Fable III review
- Peter Molyneux
- Fable III
The World of Albion is in peril, the king - who also happens to be your brother, is ruling the land with an iron fist, people are starving and dying, whilst moral is at an all time low. You have a chance to be the saviour of the people, but at what cost to you and them? This is what you must decide, so are you up to the challenge? While we have done our best to ensure this review is as spoiler free as possible there may be a few.
Fable III is a really difficult game to review, there is so much to say, but at the same time so much I don’t want to give away. Straight from the off you are greeted with your protagonist, giving you the choice of being a prince or princesses. Before you know it you are then being roped into starting a revolution, but before you do this you must win over the people and build an army capable of dethroning your brother for good. To help you gather your army and win over the people you are accompanied by Sir Walter, a loyal servant of the kingdom (voiced by Bernard Hill) who has grown tired of the antics of your brother. Also by your side is your trust butler Jasper (voiced by John Cleese), although he spends most of his time in the Sanctuary, which is basically a place which replaces the need for menus, instead allowing you to access the map, change clothes and weapons and view your progress so far in real time. You can also gain access to the multiplayer aspects within this area. The Sanctuary is also a great way to get to the Road of Rule, which is yet another virtual menu system which tracks your progress throughout the game. Visiting the Road of Rule you are met with the sight of the castle in the distance, from here you must travel through the various closed gates, which can be done by earning the trust of the people through completing various tasks and missions. Earning the trust of the people and completing good deeds will earn you seals, each time you pass through a gate you will be able to spend these seals on upgrades, by opening the various treasure chests. Within the chest are new gestures, skills and of course the ability to learn new spells and improve your characters combat abilities. The missions you play during the game are quite varied, sometimes you will be sent on epic hero-like quests, which require you to fight against the odds to win people over; while at other times you will find yourself dressing up as a chicken to win people’s approval or even more bizarrely being pulled into a book and acting out a play (which turns out to be quite awful by the way). The beauty of Fable III is that you choose your path, your destiny is in your hands, therefore one person’s play through may be quite different from another. The main aim throughout the game is to gain the approval of the leaders of Albion, doing this gets their army behind you, and as mention approval is gained in many ways. Once you do gain approval you will usually be asked to make a promise that you will be a better king (or queen), therefore if you decide to promise you will sign a decree and this will be stored on the walls of the Sanctuary, just so you don’t forget. When a leader follows you, a gate in the Road of Rule will open, and this will continue until you have eventually reached the castle gate. Once you build your army you are then tasked with taking on the king, this involves storming the castle before….well I’ll leave the next bit out and you can have a surprise yeah? Anyway, once you have become the leader the game does not end, in fact many would say it’s here that it only just begins. No spoilers here but during your time as leader you will be met with many difficult decisions, a lot of which involve keeping your earlier promises. Now it may sound like a easy task keeping a promise, but believe me when I say, in this case, it isn’t. Combat is quite a curious beast in Fable III, depending on your level of skill and experience, both melee, ranged and magic will change with use. What this means is if you are evil your weapons will be dark and unwieldy, while weapons used for good will glow. If you use the upgrades available in the Road of Rule, you weapon will even lengthen and become more powerful. During combat you can use advanced attacks; bullets can be aimed from a long distance, blowing up barrels and taking the enemies with them; holding down the relevant button will also build up your melee attack, resulting in some devastating finishes on the enemy by your character. You can also use magic in the same way as the melee weapons, while later on you can even combine the gauntlets which hold the magic, causing even more devastating attacks. As well as your weapons morphing, you character does too, so depending on whether you choose to be a good or evil ruler, you will either become dark and ugly or become beautiful. As mentioned briefly, Fable III also includes Xbox Live co-op. The co-op allows you to journey together with a friend and while I was not able to try this due to the feature being disabled at the time of review, I was at least able to test out the local co-op. The local co-op, as you would expect, allows you and a friend to sit together taking out the enemy, player one is still the main character in it all, with the other just along for the ride. It is certainly nice having someone fight alongside you, plus it means there is more than one dog along for the journey, which is pretty awesome. This review wouldn’t be complete without a word about Fable III’s graphics and presentation. What I love above all about this game is the way it morphs depending on your decisions, therefore the World will either become a desolate mess or, with your help, it will prosper and become a bustling, busy place with crowded streets. Fable III is certainly one of the best presented games this year, the sheer variety of beautiful landscapes you will travel through are a joy to behold, while the action itself never slows, with the game always keeping up without fail. One of the main draws to this game is the wonderful voice acting and the variety of characters you will meet throughout your travels. Fable III really does have a personality of its own and the production values on offer here only help to enhance that further. There is so much more I could have written about Fable III, however I didn’t want to spoil what is an epic adventure full of twists and tales. The only way to experience fully what Fable III has to offer is by playing it for yourself, and I personally would highly recommended that you do. Consoles only have a handful of classic fantasy based RPG’s and Fable III has instantly became one of them. Don’t miss out on the part you have to play in this tale.
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