Fable III screenshot
Fable III screenshot

Peter Molyneux, you cruel bastard. I've scarcely been back in Albion two minutes, and already you're forcing me into making a decision that is turning me inside out with guilt. The tyrannous King Logan, my brother, has put me in an excruciating situation. With my head and heart squabbling like an old married couple, I eventually surrender my decision to logic, my emotions taking a back seat. I justify my reasoning as noble and righteous; the actions of a truly selfless hero. This is the right choice, I keep telling myself.

I immediately regret it.

How could I have been so heartless? The previously distinct line between good and evil has been intentionally blurred in Fable III. Things aren't as black or white as they used to be; the moral canvas underpinning the game painted from a palette of greys. I contemplate turning off the console and starting again, but eventually admit that feeling this bad about a single decision can only be considered a good thing. Few games can invoke genuine guilt in a player, and these situations should be embraced.

After being emotionally tormented by my brother - forced into a decision where each option is just as painful as the other - the wheels are set in motion for an uprising that will change Albion forever. By leaving the castle, the young prince brands himself a traitor – vowing to come back one day to take revenge on his brother. It's the beginnings of a rebellion; a quest to oust the King from his throne. In the midst of an industrial revolution, Albion has been stricken by poverty and famine, the result of the greedy and cold hearted rulings of its king. As the son of the hero from Fable II, it's up to you to step into the shoes of your father and become the man (or indeed, woman) that leads the people out of the darkness.

While Fable II had you gallivanting about Albion uniting a band of heroes, the third iteration of the series has you recruiting the army required to start a revolution. Your generals will take the form of village elders, war heroes and leaders of underground resistance movements, all united by a shared hatred of their king. By completing quests and proving your worth as a hero, you'll gradually earn their trust. Before they lend you their strength, however, they'll ask that you promise to return the favour when you take the throne. How true you are to your word will determine what kind of king you'll be. It's Fable; the choice is yours whether to be good, evil or anything in between.

Unfortunately, the quests that form the bulk of the experience lack the originality of those in Fable II. A sizeable portion of the game simply involves dragging an NPC from one environment to another. While this might demonstrate the game's new 'touch' mechanics nicely, it isn't actually all that entertaining. It's the age old escort mission in disguise, and plays out a little too often for my liking. It's the very same mechanic used to take girlfriends on dates, too, and quickly becomes laborious. This and 'clear the area of enemies' quests are the bread and butter of Fable III; don't expect anything as memorable as the Spire this time around. Perhaps Fable II set the standards too high, but the lack of diversity in III is mildly disappointing.

Combat, while similar to that of its predecessor, has been streamlined somewhat. Tedious orb collecting is no longer a concern, and stylish slow-mo execution moves execute themselves at certain points in battle. It requires little more thought than which button to feverishly tap away at. With a decent pistol in your hand, you can roll and shoot your way through the game with little difficulty. I don't want to sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet here, but I didn't die once over the entire course of the game. This accessibility isn't necessarily a bad thing – it keeps players immersed, refusing to remind them that this is, in fact, a game. But like many facets of Fable III's design, this too has a downside. The game is almost pointlessly easy. Even pivotal moments in the story that should prove difficult – like storming Bowerstone Castle to take the throne, for example - fail to provide much of a challenge.

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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
Fable III
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: 712
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