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

  • RPG-fan

    Is this what Peter Molyneux was talking about when it's going to piss us fans off? Geez, even he can't keep his promise on something so easy like pissing off fans. Anyway, that's some interesting changes. As long as I don't have to buy Natal to play Fable 3, I'm happy with that.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:46 PM

    If Fable III has a co-op aspect, hopefully it wont be completely broken and stupid like Fable 2. I really want to be able to see what my friend's hero looks like without having to go over to their house...

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:45 PM
  • LZanta

    "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."

    Am I the only person that wonders why anyone would want to do that?

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:37 PM
  • TheSledBaron

    The weapon thing sounds cool. I always played a good character but felt if I wanted to look the part completely I had a limited choice of weapons.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:35 PM
  • kayderek18

    i was a bit hesitant to read this, fable games kinda tend to get over hyped. This really sounds interesting, if LionHead delivers on what was said above it'll be a pretty badass experience.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:13 PM
  • JimboG

    "You stole from my treasury!? Off with your head! You robbed a merchant!? Off with your head! You offer your allegiance to me for as long as you live?... OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!"

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:08 PM
  • mcgrottys

    i loved fable II and this sounds really interesting

    Posted: February 11, 2010 6:02 PM
  • scooter3798s

    Interesting...all this did was to make me more excited about it. i still think that the BIG announcement will be at a later date

    Posted: February 11, 2010 5:55 PM
  • merivigian

    Thanks for the information, very descriptive. Sounds like it will be a fun new Fable title.

    Posted: February 11, 2010 5:46 PM