Usambara wrote:Actually 3 is on PC.. but I see its now a early 2011 release.
I think PC will win for me, the whole sitting in Lounge playing games is just a bit weird.
ToMeK wrote:It's out on Pc now but everyone I tell that im thinking of buying this game tells me not to bother...
The third-person role playing Fable series has had an interesting run in the gaming world.
Creator Lionhead studios and Peter Molyneux - the mastermind behind the project - are notorious for promising eagerly-awaiting fans the world and delivering a substandard product at best.
But after a fairly solid run on the Xbox 360, the latest installment in the series, creatively dubbed Fable 3, is hitting PCs months after its console counterpart.
Has it been worth the wait though? And after the over-hyped spouting from none other than Mr Molyneux himself, can the game ever live up to expectations?
While I’m tempted to just say no and move on, I’ve done a little better, given the game a fair go and even written a review for your enjoyment!
So what’s it all about?
Well the story follows the tale of a young prince or princess (you get to choose) and their struggle with the changing world around them.
With your evil king brother ruling the land into the ground, revolution is in the air and it’s up to you to win over the heart’s and mind’s of the people and lead them into battle against your brother and his oppressive patriarchy.
So late one night you escape the confines of the castle and trek into the wilderness with two companions.
And so begins your quest to claim the throne.
From here you’re basically given free range in the world of Albion and exactly how you go about achieving your ultimate goal is entirely up to you.
Do you want to be the kind-hearted hero who leads by example, or a dastardly villain manipulating the crowd?
The choice is yours.
There’s a lot to see and do in the world of Fable and one of the staples of the game is the interesting moral choice mechanic.
It’s entirely possible to walk up to a villager, burp directly into their face, kill them and then bed their wife.
Now that may seem like a strange string of events, but the people of Albion are basically your play things and as your ultimate goal is to either win them over or make them side with you by force, they are ready to be manipulated or led.
While it is possible to go off the beaten track and explore the world, following the main storyline has you trekking from town to town, mingling with the villagers, (or killing and sleeping with them, your choice remember) and gathering an army.
Predictably though, performing heinous acts will give you the reputation as a bit of scoundrel and depending on the level and degree of your wicked deeds, you’ll actually sprout wings and horns.
While taking the heroic approach will give you the reputation of a kind-hearted soul and the people of the land will treat you accordingly.
It’s an interesting little mechanic and once you (spoiler alert) take the throne, the game doesn’t actually end.
You’re forced to hold up your end of the bargain and live up to all the promises you’ve made to the people who helped put you in power.
While I can see what the developers were going for here, the very same mechanic that makes it work also takes away from the experience.
Because the people of Albion are basically mindless sheep to be herded, you don’t really come to care about them in any meaningful way.
So when they come knocking asking for help towards the game’s end, it’s hard to give a damn.
As with just about every RPG in existence, combat also plays a huge role in the game as well.
Enemies will block your path at almost every turn and you’re given three main tools to dispatch them with.
A melee weapon, a firearm and a variety of magic spells.
Each individual weapon increases in power over time and each also has the ability to deliver a powerful, timed blow by charging an attack.
Unfortunately and as fun as mixing shooting with stabbing and burning sounds, combat is a bit of a bore.
You only have one attack button, left click.
So basically, combat boils down to frantically clicking and watching as your character flails about slashing, shooting, or spellcasting in every direction.
It actually gets pretty comical at some points and this oversimplified combat model doesn’t exactly have you aching to try out that new sword you’ve found, because it’ll slash in an identical fashion to the one you had at the start of the game.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, because despite Fable’s many flaws, there is a fair bit to like as well.
For one, the game has a very distinct, stylised look that I genuinely enjoyed.
While It can’t really compete with some of the more technically impressive titles of late, like The Witcher 2, Fable and the world of Albion is bright, colourful and a joy to explore.
Through your travels you’ll visit snowy mountain peaks, marshy swamps, bustling industrial cities and downtrodden peasant villages to name a few.
The characters also have a slightly goofy look about them that helps add a fair bit of humour to the game.
There are a number of interesting set pieces throughout the game as well and while only a few of your regal decisions have wide-reaching effects, the moral choice mechanic is an interesting and well-released concept.
Another and perhaps much more personal aspect of the game I enjoyed was the voice work provided by the star studded cast.
Which Include the likes of British comedy legends John Cleese and Stephen Fry, Michael Fassbender, (who is playing Magneto in the upcoming X-Men First Class movie) Simon Pegg, Ben Kingsley and Bernard Hill.
All perform their roles impeccably and help to add depth to the game.
All in all though and despite the admirable efforts by the ensemble cast and the design crew, I rate Fable 3 as a fairly uneven title at best.
Some sections of the game are a lot of fun to play through, but niggling issues like repetitive quests, oversimplified combat and sporadic pacing, stops the game from achieving greatness.
There’s a lot of fun to be had here though and it’s a game that you really need to invest some solid time with to experience it all.
So you’ll certainly get your money’s worth if you’re looking for a title that keeps you busy for longer than a day or two.
But if you haven’t played a Fable title in the past (like myself) but have played a number of RPGs before (also like myself), you may come away a little bemused with the overall package.
Published by: Microsoft
Developed by: Lionhead Studios
Release Date: Australia: May 19, 2011
Also Available On: Xbox 360
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