Skip to main content

Review of Fable III

Damon says: Fable III is the most disappointing sequel since The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Laura says: I was disappointed. The worst part was that the game was okay - maybe a 6/10 or 7/10 thanks to the Darkness Incarnate quest. It wasn't great, but it wasn't so poor that I felt I could legitimately hate it. The graphics are fun if cartoony, the sound is good, the gameplay is easy, the customization is almost non-existent, and the story is mediocre at best and boring at worst. Oh, and for some of the achievements you need an Xbox Live account, which annoys me to no end.

The environment in Fable III is as rich as ever. Plenty of different regions, all with different climates, peopled by various citizens/denizens/enemies that change as you play. As always, the people of Albion are incredibly chatty, but since Lionhead seems to have supplemented the new stuff they recorded with all the random NPC comments from Fable II, there is enough variation to not drive you crazy.

Playing the game is ridiculously easy. So okay, I was familiar with the gameplay from Fable II, and almost nothing changed, but what did change was dumbed down. Dive spots and dig spots and treasure chests remain, and The Damn Dog (named for what I spent most of the game calling him) was as useless as ever in spotting them for me. The only real novelty was the map, which made fast travel easy (although I didn't realize that highlighting a house would make you travel there, and spent a ridiculous amount of time sprinting through Mourningwood), and buying property a cinch. However, they managed to ruin even this by making you have to repair the residential properties you own every few hours or so. That's right, someone thought it would be fun to make you click on every single house with a key flag, and then scroll down to click repair, and then click back to zoom out, and then repeat ad nauseum until that region was done, and then start on the next one. (Think that was a lot of "and then"s? Try spending 20 minutes repairing houses. In its way, it was worse than ME 2's planet scanning.) As for combat, most of the enemies were the same as those in Fable II, only even easier to defeat. You just press Y few times, maybe hold down B, then hold X and a a direction. Most of the enemies can be defeated by holding B.

Oh noez! Dey be teazin mah dawg!
In an effort to make the game more accessible (apparently making the combat so easy that Miranda sitting on the controller could dispatch a group of Balvarines wasn't enough), Lionhead dispensed with much of the customization. Gone are weapon augmentations (to be replaced with set augmentations that you earn like you would achievements, and Hero weapons that are supposed to reflect your fighting style, but seemed to just look prettier as the game progressed - what are you saying about my fighting style, Lionhead?), gone is an inventory in any accessible sense, gone is anything else you could customize, although for some reason furniture qualities and clothing dyes remain.

My favorite part of any video game is always going to be the story. The story is the reason I keep returning to games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect, or even Fable II: I love video games that feel like Choose Your Own Adventure books, or that have a story that I can keep playing, like reading one of my favorite novels for the upteenth time. I like depth and breadth and content in a story, and I'll tolerate glitches, clipping, and even mediocre gameplay to know what happens at the end of the game. Fable II delivered. Fable III did not.  The best part of the story was the animation at the beginning with the chicken escaping through Bowerstone Industrial. Unfortunately, this encompassed the introductory few minutes of the game. Doubly unfortunately, it also served as one of the trailers for Fable III, so I'd seen it already. I felt nothing for the Hero I was playing as. She had no recognizable motivations for the decisions she was making, other than the fact that they were (quite obviously) morally right. I formed no attachments to the major NPCs (except Ben Finn, because, c'mon, it's Simon Pegg, and then it wouldn't even let me marry him. WTF, Lionhead?), but equally couldn't muster up any animosity toward Logan, the initial villain. The only highlight was the Darkness Incarnate quest. For a brief hour or so, after I followed Ben Finn out of the sewers of Bowerstone Industrial, the story - the game - got awesome. And then I was in the City of Aurora, and the suckage (sorry, but it was) resumed. Even the "new" "exciting" "twists" that were the royal decisions failed to relieve the tedium of my 54th "go fetch" friend quest. The tiny bit leading up to the boss battle at the end was fun again, but the boss battle was a joke. What happened to Reaver shooting Lucien Fairfax if you took too long to do it yourself? That was awesome. The end of Fable III - okay, most of the game - was not.

