Community Review: Fable III

Community Review: Fable III

I’ve got a backlog. A chronic one. In that backlog is Fable III – I haven’t even broken the seal yet.

My question to you, reviewers of the community, is should I bother? Does Fable III live up to the hype?

I’ve been hearing some mixed reviews, Nick Broughall, Editor of our sister site Gizmodo was having a whinge about the ending to me yesterday and it’s kinda put me off giving the game a whirl.

What do you guys think? Is it worth the time investment or should I just keep playing Rock Band 3 until I spontaneously combust?



    …. on a more productive note, it started off great but once again I found the moral choices to be lacking and at times inconsequential compared to other games like Fallout.

    Also the ending was terrible…. pity because it did have some great points like the start button ‘menu’ and John Cleese.

    It’s almost a step backwards from Fable 2

    • How about “Greyble” because of the abusive reduction in contrast that sucked all fantasy from the Fable world?

  • I think I’m having the same problem as you, with too many other games to play.

    I get home and play Rock Band 3 until my arms & legs are about to fall off. Then decide to play “a level or two” of Super Meat Boy, which inevitably turns into an hour or more. I usually take a break around 9:30 to see if there are any easy daily challenges for Halo: Reach.

    By the time I bother firing up Fable 3, it’s so late that I hardly get anything done before going bed.

    That said, I am enjoying it so far, even if many of the RPG elements have been dumbed down. If it had been released at a different time of the year, I think I may have been unable to tear myself away from it. I’m just busy with all the other good games I’ve got.

  • Well, it really depends on what you want out of the game. If you’re looking for an deep RPG then you’re looking at the wrong game. Fable 3 Doesn’t have deep rpg mechanics like stats, nor does it have the combat.

    What it does have is a world to push and pull against and see how your actions shape it.

  • Something about it doesn’t sit right with me, and I’ve always been one to ignore all the hype with the fable series. Fable 1 was good, 2 was different, a little simple, but good.

    Fable 3 seems…. far too stripped back. I miss menus in shops, I miss having control of my inventory, I miss doing mass crowd appeals and having people following me everywhere with love hearts over their heads.

    To sum it up: It feels like a game I’d teach my grandmother how to play. It just feels far too dumbed down, even compared to Fable 2, which I really liked. No Health Bar, No Inventory, No choices which don’t have you going either incredibly bad or incredibly good…. It’s been dumbed down far too much for me to really invest myself in it.

    • Oh yeah, fetch quests to make friends, what the hell? I want my legion of horny people following me, just because I’m sexy, good and rich! Not doing stupid fetch quests just to turn someone from an acquaintance to a friend!

      Combat is good, like Batman: Arkham Asylum Lite.

  • Having a whinge, eh? I’d call it listing the games failings in an eloquent, yet passionate manner as a fan of the series feeling the sting of disappointment in a failed approach to link morality with currency. But whatever 🙂

    Also, Gizmodo is definitely Kotaku’s big brother. Just to clarify 😉

  • I’m about 15 hours in and I’m enjoying what I’ve played so far. I had been wondering if I should bother as well, I’m glad I picked it up. The world is full of life and funny to boot! It’s not going to set the world on fire but I think it’s good enough to invest my limited time into.

  • Fable 3 won’t take you long, 20 hours tops if you savour it like I did, 7 hours if you rush through it. Probably better to save for when you don’t have as many games coming out. Also, you have nothing on my pile of shame. NOTHING!

    • 20 hours if you savour it? if you savour it and do every fuckin sidequest, all demon doors, all gnomes, all keys, 100% completion, 20 hours is like 1/3 if not 1/4 of the way through, you sir, you fail.

      • I’m not talking about the donkey-kong-64-level of collectables, talking about simply taking your time with the game and actually doing extra things, such as getting married, having kids, playing some co-op, and generally having fun with the game. Not everyone counts ‘finishing’ the same as ‘100%-ing’ a game- if was to try 100%-ing every game I owned, I would still be up to the N64 era in my backlog. Most of us just don’t have the time.

  • OK, I have a moderate post about it earlier that I’m too lazy to grab, so I’ll go in some other directions: It’s always obvious what the good or evil choices are, however sometimes you do need to do the wrong thing for the right reason, and for that, I congratulate Lionhead on finally getting it right.

    On the downside, the ending is about as satisfying as half a Cruskit, and its leveling system has been stupidly simplified. I also mourn the loss of the pure/corrupt system, and the fact that it seems to have way less enemy types than any fable before it.

    Despite this, I did enjoy it, and will probably go for 100% completion.

    • It also seems to be going for less obvious ramifications, but having it for far more stuff. I guess the problem with this, is that unless you look really hard, you might not see a difference, and even if you do, you might just be making it up to try and convince yourself that Lionhead has delivered. There’s also just a lot of little things that if you burn through the game you’ll probably never find (Or again, maybe I’m just trying to defend the weak entry in a series that I really love).

