wess's Fable III (Xbox 360) review

This is a hard game to say good things about.

Fable 3 is one of those games that is far too easy to spend long periods of time talking about every little thing that is so very very wrong with it.  Partially, it's because there simply are so many things wrong with it, but mainly it's because the things that are bad are so excruciatingly obvious.  Before I start down that road, I would like to say that Fable 3 continues many of the things that made Fable 2 a pretty good game - the world is charming and silly in a British sort of way, the combat is fun enough (although still far too dumbed-down and easy), and there is a whole lot to do as you travel the various areas of the game, complete with tons of unique weapons and some neat quests.  That being said, most of those aspects are just barely as good as Fable 2, and most everything that makes Fable 3 different from Fable 2 takes it to a sad, unhappy state.
Let's start with menus.  In an attempt to rid the game entirely of an "immersion-breaking" menu system, Fable 3 introduces the idea of your home base, The Sanctuary, as your menu.  This really didn't bother me so much, except for the fact that a well implemented menu system would have been about 10 times faster.  The really horrendous part of this system is the map, which is a sort of Play-Doh sculpture of what the various areas of the map kind of look like in a very abstract way.  The map has no real defining pieces of landscape on it, and proportionally the distances aren't even really close, and since you have no in-game mini map of any kind, this makes it really aggravating to find anything specific you may be looking for.  The infamous "bread crumb trail" is supposed to replace all of this by being an intuitive glowing line that you can follow to your objectives, but you can only set those to quest objectives, not just a place you want to explore, and even then the trail will often lead you in an infinite loop, or just plain not show up at all.  This is just a small taste of the kinds of issues that plague every aspect of Fable 3, and they are too obvious and too well done in other games to be excusable in any way.
The biggest problem I had with Fable 3, however, had to be the pacing.  You spend the majority of the game traversing environments that are not only exactly like the sorts of areas from previous Fable games, but are just your standard, run-of-the-mill environments for almost any game.  You also see the exact same enemies you've seen in the previous Fable games - hobbes, bandits, hollow men, and balverines.  To top it off, once you finally see an environment that is unique (hint: it's a desert), and are introduced to some new enemies, the game literally sprints to the finish as if it's too scared of this newer content to cope with it.  I'll come right out and say it - the end sections of this game are terrible.  Terrible to an extent that it ruined the whole game for me, because it was just lazy and uninspired to a degree that was staggering.
Overall, Fable 3 may not be a complete failure, but it is not what I would consider a success by any means.  There really isn't any excuse for most of the problems this game has, and the only word that really resounds in my mind when I think about Fable 3 is lazy.  It sticks to just enough from it's previous iterations to be called a complete game, but fails to introduce anything that is either functional or  meaningful.  For shame.


Other reviews for Fable III (Xbox 360)

    A Broken Game in a Beautiful World 0

    It’s been about 50 years since your father (the Hero of Fable II) defeated Lucien and became King of Albion. While the billowing smokestacks of Bowerstone’s industrial district indicate much has changed in the past five decades, many things have also stayed the same; for instance, it’s still acceptable to start a conversation with a stranger by clucking like a chicken or farting in their face. The protagonist of Fable III is the youngest son of the former king, who at the beginning of th...

    14 out of 14 found this review helpful.

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