Released in 2010 by the ever amusing Peter Molyneux and his Lionhead Studios, Fable III was the third release in the Fable action RPG franchise, and I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed it.
The story is set in the fantasy kingdom of Albion, a good fifty years or so since the events of Fable II. You play as the unnamed hero, who must free the oppressed kingdom from the tyrannical rule of your brother Logan, who appears to have gone mad on power. In order to do this you must first become a hero, with the ability to wield both weapons and magic, followed by numerous quests, with your ever faithful dog by your side, in which you gather loyal friends and supporters, eventually enough for your full-blown revolution against the king to take place!
While at the heart of it all Fable III is a classic RPG with pretty much all of those standard elements in place, in practice however it is a slickly streamlined (watered down to purists mind you) experience, with a simple one button for each ability combat system, a glowing trail to lead you directly to your objective, and a map system to allow for fast travel between locations.
There is a small but decent variety of melee weapons, guns, and magic gauntlets to collect and use, and the customization aspect in terms of appearance works particularly well. Outside of combat and main quest fulfillment, the game throws plenty of subquests in the mix as well, not to mention the fun system of interacting with NPCs in order to befriend them, and in some cases to even take on as lovers and partners, complete with unplanned pregnancies and even the odd STD for fun. There is money to be made and spent through some fun mini games, and if you want, you can become a bit of a land tycoon, buying up and renting out properties and businesses left, right and center.
Locales and beasties are nice and varied and at times quite beautiful to behold, and as a story, Fable III certainly doesn’t disappoint, laying out an epic tale for you to unfold, filled with drama, adventure, action and even comedy.
Of course, being a British game developer, Lionhead Studios has made a game with a very British feel to it, particularly in terms of the dialogue and dry humor, all of which is nicely brought to life by a slew of popular actors, including the likes of Ben Kingsley, Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, Michael Fassbender, Zoë Wanamaker, Bernard Hill, Nicholas Hoult and John Cleese.
It’s not a particularly difficult game mind you, combat is fairly easy and you can’t really ever die, there aren’t any particularly difficult segments to get through and the game certainly won’t frustrate you in any way. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable game where you have the freedom to make whatever moral choices you want to, it engages you from start to finish and before you know it, it may very well have eaten up a good 20 hours of your life, depending on how you tackle it.
In a way it reminded me a lot of 2004’s The Bard’s Tale (which I also thoroughly enjoyed), and I can certainly recommend this to any gamer who enjoys a bit of RPG action combined with British fun and sensibilities.
(Plus, it was kind of nice to get this as part of Microsoft’s generous Xbox 360: Games with Gold promotion.)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fable_III