      My advice, if you’re not a weird obsessive fan (such as myself), wait until they’ve released some dlc for it, or hell, wait for the special edition containing all the dlc, because it will come, and it will be overpriced, but there’s a slim possibility that maybe it will fix the problems the game has.

  • It’s just overwhelmingly mediocre. Or should that be “underwhelmingly”? Either way, it’s not terrible but I’d wager your time is more valuable than what this game is asking for – even though it’s only twelve hours long. Then again, if you don’t play it you’ll be denied the right to explicitly how many babies Peter Molyneux killed, and why they were sacrificed in order to make the game.

  • For me, it seems like Lionhead are pushing towards a menuless RPG. The opening is strong and the humor of previous games has returned.
    While I haven’t finished the game yet, I enjoyed seeing how Albion has changed and evolved.
    Fable 3 trades number and inventory management depth for decision depth, at least that’s what it seems to be aiming for.
    Unfortunately, after the first choice which made me hesitate for at least 30 seconds wondering about the possible repercussions, the following choices seem less significant.
    I would like to see Fable take a Witcher choice to choice, where decisiions have long-term and unexpected outcomes, and have a greater effect on your path.
    They may have been aiming for this, but at the moment it seems they have failed.

  • I got this game for $80 and then traded it for $93 but i feel slighty ripped off. played around 15hrs and probably 3hrs of that was main questing the rest just left the xbox on to make more money and achievement whoring

  • I’m about to start my second playthrough.

    It just seems really, really simplified.

    I understand their motives in making everthing accessable, but they’ve removed some of the basics.

    I hope they patch some of it back.
    Shops should have more than one item… and there should be more than 8 or 9 choices once your king.
    Also, why isn’t puting off a decision one of the options… castle interior design is not so important that it can’t wait until after the final boss.
    The final boss was also a bit of a let down.
    Graphically, it’s the traditional level of Fable beautiful… but it does seem to really bog down every so often.
    If the butler is going to tell me there are new items in the sanctuary shop every 5 minutes… there had better be new items in the shop, not just the one item I’m not buying.

    The voice acting is great, but the fetch quests are bothersome.
    Combat is fairly casual… but there’s no way of knowing how many potions you have until combat starts.

    Gnomes are the new gargoyles… and there’s still good fun to be found shooting everyone of the buggers.

    Also, I cannot find a way to buy Ben Finns sword…

    • Does starting a new game delete your previous game progress? I want to have an alternative character but still want to be able to go back to my previous game save to complete the collectible achievements.

      • I’ve heard yes… but I honestly haven’t checked.
        I’m also not going to have the sanctuary yet either… which is where I imagine you’d need to access it.

  • I’m only just getting started on Fable III after F:NV and I decided to take a break and see other games for a while. I’m also underwhelmed by it, especially the inventory management, or total lack there of. It’s not bad, it’s just… well… a little bland.

  • Hey mark my post ended up rather long and I was thinking of turning it into a reader review.
    Does it still have to be in the loved/hated format?

  • So far, it just seems like a slightly tweaked version of Fable 2. Some good points, some bad points, but nothing exceptional either way.

    Some of the writing and humour does stand out, like the Game (I lost) quest but this is a game that can definitely wait to be played later.

  • I feel that much of the freedom of expression was taken away. You can do 1 emote for evil, good and silly. the radial wheel of emotions is gone, for no reason. the shop menus and pause menus are horrid and the map resembles a TINY fraction of what the game world is like. I.E barely anything is where it should be via the map.

    But its a lot of fun to play, single player or multiplayer. the wit, dialogue and moments of the game are hilarious, and some of the characters are very well written, i felt close to my dog and walter, and i miss john cleese (He bugged out and had a brain aneurysm.

    personally, i think it needed atleast 6 more months of polishing, and the big event at the end was over far too soon. Microsoft need to back off and let lionhead have more time if they want to continue making this franchise, it was barely an improvement on #2.

    to sum it up its great fun to play, and explore, its well written and immersive. Pretty too

    the negatives are: its too buggy, the menus, ALL OF THEM are horrid, the shop, emotion choices are few and idiotic. the hairstyles and clothing lack in this area too. It also needs more boss fights again and to be more difficult.
    It’s also too short.

  • Fable III was great and then I became Queen. It turned from a game where I was frying and freezing Hollowmen to my hearts content to something more akin to the Sims. I’m in so much debt it’s not funny and I’m tried of micromanagement. Stupid lousy tenants wrecking my houses.

  • I rented it. finished it. took it back, and was glad I didnt buy it. It’s like developers don’t even care anymore, they just know enough people are going to buy this shit anyway.

  • If you don’t go in with high expectations, Fable 3 is fun.

    The dog is still stupid, and the breadcrumbs trail is still borked. The combat is rather simple. The king/queen section is rather simplistic and unfulfilling.

    But the writing is largely top-notch. Lots of clever and funny dialogue. And the voice-acting is stupendous. You’ve got Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, and many more.

