Decisions Decisions Decisions
Fable 3 did not finish as good as it started. I have always enjoyed the Fable franchise, and I though the second one was leaps and bounds better then the first one. With the completion of the third game I felt like I didn’t know what Fable was trying to do. I do not want to go into great detail about the last quarter of the game but it did leave a bad lasting impression.
In your return to Albion you play as the son or daughter from the character of Fable 2. You discover that the current king, who is your brother, is doing all sorts of wrong in Albion. You have no choice but to try and take down your brother and become the Hero of Albion or the Tyrant of Albion. The story mostly revolves around leading a revolution to over through your brother and convincing people that you are the next hero of Albion. You go throughout Albion meeting new faction leaders so that they will one day help you over though your brother. You get some help from some friends, your butler, your dog and the return of Theresa.
Decisions, decisions, decision, that is still one of the most important things about Fable 3. You get a tuff decision within the first 20 minutes that sucks to make. The story quests revolve around helping other factions in Albion out so that they will assist you in over throwing your brother. These quests range from doing certain side quests for locals to get on their good side and doing fetch quests. After you do quests you receive guild seals which act as the games experience points. After every completed mission you receive a certain amount of guild seals that are then used to level up your character.
Guild seals are spent in Fables 3's area called Road to Rule. Road to Rule is a level in the game that is separated by gates that are unlocked the farther you progress into the story. Once these gates are open you are then able to buy other abilities like; new magic spells, new expressions, new job levels, and stronger gun attacks, sword attacks, and magic attacks. Each of these new abilities are located in chests, that are located throughout the road to rule level that ends once you get to the base of the castle. I enjoyed having this little level in the game, so instead of looking at a boring graph deciding which ability you want you are able to run around and decide which one you want. The only problem I had with this level is the run button is the same as the open the chest button, I found myself accidently opening chests when all I wanted to was run by them.
Fable 3 has some design choices that work for it and also work against it. There is no pause menu instead you are taken to your sanctuary, which is like your safe house. In your sanctuary you get a tour from your butler on all your different rooms that contain your weapons, your clothes, your magic, and even a trophy room. Each of these rooms you are able to go into and easily change into a new outfit or switch to a new weapon. In the middle of the sanctuary there is a map of Albion, this is how you take on the variety of side quests and main quests. You look at the map and it will show the map of Albion, you are then able to highlight over a city or location to either fast travel to that location (if you have discovered that location) or buy houses and business without having to walk around to each place. Also when you are looking at the map you can press the Y button to bring up the quest list which you can then choose from any number of quests and select it as your current quest and even fast travel to the quest location. With the design decisions to have to go into the sanctuary for your quest, I felt like it was a little much. I wish they would have used a button to bring up the quest list and then be able to fast travel to that location instead of having to pause the game and then walk up to your map and then select the quest.
In previous Fable games your character changed with the decisions you made. You could have a halo over your head or have horns, and people would fear you or they would cheer for you. In Fable 3 there is none of that instead your hero weapon will change in the process of becoming good or evil. You are able to buy different weapons but there is no real need to do that. The game is not very hard, in the time I played it, I only died once. I never really used many health potions as well. You are able to combine two magic spells together to create something amazing, and they are fun to mess around with. Combat is broken up into separate button presses. You have a button for your gun, a button for your magic, and a button for your sword attack. If you press and hold the button you are able to have a stronger attack. The auto lock on works great and the time it takes to switch from your sword to your gun and back is fluid enough that it offers some variety.
The illuminated trail is back for a second go around and I still had problems with it. It would show me were to go but then it would disappear and I would have to stand around and wait for it to re appear. Or it would not even show up at all and I would be left wondering around trying to figure out where to go. I also had problems with the new touch button, which you are able to hold anyone’s hand you come in contact with. In some quests it is require to guide a person to a location, but when you are holding hands with someone, sometimes you are able to run with that person and sometimes you can only slow walk. If you are running with a person and you run into the back of your dog then you get slowed down into a slow walk, but then if you let go of their hands and then re grab their hands you are able to run with them again. I wish this worked like it was suppose to, just let me run with the person. For it being a new feature in this game you would have figured that they would have worked out all of the bugs.
You are also able to take on jobs to make money. They have changed the job systems this time around. All they are now is timed button presses, kind of like Rock Band or Parappa the Rapper. You are still able to get married to multiple wives and have kids with them. There is nothing to new in this department, and to be honest I didn’t every really mess around with the marriage system in the game until after I beat it. There is no reason to but it can be fun to see how many STDs and wife’s you can have,
This brings me to a problem with writing this review, the last part of the game is a real pain in the ass. I don’t know if it is a spoiler about what happens but the last part of the game is just you making decisions and going on little missions every so often. It completely changes the game play of the game. I realize they had to do something to change it up from Fable 2 but to do what they did just leaves a bad after taste. When I was playing the last part of this game I turned to my wife and said "I am not having fun anymore". This is problem with Fable 3 and probably if you have seen other review scores along with mine you will kind of understand why. I also don’t understand why you don’t have different save slot available. With a game like this that has you making choices all I wanted to do was save before I made a choice and then go back and make the other choice. It is a real bummer when you don’t have the option for multiple saves.
Peter Molyneux has created a fun game that makes you want to play more and more. But when it comes to the ending I wish they would have done something different. Lionhead Studios took a chance at doing this type of ending, I am glad they are trying something different and I respect that they are not doing the same old thing, but I would have figured with enough focus testing they would have seen what they were doing was not the best thing for the game in the end. I look forward to what Lionhead Studios and Peter Molyneux can come up with next but I just hope that the next game whatever it may be will be fun and exciting from the beginning to the end.