Oh, and one of my royal decisions resulted in all of Albion vomiting, all over, all the time, which made doing the post-main storyline quests significantly less entertaining. It was funny for all of five seconds, and then it got gross, and then it got boring, and annoying.

Fable II was so good! What happened, Lionhead?
Xbox 360
Damon played: 13 hours
Laura played: 38 hours
Damon says: If you have the urge to play Fable, do yourself a favor and just play Fable II again.
Laura says: It felt like Fable II DLC.
Replay Value
Damon says: Didn't finish and never will.
Laura says: Done. Unlikely to play through as an evil Hero, although I am curious to see the outcomes of the "evil" decisions. And I missed the Coronation Chicken achievement, which after all has a pretty funny name.
Favorite Part
Damon says: The singing chickens made me chuckle.
Laura says: The Darkness Incarnate quest.
Fun Factor
Damon says: There was about 1 hour of intriguing story line in Aurora.
Laura says: Well, I liked Fable II a lot, and I started playing through the DLC before getting distracted. This just felt like more Fable II DLC - not as good as the game, but still retaining some entertainment value.
Damon says: Friend quests, repairing property, boring combat, boring story, broken glowing path, annoying region loading transitions (it's too easy to accidentally trigger a long loading screen to only have to do it again)... I could go on but it's hardly worth it.
Laura says: Lots of minor glitches. Friend quests - I felt like the Albion Postal Service. The combat is pretty boring. The story failed to suck me in. And what was with the myriad "find these 30/30/50/54 things" quests?

Popular posts from this blog

Email Injection

Not so long ago, I ran a wiki called SecurePHP. On that wiki, there was one particular article about email injection that received a lot of attention. Naturally, with all the attention came lots of spam. As a result, I disabled editing of the wiki and content stagnated. Still, the email injection article remained popular. About a year later, the server that hosted SecurePHP died and I never had a chance to hook it all back up. I saved the article though and I'm reposting it now. It may be a bit old (I've been away from PHP for a long time), and I didn't write all of it, so feel free to leave comments about needed updates and corrections. Though this article focuses on PHP, it provides a lot of general information regarding email injection attacks. The PHP mail() Function There are a lot of ways to send anonymous emails, some use it to mass mail, some use it to spoof identity, and some (a few) use it to send email anonymously. Usually a web mailform using the mail() funct
Read more

Bot Commander r1 Released

I just published Bot Commander , the code for my Lego NXT rover . There's a lot left to be done, but release early and often, right? Currently it provides a UI for controlling the direction and speed of all three motor ports on the NXT brick. You can link motors together to adjust their speed in unison. In addition, you can enable "Tilt Control" for a steering-wheel-type experience. To use tilt control: Hook up motor A and B to be the left and right wheels of your vehicle. Hold the phone sideways (i.e. landscape). Tilt the phone forward and backward to drive forward and backward. Turn the phone right and left (like a steering wheel) to steer right and left. As you tilt the phone, you'll see the UI update the slider controls for the speed of motors A and B. I plan to expand the UI to provide a lot more than just motor control. Before that, though, I'll push a JAR to make it easy to integrate control of Lego NXT robots into your own Android project. The code
Read more

Android Recipes and Snippets

I've put together a small collection of Android recipes. For each of these recipes, this is an instance of Context (more specifically, Activity or Service ) unless otherwise noted. Enjoy :) Intents One of the coolest things about Android is Intents . The two most common uses of Intents are starting an Activity (open an email, contact, etc.) and starting an Activity for a result (scan a barcode, take a picture to attach to an email, etc.). Intents are specified primarily using action strings and URIs. Here are some things you can do with the android.intent.action.VIEW action and startActivity() . Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW); // Choose a value for uri from the following. // Search Google Maps: geo:0,0?q=query // Show contacts: content://contacts/people // Show a URL: intent.setData(Uri.parse(uri)); intent.setFlags(Intent.FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK); startActivity(intent); Other useful action/URI pairs include: Intent.ACTION_DIAL , tel://867530
Read more