I am going to be completely honest. I have yet to finish Fable 3 as of the moment as I type this, yet I feel I can say everything I need to about this game. I don’t exactly care for “reviews,” ’cause no matter what, someone disagrees with them. So we’ll call this an “opinion” like my piece on the WoW patch. Take into account that there will be a fair amount of SPOILERS in this, you have been warned.
In Fable 3 (or III for you roman numeral lovers) you take on the role as the son of the hero from Fable 2 who assumed the role as King of Albion, in his passing he appointed your brother as the new King who rules with an iron fist. The people are downtrodden, their morale at an all time low as they make ready to rebel against their appointed leader. You are plopped in the middle of the madness as Prince/Princess of Albion, sibling of the King.
Trained and ready, the sh*t hits the fan, the people form a small rebellion on the castle and the first decision of the game is now thrown at you, hard. You have to choose between the love of your life… or a small group of citizens… for execution.
Why did I build that up so much? Because that is where I find the thing that Fable 1 and 2 missed, the weight of your decisions. In the earlier games it felt more like you were just deciding whether to cook a steak medium-rare or medium-well…no matter what, you’d have a steak in the end. Fable 3 places lives in your hands as well as decisions that forever change the face of Albion.
One thing I loved besides the gameplay, which I will get to in a second, is the promises that you make throughout the first half of the game. As you slowly rise to become the leader of the downtrodden you make promises to people, be they to make a once prominent building functional again or a promise for food, money, or clothing. These are things you must tend to when you get into the heart of the game.
When you are crowned King, the decisions you are faced with are now much more numerous and literally the fate of Albion and it’s citizen’s weigh on every decision you make. Either you are the benevolent leader, leading your people into a prospering society that will ultimately lead to their doom, or the King that your brother was, a tyrant… which will lead your people to hate you as much as your brother, but insuring their safety against the pending war. And this is where the game might get boring for some, but I feel it actually gets much harder. You are given decisions that are so terrible to some people you couldn’t imagine such an atrocity, but then you are given the alternative, a decision to help the people… with every decision you have a bitter aftertaste, every time you know it will help and hurt, no matter what.
I went through the game as a ruler for the people, starting off helping everyone I could find, but once the crown was layed on top of my head, my whole thought process was flipped. Good, evil… as a king it doesn’t really matter, in the end, they are all for the people of albion.
The decision making is where I feel the meat of the game is, and what it should be praised for. That and the combat, of course.
Combat in this game… how can I put this… is f*cking amazing. People may cry about the lack of weaponry (50+ unique weapons, but all variants of a 1-handed Sword, 2-handed Mace, Pistol and a Rifle). Like in every Fable you are allowed to carry one ranged and one melee weapon and of course, your magic. The melee combat hasn’t really changed, but why change something that is so good, same with ranged combat. One thing in ranged combat that I want to mention is when you are fighting in front of you then have to promptly fire behind you, instead of doing a nice twirl to aim behind you, at least with the rifle, you casually lay your rifle on your shoulder, barrel facing your target and fire… Badass.
Magic combat… well, as much as I praise the combat, the magic has always been flawed to me. Smooth and fluent melee and ranged combat abruptly halted by a 5 second charge of your magic. Yes you can fire a quick shot of magic at a certain target, but that’s like lighting a firecracker and throwing it when you have a stick of dynamite in your other hand, which would you want? And yes, I realize without this charge magic would be massively OP and would render melee and ranged useless, but why does it have to be so boring? Maybe hold the magic button for a second and then it will initiate a quick minigame to press corresponding buttons to successfully fire off a charged magic attack, meh, may not be perfect but it’s a better alternative that getting your ass knocked around while you hold one button for a 5-10 seconds.
You might think my opinion of this game is incredibly high. Sure I’m fond of it, and yes it is pretty great… compared to the last Fable games. Compared to other games, by no means is it a perfect thing. The game suffers from some pretty bad pacing issues before you reach your kinghood and well… not everyone cares for the dog so much, to me, hes a less annoying furry Navi, exactly why I always name my dog that; the dog also glitches from time to time which can get annoying when on a quest searching for buried or hidden treasure. The game itself can also glitch from time to time, also the “relationships” you’re supposed to form don’t exactly work.
My opinion is you should definitely pick up this game. While it isn’t perfect or even fantastic, it’s still a game worth your money and should be praised for actually making decisions in video games feel important. That plus the fluid combat makes this a good buy.