Ever had a game where you’re like, “I’m not shelling out my hard-earned cash for that $50 POS game”? You’d read the reviews, you’d talked to your friends, and you decided that the game wasn’t worth it. Only, come to find out due to a chain of events that led you to play the game, that you were actually really into it.
Recently, that game for me has been Fable III.
I had played Fable II and loved it, although I had a hard time trying an “evil” character because I put too much importance into virtual people and couldn’t bring myself to be mean to most of them. I was actually excited when I had first heard about Fable III coming out, and then I read some of the reviews. What’s worse, I talked with a couple friends who had actually bought the game after the release, and they hated it.
“There’s no menu anymore, just some sanctuary thing.”
“Multiplayer is worthless.”
“The dog can’t play fetch because it’s dumb.”
“You end up holding hands with a lot of people for ‘escort’ quests.”
“A waste of four hours of my time.”
Well, LAME, right? They pretty much took a lot of the fun I had in Fable II and sucked the life out of it. There’s no way I’m going to buy it and waste my time.
Flash forward a few years later. I have an opportunity to do a survey for Microsoft, and they compensate me by sending me a free game, which just so happens to be Fable III. Well, it’s free now, so I might as well play it.
And, OH MY GOD, were my friends wrong. Call me stupid, but I love this game.
The sanctuary is actually an interactive menu, which I love. It took me awhile to get used to it, but John Cleese as Jasper is just great, and it really does feel like a second home, or the Batcave.
The dog is pretty dumb, and has never fetched anything I’ve thrown out, but it doesn’t matter, because he KICKS ASS. This dog is a fighter, and as loyal as they come. AND, he’s a better treasure hunter than in Fable II, also. Shame they let you change it into a poodle if you want to, though.
The NPCs in the game have just as much life, if not more. I’ve actually come to find I enjoy going back to my home village of Brightwall to visit my husband and kids, and kick back and enjoy the conversation with the villagers.
Now, onto the things I’m not particularly thrilled with.
The damn garden gnomes. I seriously had a mini heart attack when I walked into the garden gnome grove at night for the first time. (Granted, I had just stopped playing ‘Fear’ right beforehand, and was still a little jumpy.) At this point, I had not activated the quest yet, so they were all just sitting there… silent… staring at me. These little guys replace the gargoyles from Fable II, and they are mean. The gargoyles threw insults at you, but I actually had passed a few of them just because I was busy. These gnomes, though… if I hear one, it has to die. I will rid the Earth of them all. I guess I understand what Lionhead was thinking when they put gnomes instead of gargoyles, but I just really hate these guys.
Combat: Feels mostly the same as Fable II, however you get “guild seals” now instead of points in whatever you’re actually using to defeat your enemies (melee, magic, or ranged). So you have to go on this “Road to Rule” and use the seals to gain power, instead of gaining power automatically in whatever you choose to do damage with. A little annoying, but tolerable.
Demon Doors are overplayed now. They were amusing in Fable II, but now they’re just annoyances. And honestly, I haven’t opened one that’s been really worth anything. Not that I’ve opened all of them, but I really don’t have any motivation to actually want to.
Hand holding IS actually kind of annoying, but it’s also beneficial, too. For instance, I had a quest to seduce some woman’s husband to help her out. Problem was, I was married already, and my husband is the town crier… right in the middle of town. So, I was able to not piss off my husband by dragging him away, and then moving on with the quest. Most of the time, though, you’re dragging someone somewhere, and they’re just slowing you down. Not the best way to escort, but works better than someone walking ahead of you blindly, getting attacked while you’re opening a treasure chest.
Multiplayer: Whether you’re playing online or co-op, feels very clunky. Not recommended.
Overall, Fable III feels like it’s just been slightly dumbed down, but what they did add to the game still makes it fun to play. Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I go fight nightmares and buy real estate.