable III screenshot

At the point at which you'd expect many games to end, Fable III introduces a bevy of new features. As king, the whole experience changes quite dramatically. Although you are free to saunter about Albion to your heart's content, completing any quests you might have missed along the way, each day you'll be presented with a list of royal duties to complete. Hearings held in the throne room will give you the opportunity to break or honour the promises you made during the revolution, which will define how you are perceived as king. Perhaps the most important task as ruler is nursing the castle's treasury. This is where all the money you require to keep promises and develop Albion will come from, and you're going to need a lot of it to keep everybody happy.

Most moral dilemmas play wealth against morality, a mechanic that Lionhead has relied on heavily over the course of the series. The game will throw huge great wads of cash at you in exchange for succumbing to the 'evil' option. That said, even those dedicated to a path of righteousness won't struggle to build up a decent amount of gold, making it easy to ignore acts of bribery. Playing the property market correctly can turn you into a millionaire in a matter of hours – all you need is a little capital.

As with Fable II, there are several jobs masquerading as mini-games. The professions of blacksmith, pie maker and lute player can all earn you enough money to buy and rent out a few buildings. Every five minutes you'll be awarded the profits of your combined rent and business sales, and it doesn't take long to build up a property empire worth millions. A new map system allows you to adjust rent and alter the prices of the goods on sale at your shops without having to get up off your throne. Playing the property market is perhaps the most addictive part of Fable III, and as long as you keep on top of your purchases and renovations, you'll have few worries in the financial department.

I played through the entirety of Fable III with the memory of one initial decision lingering in my thoughts – just how differently would things have played out if I chose the other option? As king, however, and as a player who was financially secure at this point in the game, the latter decisions in Fable III failed to present a similar degree of dilemma. Perhaps without a wallet as fat as mine things would have been different, but for a game that relies so heavily on emotion, honour and sacrifice, it’s a shame to see these situations squandered by the relative ease with which you can accrue wealth.

My next complaint is a little more shallow, but it needs to be said: Fable III really isn't a very good looking game. As one of Microsoft's flagship franchises, you'd expect a little more polish lavished upon the title. Character models are – if I'm being brutally honest – pretty damn ugly. The animations are crude and the game is riddled with texture pop-in, frame-rate problems and other graphical glitches. It feels rushed, like the game was forced onto the shop floor before Lionhead was given the opportunity to apply the finishing touches. Technical problems can be forgiven easily, to an extent; what's far more concerning are the problematic aspects of the overall game design.

Fable III strives to be the most accessible entry in the series yet. Lionhead has gone to great lengths to ensure that anybody can pick up, play and – crucially - understand the game. Upgrade screens, stats, attributes, item and equipment management are all gone. According to Molyneux, these staple role-playing mechanics only serve to take the player out of the experience. Fable III dispenses with menu screens and instead gives us an area known as the Sanctuary, which the player can visit at any time. It's here in this tangible environment that players can assess, tweak and change every aspect of their character. Whether you're switching weapons or changing clothes, it's all done 'in game'.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Just completed the main game. Wow. It was hard to put the controller down.
Posted 14:44 on 31 October 2010
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I picked it up in store today and was engrossed for 3 hours straight as soon as it got back home with me. It's got that same je ne sais quoi that Fable I and II had before it; totally captivating, incredibly easy to get immersed and mesmerised, and, what I love best, there's always a surprising depth to the gameplay if you like finding stuff, building collections of similar stuff, tweaking said stuff and then maxing out your various tweaked collections of stuff that you've found.

And yet it's an RPG that you can rush through just by brainless button mashing if you chose to do so, but then you're missing out on 90% of the stuff.

I think I just discovered what that je ne sais quoi actually is: the Fable series is 10% casual gameplay from start to finish, 90% optional hardcore grindfest if you seek out diversions. Being an RPG fan, I love diversions which is why, no matter how hard it tries to be a game that appeals to the casual market, it's pretty much a given that any future games in the series will be day one purchases for me.

That's just after 3 hours. Good thing it wasn't after 200 hours or else this post would be even longer.
Posted 16:14 on 29 October 2010
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

Not happy at all looks like il be getting a day after its out,Was there any point of preordering it?
Posted 09:59 on 29 October 2010
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

think i found that out 2day.
Posted 09:49 on 29 October 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

Zavvi are notoriously bad with regard to their stock levels of new products.
Posted 09:49 on 29 October 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ xboxlive

I never order anything time critical from Zavvi as they are pants!
Posted 09:48 on 29 October 2010
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

As anyone ordered ther copy from Zavvi? my copy is still Awaiting Despatch
WTF?
Posted 09:37 on 29 October 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

i honestly thought a fable this soon would have consequences and from what jamin said there are plenty still going to be getting it just glad i bought new vegs before this.

great read jamin
Posted 17:08 on 28 October 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

Wow, expected a 9 at least. I'm thinking about putting this on the back burner and playing Fable II instead.
Posted 14:29 on 26 October 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

Reviews have been generally good rather than brilliant for this. I think many were expecting a few 10s.

At least it aint a 7.
Posted 14:02 on 26 October 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Here you go guys a 200mb free weapons pack.

http://tinyurl.com/3xb6eq9

Enjoy don't know how long it'll last so be quick.
Posted 14:00 on 26 October 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Good Read. I liked how Fable 2 was and I'm sure I will definitely like what Fable 3 has on offer. Sadly it will have to wait, unless a miracle comes out of nowhere so I can obtain this lovely jubbly game.
Posted 13:41 on 26 October 2010
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

Ive preorder my copy and cant wait for it too come :)
Posted 13:16 on 26 October 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II

From what I've played of it I thought it sucked.
Posted 12:38 on 26 October 2010
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa

Yeah great read Jamin. Have to agree with Karlius, I was expecting a 10, but with all the flaws you mention, it seemed unlikely.

So are the graphics the same or better than Fable II?
Posted 09:06 on 26 October 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
8
Out of 10
Fable III
  • Albion is a joy to explore
  • Hilarious script
  • Accessibility comes at a cost
  • Lacks polish
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 29/10/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Lionhead
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: RPG
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 930 49
Check Price