November 2, 2010

The Next Chapter

Lasting First Impressions of Fable III by Lionhead Studios

For some reason I never actually played the original Fable on XBOX yet when Fable II released a few years later, I was actually excited and couldn’t wait to play it.  And play it I did.  On the very first day of putting that gaming into my XBOX360 I played for 13 hours straight though it seemed like only a few.  So you can imagine my rekindled excitement as the release of Fable III drew ever closer.  Peter Molyneux has always been a video game visionary so any new game helmed by Mr. Molyneux receives a great deal of fanfare and Fable III is no different.

Before I continue, I have to be honest and mention that this review comes after more than an hour worth of playing the game.  This is simply because this game just begs to be played.  And played again.  And play just a little more.

In Fable III, you take on the role of the child of your character from Fable II (a prince or princess) who’s brother is the typical ‘evil tyrant’ of the land.  In order to overthrow your dear brother, you must first rally a resistance and organize a revolution and that is the focus of Fable III’s story and the adventure you are set out on.

The team at Lionhead Studios has taken the minimalist approach to controls once again and learning to play Fable III takes absolutely no time at all to master if you have already played the previous Fable II.  One button is for melee, one for ranged weapon, and one for magic.  Want to do a more powerful attack? Simply hold the associated button for a few seconds as the weapon of choice powers up.  It’s really that simple.  The game still takes you through a fairly lengthy tutorial quest though but that is what sets up the entire story.

What I really love about Fable III is the simple laid back approach one can take when playing this game.  You don’t need to follow the main quest continuously.  Feel like just spending an hour or two relaxing in the world of Albion?  You can do that.  Wander around one of the towns and pick up various ‘jobs’ such as Lute Hero or Pie Maker.  The mini-games here are created to mimic music games such as Rock Band or Guitar Hero in that you must press the correct button (A, X, or Y) in time to a scrolling cursor.  The amount of time you have to react increases in difficulty as you progress and this earns you higher gold multipliers.  Every town also has several quests you can complete for each of the townsfolk as you try to level up your influence with them or increase your relationship status with each person in the town.

Much of the time I simply find myself wandering through the game trying to find the many collectibles hidden throughout the levels such as Silver and Gold Keys and the always annoying Gnomes (Fable III’s version of the Gargoyles from Fable II).  One thing that Lionhead does really well is give you the sense that you’re actually just living a life in Albion.  You are free to go and do anything you want, with your trusted canine companion in tow, with absolutely no regard to the main story.  You can continue with that any time you want.

It is obvious that the game creators are the same kind of competitive gamers as you and I.  Every gamer wants to track their stats against their friends and Fable III has a boat load of stats for you to compare and try to beat your friends in.  Every time you accomplish something in this game, a small popup appears comparing you to your friends and showing you when you’ve surpassed one friend and are about to overtake another.  Statistics such as the number of treasure chests found, the number of yards walked, hours played, enemies killed, dig spots found, gold collected, you name it, Fable III tracks it against your friends.  This adds yet another very fun aspect to the game and begs you to keep playing so you can best all your friends!

Fable III is an extremely fun and humourous game to play and the hours simply slip by as you are drawn ever more into the world of Albion.

Lionhead, I gave you more than an hour and I am IMPRESSED and will certainly be playing Fable III for many more hours to come.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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One Comment

  1. Kevin Dorff

    I enjoyed Fable 1 and 2, I’m enjoying Fable 3 as well. We seem to be about neck-and-neck in the stats most of the time.

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