Fable III Reader Review
A really odd one. I loved the last game. Its warmth, charm and humour eventually winning out over its simplistic combat mechanics and repetitive mini-game jobs. It was also quite a good yarn.
I approached this game with some trepidation having read the reviews on Eurogamer and in Edge. Initial impressions were not too favourable. I remember being very impressed with the opening movie to Fable 2. The same could not be said about this game. The cut scenes on my equipment were beset by an ugly motion blur which I encountered for the first time in the Halo Reach cut scenes. I found this quite distracting and a retrograde step.
As mentioned frequently elsewhere, Albion is a lovely world to explore and once again it became quite compelling building my rebellion and eventually my property empire. I was rather disappointed though with the quality and amount of side quests available, which were frankly rather poor. The only memorable one for me, some two months after playing the game was the ‘dungeons and dragons’ role-playing parody which was quite funny and clever.
The combat was once again too simplistic, ruined by the overly powerful area of effect magic attack. The achievements too lacked inspiration - preferring instead to try for cheap gags rather than showing off interesting facets of gameplay. Who for instance could be bothered to try for the Henry VIII achievement necessitating the player to get married 6 times or whatever it was? I could barely be bothered to get married once.
Once again it was nice to be accompanied by the dog, although the novelty had worn off a little bit compared to the first game. The roster of expressions seemed markedly reduced compared with the first game. The amount of times I had to do that ridiculous (but well voiced) tango with poor befuddled NPC’s was outrageous.
I suppose I was having fun with Fable 3 generally until the game decided to cheat me out of the ending I was hoping for. If you are sensitive about spoilers perhaps you should stop here, but for the most part it is well documented that the ending is poorly handled.
Towards the end of the game you become King and are forced to deal with the realities of government. Competing interests, actions and consequences are the order of the day. Appeasing the people and remaining popular, but sacrificing them in the process. Or being a total tyrant, thus turning you into the person you spent the whole game overthrowing, but keeping your populace alive.
I don’t have a problem with this in itself. It is quite an interesting concept and quandary. However, being humans we like to have our cake and eat it and I wanted to find a solution that enabled me to be popular and successful. Like many of you out there I am sure, I set about buying up properties and businesses to generate income to put into the government coffers. Had the game been properly signposted to let me know when the time of the attack would be, I could have sold all my properties and businesses and had plenty of money to fend off the attack. Because that did not happen I was left with insufficient funds and the majority of my population died. I felt utterly cheated and disappointed with the game.
It did not have to be that way.