in Review

Fail the King

Fable III

When Fable III came out a couple of weeks ago, it didn’t seem real to me.  I hadn’t really seen much of the game and the first two in the series seemed like they were in development for years. Yet here it was, only a couple years after Fable II, the next entry in Microsoft’s answer to Zelda. Unfortunately, Fable III feels like it could have benefited from some more time in development.

It’s 50 years since Fable II and you play as the younger son or daughter of your hero from the first game. Your older brother, Logan, rules Albion as a tyrant, quickly forcing you to run away with your mentor, loyal butler, and not-as-important-as-Fable-II’s dog. Despite being a prince or princess you have no money and no one trusts you, so you must go around Albion inspiring the people to bring about a revolution.

Normally, a game would stop when you win the crown. But Fable III tacks on another plot and a few hours of gameplay with you acting as the monarch, forced to choose between honoring the promises you made to those who helped you dethrone your brother. This part of the game is all about money; you’re forced to choose between popularity and security, which the game equates to being good or evil. Which is messed up. Sometimes a leader has to make unpopular choices for the greater good, but Fable III does not offer that depth. You simply have to be a saint or a dick. Giving rewards based on morality and making choices black and white really hurts what could have been a compelling aspect of the game.

The core of the game is not much changed from Fable II. One button combat returns, and it is as easy as ever to defeat every enemy. Magic has been changed, now you equip two spell gauntlets, allowing you to “weave” two spells together, instead of power up through tiers of spells like in the last game. This is less interesting and strategic, although it does look pretty cool. Also, you can now spam the spell attack button, basically allowing you to shield yourself in magic and make every fight stupid easy. Oh, and the dog helps out in fights and finds loot and dig spots for you too. He has no story importance, however.

The story is quite good, although the characters are less memorable than the motley crew from Fable II. There are plenty of funny moments and the cast is one of the best I’ve heard in a video game. Stephen Fry is back as Reaver, Bernard Hill (the king of Rohan guy) is your mentor Walter, John Cleese is your butler Jasper, Michael Fassbender is your brother Logan, and your companions include Sir Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg and Naomi Harris. It’s just a shame that the monarch stuff at the end feels rushed.

What feels the most rushed is the interface, which is a real problem. In Fable II, the biggest complaint people had was the menu system. It was slow and took too long to browse through. So instead of just making a better menu, Fable III introduces the Sanctuary. Now when you press start you’re teleported to this place where you can choose to go to a rooms to level up, change weapons, change clothes, and look at your fortune. It’s really a neat system for looking at your wealth (it’s a Scrooge McDuck style pile) and gear, but it gets really frustrating in practice.

Let’s say you’re leveling up a weapon (they have achievement style goals now, i.e. “kill 300 mercs”). You have to press start, run into the weapon room, find your weapon on the rack and select it. Even if you just want to check your quest log, you have to return to the sanctuary and run to the world map and then open in. They really should have had an in game map and quest log, especially since the game suffers from a number of fast travel and questing bugs.

The game has a lot of janky qualities. The breadcrumb trail breaks some times. Selecting fast travel from the quest list sometimes teleports you farther away than if you had just fast traveled to the town. One story quest straight up bugged out for me. I had to seduce a lady but could not interact with her. This was about halfway through the game, and remains broken even now, after I’ve beaten it and Lionhead has even released a patch. When I got married, I paid for the fancy royal wedding, only for my and my wife’s models not to appear in the cinematic. I could not interact with the wife after the ceremony, and when I rebooted the game she ceased to exist.

Fable III is a good game in spite of itself. The adventuring during most of the game is a lot of fun, helped further by its excellent cast. There are plenty of things to do and collectibles to obtain. The multiplayer is fully functional, everything we wanted from Fable II. However, some of the game is straight up broken and a lot more is stupidly annoying. Hopefully Lionhead can fix some of this with patches and DLC, because the product on the disc is far from what it should have been.


  1. All I can express is, I’m not sure what to really say! Except certainly, for the excellent tips that are shared within this blog. I am able to think of a zillion fun tips on how to read the content articles on this site. There’s no doubt that I will finally take action employing your tips on that matter I could never have been able to address alone. You had been so considerate to let me be one of those to learn from your practical information. Please see how a great deal I am thankful.

  2. What would we all do devoid of the amazing suggestions you discuss on this website? Who else has the endurance to deal with crucial topics for the sake of common readers like me? I and my friends are very lucky to have your web blog among the kinds we often visit. Hopefully you know how a great deal we love your hard work! Best wishes from us all.

  3. What would many of us do minus the awesome suggestions you write about on this site? Who has got the persistence to deal with crucial topics with regard to common readers like me? My partner and i and my pals are very happy to have your web blog among the ones we frequently visit. We hope you know how much we appreciate your effort! Best wishes coming from us all.

  4. Thank you for your time and efforts to have decided to put these things together on this blog. Josh and I very much treasured your suggestions through the articles in certain things. I know that you have numerous demands on your own program and so the fact that you took equally as much time just like you did to steer people like us by means of this article is also highly prized.

  5. Most I can point out is, I am not sure what to comment! Except naturally, for the excellent tips that are shared using this blog. I am able to think of a trillion fun ways to read the content articles on this site. I do think I will finally take action making use of your tips on areas I could never have been able to address alone. You’re so thoughtful to allow me to be one of those to profit from your beneficial information. Please know how great I appreciate it.

  6. We so appreciate your site post. You will find a multitude of means we could put it to great use with a minimum of effort with time and capital. Thank you really regarding helping have the post respond to many problems we have had before now.

  7. I can not thank you more than enough for the posts on your web page. I know you place a lot of time and energy into them and hope you know how considerably I appreciate it. I hope I will do the identical thing for another individual at some time.

  8. It truly is rare to come across an expert in whom you may have some faith. In the world in the present day, nobody actually cares about showing others the way in this subject matter. How happy I am to have now found a really wonderful web site as this. It’s people like you exactly who make a genuine difference these days through the concepts they write about.

  9. It was some sort of excitement discovering your site last night. I got here this day hoping to uncover something new. And I was not dissatisfied. Your ideas for new approaches on this subject material were helpful and a wonderful help to me and my spouse. Thank you for leaving out time to create these things as well as sharing your notions.

  10. It was some sort of excitement coming across your site yesterday. I came here right now hoping to come across interesting things. I was not dissatisfied. Your ideas upon new tactics on this thing were insightful and a wonderful help to myself. Thank you for leaving out time to write down these things plus for sharing your notions.

  11. It is really rare to find a specialist in whom you can have some faith. In the world these days, nobody absolutely cares about showing others exactly how in this issue. How fortunate I am to have now found a wonderful web-site as this. It’s people like you that make a real difference these days through the thoughts they reveal.

  12. It was a real pleasure getting to your site recently. I came here right now hoping to learn new things. And I was not upset. Your ideas upon new methods on this subject were enlightening and an excellent help to myself. Thank you for having time to write out these things along with sharing your ideas.

  13. I couldn’t currently have asked for a better blog. You are ever present to offer excellent guidance, going right to the point for simple understanding of your visitors. You’re truly a terrific specialist in this subject. Thanks a ton for always being there for folks like me.

  14. I am unable to thank you fully for the discussions on your web site. I know you put a lot of time and energy into them and truly hope you know how deeply I enjoy it. I hope I can do the same for someone else sometime.

  15. The suggestions you discussed here are quite priceless. It turned out such an enjoyable surprise to get that waiting for me after i woke up this very day. They are always to the point as well as simple to learn. Thank you very much for the valuable ideas you’ve shared right here.

Comments are closed.