Fable 3 Review

Greg is a Fable fan – having played Fable I and Fable II. When I needed to find someone in my community who might be able to help review the new Fable III for Xbox 360, he was up for the task.

Instead of just looking at the game and offering a simple review, Greg played the ENTIRE game of Fable III before recording this video review. Unbelievable. That’s going above and beyond the Call of Duty. Er, I mean Fable III.

As stated in the video, Greg asserts:

I received the game less than 24 hours ago so I sped though this game at 100 mph. Keep that in mind as we go through this.

The game took me about 12 hours to get through – but don’t worry. As you’d expect with Fable, there are a ton of side missions to keep you busy for many more hours.

Fable 3 picks up at about 50 years where we left off from Fable 2. In fact, our character this time is the youngest of 2 sons of the Hero from Fable 2. Your older brother is currently King – and not doing a very good job at either. Like the other Fable stories, you need to save Albion from tyranny, only this time it’s from your own family.

So, your stent as a wealthy prince is short-lived as you escape from the castle to travel around Albion seeking help from its inhabitants to eventually overthrow your brother the King.

What’s nice is that, unlike other the Fables, once you’ve done this, you actually get to play as King and make decisions like a King. For a little while, at least. Once you’re King, you find out there there is a far greater threat – and so your decisions as King will determine that outcome.

This is cool because you basically get two story lines: defeat your tyrant brother to claim the throne; and rule for a short time, hoping your decisions make for a favorable outcome.

As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, that’s the story in a nutshell. Now, let’s dive into the specifics.

To be perfectly honest, I was greatly underwhelmed by this game. Because of the many differences between Fable 1 and Fable 2, I had expected more from Fable 3.

The plot isn’t the only thing that picks up from Fable 2 – gameplay, itself, is nearly identical.

The first thing you’ll notice is that you have the dog again – and, like in Fable 2, he’s pretty useless. He’ll help you find treasure and act as early enemy detection and… that’s about it. Disappointing!

Fighting is, once again, repetitive and limited to button mashing the same combo that will result in a different move, but you have no choice in that move.

It also seemed to me that there was a lot fewer weapons in this version. Again, keep in mind that I’ve only had limited time on the game, so they may be out there. Also, there is no customizing the weapons with jewels to add abilities. The weapons come with the upgrades – but you need to perform tasks to unlock them. LAME! One of them was that I needed to kill “150 ugly creatures.” What determines an “ugly” creature? That’s a lot – considering you’re throwing them at me 4 to 5 at a time. I’d much rather buy the upgrades.

You still have spells, but they are in the form of gauntlets to wear. This means you only have 2 spells at a time. You can switch between them, but you have to go back to your sanctuary base to swap them. Luckily, you can do this in the middle of a battle. One cool addition is that you can combine the spells for some pretty cool fighting. My favorite is mixing Fireball with Vortex. And, like fighting, spells are repetitive button mashing.

Let’s move on to armor and outfits. Again, they’re in very limited supply – and you get no bonuses for the outfit. They don’t improve people’s attitude toward you. They offer no defensive bonus or attack bonus. I could have played the entire game in the character’s pajamas and done just as well. They offer a bunch of customization to the outfits, but what’s the point?

Let’s talk about the interaction with the townsfolk, too. Remember, in Fable 2, that you had several choices depending on who you were talking to and how not everyone reacted the same way to a response? Well, that’s gone. Kinda. In this version, you get two choices and it doesn’t matter who they are. I went the entire game with “dance and belch” as my first choice of interaction, regardless of sex. Everyone loved dancing. Kinda took the fun out of it. Also, they took out the option to skip the cutscenes. I probably could have done the game in half the time if I could have skipped the cutscenes.

Like in Fable 2, you get to buy houses and businesses. With houses, though, you have to pay for their upkeep regularly. Their condition directly reflects how much rent you receive. Owning property is the best way to raise income (besides doing a job). Jobs are slightly new. You can choose to be a blacksmith, pie maker, or a lute musician. All stupid, but great for raising that last $1,000 you need to buy a house.

The fast travel is much improved, allowing you to even get closer to a section of the city. From this menu, you can also mange all your property and purchase some more. This is great, as you don’t have to run around from building to building to make changes.
The lack of difficulty settings is a disappointment. I went through the entire game without dying – not even once. I used the same weapon through the last 75% of the game and I only used 8 health potions and it wasn’t even the final battle. Gameplay is super simple.

So, in conclusion, Fable 3 (in my book) is a dud. Frankly, I may not even go back and play the rest of the missions. If you’re a gamer who is really into Sim games, you may love it. If you’re into RPG challenges that rock your brain, you’re not going to find it in Fable 3. Sorry.

Your thoughts?