Fable III Preview

6th September 2010 - The first Fable game back on the original Xbox won over the hearts of many gamers, both hardcore and casual alike. The Lost Chapters extended this love of the great action-RPG, and won over many PC gamers too. But the second game in the series, Fable II, failed to achieve as great a following as the original due to some major changes in style. While it still got some great review scores and good sales, a lot of people were disappointed. But come this October, and we get to again run rampant through the land of Albion in the third Fable adventure, one which looks to take RPG games to new levels and deeper depths.

Lead the Revolution…
As with the previous two Fable games, Fable III is Lionheads attempt to change the games genre for the best. Some would argue that the last games only had a minor impact, but given the critical responses of both titles, that would have to be nothing more than a fabrication of the truth. And the truth being that Fable never fails to bring something new and exciting to the table.

Fable III puts you in the boots of the son/daughter of the second games protagonist, and through a similar system to Mass Effect 2 had, you can import your old games save to play part in your characters early development. You are effectively the heir to the throne of Albion and although your in-game brother is currently sitting on the throne, you choose a life of adventure over that of the prince/princess. But your brother isn’t too nice a fellow, not one bit. As he rules the land as a tyrant you must rise up against his oppression and lead the revolution of the land.

This is where things take a Fable-Appropriate twist; how and when you decide to go about the revolution is completely up to you. Gain followers by achieving acts of heroism, making promises to the populous, and more. These followers act as the games experience points and take part in the games overhauled levelling systems. But is the life of such a revolutionary figure as good in practice as it is on paper? How hard will it be to keep these promises? Will the temptations of the land be too much to handle? Well that’s where the game takes a turn for of the more innovative nature that the series developer Lionhead Studios is renowned for.

…And then lead the people
Once you overthrow the King, its your job to become the King. Whereas the first portion of the game see’s you making promises and showing off a little, this half puts your skills to the test for sure. Are you able to come through with all your meaty promises, or will you fall back on the lies and misleading statements politics both in and out of game are known for? Information about this half of the game is a tightly-kept secret though, so just what enemies you will face and how you will go about changing the world of Albion is all still under wraps.

Same-old, same-old?
One of the things Fable II was criticized for was the fact that the combat was ever-so-similar to the original in the terms of it being a one-button masher with limited tactical options. Fable III, while giving the combat system an overhaul, still features what many will consider to not be a step-forward in expanding the experience. The game still uses a one-button combat system, but still time around, you have access to moral-based finishing moves. This adds some major violence upgrades to the package and the game in general appears to be a more gruesome and brutal fighting experience, due to the increase in blood and violent animations.

So while the combat is appearing to keep a similar lining to the last games in the series, its good to see the magic taking a step forward. In addition to an updated magic system like that seen in Fable II, Fable III allows users to mix and match specific magic abilities to create some truly unique and awesome attacks. Fireball and Force-Push anyone? Sounds mighty magical to me, and if the list of magical powers is updated any further than that in Fable II, we’re sure to be in for some great combinations and some wonderful battles ahead of us. Perhaps some combination-sensitive and required enemies or boss’s? Its certainly a possibility and more than certainly an exciting thought that is sure to ravel up some interest in this upcoming game.

How to tell a Fable
As I mentioned earlier, Lionhead Studios is known for its game-changing innovation and genre-bending titles. But Lionhead executive one of gaming’s most recognisable faces Peter Molyneux is also known to be a little too generous with hyping his upcoming titles. While he may be an undeniable genius, it doesn’t change the fact he’s let us down a bit in the past. So until the game gets its release later this year one can only speculate on the ways Lionhead are going to deliver this royally-pressed experience. If I may be so bold, Fable III is going to make some major changes to the genre of action-RPG and blur a lot lines along the way. As Peter Molyneux himself recently said; Fable III will piss some people off. Are you one of those people?


Preview Written By John Elliott