Fable III Review

Posted on February 10, 2011 by


There’s something wrong with Peter Molyneux. He used to be a genius. He made games like Dungeon Keeper and Black & White, now he just makes Fable games. His recent attempts at AAA titles have fallen rather flat, though. Partly due to the massive overhyping (Fable 2 will be the best RPG of all time) but mostly due to old Petey having his head stuck so far up his ass these days (a difficult feat for a man with such a big ego) that he now exists on another plane of reality entirely, where a game that is described by it’s creator as a ‘masterpiece’ must naturally include the option to have the player character fart in someone’s face for so long and with such vigor that the victim chunders everywhere and then passes out. Classy stuff, Pete.

Fable 3 (with a vengeance) is the latest installment of Pete’s ten year long creative breakdown, and it suffers from many of the same problems that it’s predecessor Fable 2 (Fable Harder), as well as introducing some brand new problems all of it’s very own. The major issue with Fable 3 (the return of the king, no, hold on, that would actually be a fitting title…) is length. In that it doesn’t have any. What I’m saying here is that it’s short. Shorter than a chihuahua with it’s legs chopped off (known in some parts of the world as ‘lunch’).

You spend the first half of the game begging every miserable pleb in your eeeevil brother’s kingdom to help you remove his royal arse from the throne in favor of your very own royal arse. This consists of running around and doing quests for people, making promises to do stuff when you eventually engage in some bloody revolution. This bit feels more like an ordinary action RPG, running about, fighting monsters, and performing an enormous number fetch quests. They might as well have named it ‘get stuff: the game’.

The combat is slow and clunky, the guns feel like peashooters, and the swords have all the effect of battering a toddler with a NERF bat. The only effective tactic is to use area effect spells like Fireball. The problem with those is that they require charging, during which time any one of the dozen enemies the game throws you at once can stab you in the gonads (provided you’re playing as a male character, I personally like to play as a psychotic lesbian princess). At the same time, their chums with firearms are hanging back and taking pot shots at you. You can hit things, shoot things and magic them, and that’s it. You can mix up the three, but it doesn’t change the fact that the fighting is about as bland as some Gordon Brown brand bran flakes.

When the revolution comes, it comes out of nowhere. For most of the time leading up to it, you don’t feel like your making any progress at all, and this isn’t the first time the the game will spring a random even on you without warning. Once your done overthrowing your brother (the game’s most interesting character once you find out his motivations to be a tyrant) you have to start ruling the kingdom. This is the second half of the game.

It’s revealed that some vague eldritch abomination known as ‘The Crawler’ is going to invade Albion, and you need to raise some serious wings to defend the kingdom. The easiest way to do that is to go back on all the promises you made prior to the revolution, but you can also cheat your way to the required arbitrary sum of 6 million gold by buying up all the houses and shops and putting the rent and prices up, which grants you cash every five minutes, and then leave the game running overnight. If you actually want to save people, that is. You can play the whole game as an amoral, psychotic sociopath, makes ton of money and then save the whole kingdom and be hailed as the greatest hero who ever lived, OR you can be nice to everyone, keep all your promises, end up in massive debt and get everyone killed, and be feared as an even worse tyrant than your brother. Where’s the morality in that? That evil people always get what they want?

What’s worse still is that second half of the game takes place almost entirely in the throne room, with you sitting and listening to proposals about what to do with your kingdom, which makes the boring combat seem positively riveting in comparison. It doesn’t help matters that the people your supposed to be saving all deserve to die anyway for being termination thick, selfish and petty. Yes things are going to be rough for a year, but im sure it’s better than DYING. Morons.

The cast is full of british actors and comedians, including that bloke who played King Theoden in Lord of the Rings, and Simon Pegg, Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry (the only person who gave an even passable performance, presumably rebelling in playing the evil deviant industrialist Reaver).

In many ways Fable 3 the search for Spock feels more like an expansion pack for fable 2 (Wrath of Khan) than it does it’s own game, especially since it carries over so many of the mistakes and missteps from it. It’s still a solid enough game, but it really, really should have been better than it was.

Posted in: Games, Review