Fable III: A Review
Fable III: Anticipation
Fable 3 was incredibly built up. The game was already created and ready to go several years ago, but was held back from being released to help build the anticipation. After Fable 1 came out, people were ready and raring to go. Fable 2 was okay, and everyone expected that Fable 3 would be the best yet.
I admit that I was highly looking forward to getting Fable 3, especially since I knew I would have to wait for the game to come down from $60, so I could try to justify spending the money on it. So the game finally become available to buy on xbox live, and I went for it. For $40, I bought the game, played it through and here is my review.
As with the first two Fable games, the basic storyline is that you have to save the world. In Fable 3, to be specific, you need to overthrow your the king (your brother) and then save the world from "the darkness". While doing so, you can build up your reputation as a really good angelic hero, a really bad devilish hero or you can be somewhere in between.
I'm glad they didn't change the good vs. evil theme, as that is part of what I enjoy about Fable. There are not many games out there were you can change the game play so much by your decisions. So this is what really helps fable to stand out.
When I first came upon the new weapons in Fable 3, I was intrigued. They set it up so that you can build on any weapon that you use. No complication required, just pick any weapon and use it to upgrade it's power. This is for both guns and melee weapons.
Though this idea seemed like a really good one at first, I found that throughout the game, it really sucked. There was no way to add anything extra special to the weapons. The epic weapons were pretty much the same as the regular weapons, except that they can open one of the Demon doors and they tend to glow a bit more.
On top of the weapons being rather dull, there really wasn't as much of a selection as there was in the previous fable games. There are maybe the a dozen or so weapons, all of which are pretty uninteresting, other then there names (there is one called the "facemelter").
Armor & Clothing
I was really disappointed to learn that they removed the option for armor that had any real power. In this game you could walk around naked and have the same protection as if you had on a full suit of armor. It makes no difference.
On top of that weakness, the clothing in the game was really uninteresting. There weren't that many options for what you could wear, and other than some compliments or insults from the games characters, it really made no difference for the game play.
The graphics were decent, and at least no worse then Fable 2's graphics, though I can't really say they were any better either. I was a little disappointed that you grow in your goodness or evility, you don't gain as much of a "glow" as you did in previous games.
I was surprised to find that Fable 3 had quiet a big of lag going on, especially when you open up your game to other xbox live players. Though even without the addition of xbox live gameplay, the game still lagged in a lot of places, including times when you need to hold hands and bring a computer character somewhere, as well as when you are working one of the jobs available to you in fable.
This is definitely something good that I can say for Fable 3, there are a lot of side quests. Though I have to admit up front, that most of them are pretty uninteresting. They save the majority of the drama and interest for the main storyline quests, and the rest of more just there for posterity.
You can open demon doors, as with the other fables. You can get married, have babies, adopt children and manage families. You can run errands for the towns folk, find hidden objects, search for annoying gnomes and find silver keys. You can work with expression statues and unlock special doors.
Xbox Live Play
Playing with other Xbox Live members is still fairly new for Fable. In Fable 2, they still had a lot of kinks to work out, which it appears they managed fairly well in Fable 3. There were not as many bugs in the game play when you connect to live, and they even added a few demon doors that require you to play with other live members.
In this fable, you can also marry another xbox live player, start a business partnership or have group sex. These options do make things more interesting, as long as you don't wind up playing with someone under 10 years old.
The age differences of the xbox live players is the only gripe I would have here. Not all players have microphones, so you can't tell how old a person is that you are playing with. As an adult, I find it amusing to have group sex with other xbox live players, but as a parent I find it irresponsible to allow very young players into the game to mingle with adults in such an activity. It's just not right.
I can definitely tell you that the game was not worth the $60 it started out at. Even now, I am sure the I paid for it, was more for the anticipation then for the actual game. It might be worth $20, and be a good game to pass on to your kids (if you don't mind them having sex in a video game).
Rating: 2.5 Stars
I would have given this game more stars, except that I really think they beat themselves with the ugly stick by trying to cater to both young and adult players. A game that involves having sex and drinking, could never be considered a good G-rated game. Yet the makers of fable still seem to want to hold onto what younger players they have. This is very apparent in the lack of any real challenge in the games main story line, side quests or combat. It was way to easy.
Overall, with the graphics, game play, storyline, weapons, armor, quests and characters - this game really just didn't capture my heart the way the previous fable games did. Within 3 days, even with taking my time to complete side quests and silly business, the game was done. Even another few days exploring the options available to me only after the darkness has been beaten, it really wasn't that interesting.
I give Fable III a rating of 2.5 Stars.
Improvements They Could've Made
Main Quest: They could have improved the main quest (dethrown the evil king and defeat the darkness) by adding more decisions, more large important quests and more to do. The way they have it now, they might as well take the sex and drinking out of it and made it into a kids game. It was way to easy to beat.
Weapons: They need more weapons and it would be nice to see them add more upgrade options. It's great to have a weapon that moves up with you, but you should be able to add magic stones/jewels or upgrade them in more ways.
Armor: I really want to see them bring back armor that actually makes a difference in combat. Being able to upgrade and repair your armor would also make a large difference in game play.
Computer Characters: I know it's cheaper to just make a handful of computer characters, but the game would be much better if the characters were a bit more unique.
Families: I like that you can have a child with a mate and then adopt another child. Though it would be awesome if they would allow you to make more than one child with the same partner, or at least allow more than 2 children per home.
Side Quests: The most challenging side quests in this game are hunting for silver keys, rare books and gnomes. Is there nothing more interesting they could have you do? The relationship quests with villagers are interesting for a while, but they just aren't fulfilling.
Price: They either need to lower the price to below $20, or improve the game A LOT in order to match the price paid for the game.