Fable 3 - Xbox 360

Game Description: Of Fable 3: "What would you sacrifice to secure the crown of Albion? " This is the question that players will have to answer as the king or queen of a kingdom in peril in the third installment in the acclaimed Lionhead Studios franchise.
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X10 Report: Fable III

X10 Report: Fable III

By Andrew Pfister - Posted Feb 11, 2010

Fable III, announced at last fall’s GamesCom convention in Germany, is the latest installment in Peter Molyneux’s ambitious action-adventure series/venue for wacky gameplay & meta-life simulation experimentations. Contrary to previous industry scuttlebutt, the amount of Project Natal usage is apparently yet-to-be decided. Some motion-control may still happen, but everything I saw in today’s demo was completely controller-based and familiar to anyone who’s played previous Fable games.

What’s the status?

The lead character of Fable III is actually your 18-year old son from Fable II. Albion is ruled by an evil tyrant, and the goal, as it always seems to be, is to depose him and take over. (At least, that’s the *first* goal…more on that below).

Fable III Concept Art -- Bowerstone Revisited

What we saw:

It was a multi-part demo designed to show off the two main features he wanted us to see pre-GDC. The first, and seemingly most important to Molyneux, is the concept of “touch.” It was shown to us by having your character hold hands with an NPC and lead them around Bowerstone. The first example was finding your daughter and returning her home to your understandably angry wife. The second was finding a bum down on his luck and helping him to his feet. Holding hands is a simple idea, but the effectiveness is going to be the context of what happens. In the case of your daughter, she’ll notice when you walk too close to the pub entrance and remind you that the Missus isn’t a fan of how often you’re there. In the far more hilarious case of the bum, he thinks that you’re helping him out by leading him to shelter…but then freaks out when he realizes that you’ve taken him to the factory and intend to sell him into servitude. Molyenux also noted that the touch concept also carries over into two-player co-operative play. So you can hold hands with your buddy and stroll through the countryside, admiring your handiwork.

The second game mechanic and significant change from previous Fable games is that Molyneux is throwing out some pretty established action-RPG conventions. Namely, on-screen indicators, traditional weapon upgrading, and leveling-up via experience. Done freaking out yet?

Fable III Concept Art -- Bowerstone Revisited

A quick explanation of the changes:

  • Instead of a health bar, we get the “warping and blurring camera perspective” popularized by FPS games.
  • Instead of upgrading weapons, the weapons upgrade themselves both cosmetically and with increased power based on how you use them. Kill a certain type of enemy more often, and the color and texture will change. Keep killing with a certain weapon, and it’ll grow larger and change shape the more you use it. And the glow it emanates will change based on the guilt or innocence of your victims. This is tied to your Xbox Live Gamertag, and you will be forever marked as the one who created it.
  • Leveling-up and experience is replaced by the concept of “followers,” which you accrue and/or lose based on your decisions in the story.

And that’s the most interesting part of Fable III to me. Back at GamesCom during his first announcement, Molyneux talked about the idea of revolution and maintaining rule. The first half of the game, you’re gathering and leading a rebellion to overthrow the tyrant and assume your role as the new leader. But the second half deals with the ramifications of how you got to that power in the first place, and the responsibilities that power now entails. The game won’t change too dramatically – you’ll still be able to go outside and complete quests – but there are two new mechanics introduced. The first is that you can make “judgements” that affect the citizenry. The second is something Molyneux said he’s revealing at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in a few weeks.

When asked if the story would continue once you became King, Molyneux was coy, only willing to again stress that there would be consequences and debts you’ll have to consider related to your rise to power. If I had to hazard a guess as to what that means? Perhaps you’ll have to fend off another young upstart intent on toppling your rule...

Comments are Closed

  • DevilsTreehouse

    i didn't play the sencond fable, but i played the first, and this makes me want to play the third

    Posted: February 12, 2010 9:57 AM
  • LadyVaJedi

    I am not to sure about the hand holding thing and the fact that the health bar isn't there. I am not fond of a blurry screen when your health is low. I don't want to buy a natal controller either.