  • Captivating, beautiful, relaxing, funny, too damn simple.
    Maybe coming from games like Total War or RTS’s I was expecting a little more ‘strategic’ from the king mode.
    But what really ticked me was the ‘accessibility’ factor of this game they removed too much to an audience that’s too busy with Assassins Creed or Call Of Duty. The best parts of Fable 3 aren’t from the action-y moments but rather from taking a daily stroll to the next town.. until a white balverine shows up.
    Like Mass Effect 2 Fable 2 looks like it had different priorities to get straight first but Fable 3 has almost nothing to do with Fable or TLC.
    BTW try being good and not being in debt, it’s a fun if grind-y challenge. 2 million and counting baby.

  • Managed to get $80 trade in at EB today (JB offered $40 and GAME $50), so I’m marginally relieved that I was able to offload it without losing too much money.

    I agree that it had a lot of promise and was extremely well-written and presented, but the gameplay was far too simplistic to ever satisfy what I’d consider an RPG or even a well-designed adventure game. All the charm and wit in the world doesn’t rescue some dreadful combat mechanics, story and the rushed ending.

  • Sorry but wtf are all you people talking about? it sounds like you’ve all just done the main part of the quest in 5 seconds flat and completely dismissed the depth of it and immersed yourself in the story, it’s a great game, and you QQing coz you have to do something to make a friend? Uhh that’s normal, what are you gunna go out on the street and tell someone to be your friend for no random reason? and the emotions are randomized, who cares what you do? it results in them hating or liking you, though I do think the shops are lame only selling like 1 thing. the morality choices are great, they do have consequential effects, spare saker and his mercenaries fight for you, kill him and they don’t, if you play as king for long enough if you’re evil people try to rebel against you and assassinate you, all I have to say to you whiners, is learn how to do sidequests, and do more then the main quest in 5 seconds flat. the ending is fine, it’s called a twist, omg walter died QQ more seriously, I didn’t personally like Fallout’s ending, but it was a good one, you have to look at it from a neutral standpoint not your own personal feelings. Walter dieing, the darkness coming, was a good twist. a good end. and it was obvious the whole time walter was going to die, he’s your right hand man in a big adventure, have you guys played no other games?

    • Dude, settle down. The game has been recieved well, people just have differing opinions. Personally, I had three husbands, 6 kids, owned every building in Albion (and Aurora), got about half the collectibles (of which there was a ridiculous amount of), about 30 gnomes (Which I enjoy hunting thanks to the hilarious insults), opened all the demon doors except the one you need co-op for (will get that later), and plan to play through the entire game again on a friend’s world through co-op.
      *SPOILER ALERT* The ending was a letdown not because Walter died (you’re right, that was obvious, but you still felt bad), but because once again, Lionhead gave us a pushover final battle. With Lucien in the spire, it was understandable because he was just a guy, but with this shadow demon, you sort of expect it to be a bit… meatier. Also, where was the army I raised 6.5 million gold (no mean feat) to defend Albion? I didn’t see it. AT ALL. What’s the point of raising such a large amount of money if you don’t even see a cutscene of your character sending them off to battle? There’s absolutely no payoff whatsoever, the game just magically deducts 6.5 million of your hard-earned cash and expects you to be fine with that. And then there’s the fact that the day counter until the attack dropped so erratically, that you actually didn’t know how much time you had until the big day of reckoning was upon you. I know a fair few people who got screwed over by that, and ended up a world populated by 20 people who hated them as a result, completely screwing over their character. It was a bad design choice on Lionhead’s behalf- a bad design choice that did have an impact on people’s enjoyment of the game. This is plenty to love about Fable III, and I will definitely be playing through it again when I’ve finished some other games I have waiting (Assassin’s Creed II comes to mind), but it definitely isn’t perfect, and you should stop defending the game like it is.

  • I have to admit, I’m surprised that so many people aren’t enjoying it more. Granted, I haven’t finished it yet, and everyone seems to think that the ending will ruin it, so I reserve my final opinion. But so far (I’m 100 days out from the attack), I’ve enjoyed it a lot.

    I actually like the King/Queen side of it so far… I don’t really think the choices are as black and white as what everyone says… there’s obviousl long term ramifications for one thing, and sometimes both choices are grey, rather than black or white. (Do you let everyone drink as much as they want, or do you band alcohol).

    There are of course elements which could be improved… but in my opinion, every game has these. I loved the fact that the hero speaks, I’m not a big fan of silent protagonists. For that reason, I find the story more engaging than fable 2. And I like the sanctuary replacing a standard menu.

    Anyway, lets see if my like for the game changes after the ending!

  • I liked fable 2 and I like fable 3, but what really annoys me is that the first Fable was the best, and by simplifying the series so much they are worse than the original. That said they still beat most other games.

  • I was expecting this type of reception of the game. Luckily I learnt my lesson with fable 2. I love Fable 1 though, go figure.

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