14 January 2011
I HAZ GAME REVIEWS Part Deux - Fable 3
Very few games give you the opportunity to watch your decisions directly affect the world around you. In most of them, what you do doesn't matter.
The Fable franchise provides such an opportunity. Also, it gives you the chance to kick chickens to the delight of those around you.
Admittedly, when I saw the following advert for Fable 3, I knew that I HAD to have that game. I loooooved Fable 2 to the point of playing it half to death, so getting the third installment was a given.
I laughed my head off.
Your brother, the King of Albion, is NUTS. He's turned the kingdom into a mess of poverty. Your job is to gather enough support to lead a revolution and overthrow him. To do this, you make promises and gain the support of important people within the kingdom who will lend you their people to amass your army.
And then the game starts.
You have to figure out if you really have to be cruel to be kind in order to save your people from the creepy threat from the south, or if you can have your cake and eat it too by keeping your promises. You will either be popular or a tyrant. One way or the other. And your people will either be dead or alive after the attack.
Game-y stuff in no particular order (AKA why not to write reviews on sleep meds)
One of the coolest, and definitely most innovative, parts of Fable 3 is that it builds off your Fable 2 file. Meaning that if you were a just and good ruler, your reputation follows suit. If you were...well, evil, then... I don't know. My Hero from F2 was a goody two shoes. I have no issue replaying F2 just to get an evil ruler person. It's fun for me.
One of the other new and super-cool parts of F3 is that your Hero actually talks. It's pretty nice to control a character who actually interacts...
There's a lot of greatness in F3. Compelling story, a slight bit of pressure, and a fab upgrade system as well. Instead of the confusion of an upgrade screen, you get the Road to Rule. Guided by the blind seeress Teresa, you upgrade by spending guild seals on whatever you want. I'm definitely a fan of magic. And rifles. Upgrading easier makes me happy.
There's a lot that I'm not a fan of, though. For me, Fable 2 is a FANTABULOUS game. I think I played through it 4 or 5 times in a row (did the exact same thing with Assassin's Creed 1). A lot of the nuances from F2 are missing in F3. Simple things, like interacting with your dog. Animal lover that I am, I'm a fan of being able to do tricks with your dog, feed him treats, pet him when he's scared, etc. I loved that. But with F3, it seems that interaction has been traded for interaction with people. Holding hands (making all kinds of plaaaaaans), dancing, playing pat-a-cake, etc. is fun, but I like the interaction with the dog more... That's just me...
A lot has carried over from F2, though. Demon doors, Sam and Max, doing ridiculous crap dressed as a chicken...oh, no, that's totally new. I love Fable because it's quirky. It doesn't take itself too seriously in parts while evoking somberness and depth in others.
I made it all the way to the end without dying. So it's not terribly difficult if you learn how to milk the healing system. Think Call of Duty, where if you lay low long enough, you'll heal. Pretty simple to just evade.
Buying stuff feels more difficult, too. But after you become ruler of Albion, you don't really need to spend money at all.
And honestly, some of the meatiest parts of the game come after you overthrow your crazy brother.
The last boss was too easy, though. A lot of magic and a lot of shooting, and he was dead. I was a little angry. I like my final bosses to feel nigh impossible, in the mold of Final Fantasy or even Legend of Dragoon. Boss fights that can last for an hour. I LOVE those because I feel like everything I've done up to that point has been worth doing.
The game can also get glitchy in spots, especially where the dog's concerned. It almost feels like he's an afterthought rather than a vital part of the game (like in F2). When he finds dig spots or treasure, most of the time, he doesn't or can't go near it. He gets stuck behind boulders or mountains, or something ridiculous. And he doesn't always take opportunities to attack. If they'd put as much thought into this one as they did to the mutt in F2, then there wouldn't be this huge disconnect between the dog and the player. Seems like it wouldn't be a big deal, but as I mentioned before, I'm an animal lover.
Overall, the game is worth getting and playing. These games have serious replay value. Just to get either high moral standing and popularity OR to become a tyrant.