    Posted: February 12, 2010 8:41 AM
  • Tim_1138

    I'm not sure how holding hands and leading a character around, who then reacts to stuff you walk by is new and/or interesting. The only thing different from, a lot of games (AC2 is the most recent memory I have), is the physical holding of hands instead of just being followed.

    Posted: February 12, 2010 7:21 AM
  • Pyrrhus

    What if Fable III had dialogue trees? i don't know if that would ruin the game or improve it

    Posted: February 12, 2010 6:55 AM
  • Evimaki

    How is this suppossed to piss me off? I love the concept of ruling over a kingdom after I win the throne. Sounds awesome

    Posted: February 12, 2010 6:51 AM
  • Aerindel_Prime

    Yeah, it sounds cool but so did Fable II and that turned out to be one of the worst games ever made.

    uh uh, Peter, I'm not falling for it this time. Go screw somebody else.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 11:41 PM
  • Renaissance Spam

    If I get to actually be king during the second half and rule over my puny subjects, I'm suddenly far more interested in this game than I was previously. I'm still leery (as I ALWAYS seem to be) but I think I might actually follow this a bit more.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 11:31 PM
  • sdcrews

    I'm still playing Fable 2 so I can't wait to play this over and over again as well. I just hope there;s a way to get a new dog if it gets killed in this one.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 9:52 PM
  • grunge sofa

    So... I'm mad?
    I'm not sure who is upset.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 9:07 PM
  • Attifire

    I'm so happy the people didn't get pissed. I think everyone's far more intrigued on how Peter and Lionhead will incorporate these changes, I know I am. Bring it I say! Give me the game I wanted since Fable I!

    Posted: February 11, 2010 8:52 PM
  • Scrapnoid

    My sister will be so excited about this game. Maybe I'll be the good big brother and pre-order it for her.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 8:42 PM
  • bluepheonixia

    I am decidedly un-angry about this announcement, and Fable III sounds cool from what was said here, though I remain skeptical. I think if any game can do it though, it might be Fable. I remember in Fable II when you had the choice of feeding the prisoners or losing experience. That was probably one of the toughest choices I've had to make in a game, and I think this game might be able to take that to a whole new level. Don't F it up Molyneux!

    Posted: February 11, 2010 8:21 PM
  • thePcgamer

    wait, what was supposed to piss me off?

    Posted: February 11, 2010 8:16 PM
  • IBloodstormI

    Ok, I have a question. Why is it, in every Fable so far, you eventually rule Albion, and then in the next game you are once again a nobody even though you are a descendant of said previous character / ruler?

    Posted: February 11, 2010 8:13 PM
  • d3stroyer427

    I can't wait. Molyneaux is a genius, and Fable is my favorite game ever, so I am anxiously awaiting what will happen.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 7:47 PM
  • Adampro123

    I'm not too sure how i feel about the replacing the health bar with the screen getting blury, i never liked that in any game though i manage to deal hope they give you the option to chose that or the original health bar.

    Anyways im very excited about this game and it will be number 1 on my to buy list in a very stacked year of games.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 7:36 PM
  • rayken15

    I'm all for companies that have the balls to toss gaming conventions. As long as the end result is fun and/or interesting.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 7:33 PM
  • Pyrrhus

    Maybe the fact that I can't upgrade my weapons was supposed to piss me off. I'm stil curious about how natal will fit into the game even though he said that Fable III is being designed for the reg. Xbox 360 controller first and foremost, but that there are some Natal surprises. I really don't think fable was that overhyped because I have several friends that don't even know about fable. halo games are overhyped. But I admit that molyneux tends to be overly ambitious

    Posted: February 11, 2010 7:16 PM
  • Str84twenty

    Good i am very glad the " Big announcement " was not a stupid Natal thing. I am now very excited for this game. : )

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:54 PM
  • gambitjuggalo

    sounds like i can keep enjoying the fable series from this... except maybe the whole holding hands thing.. i still dont get what was supposed to piss me off

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:49 PM