If truth be told, I am still angry at Peter Molineux for selling out and snubbing PC gamers - even if it was the PC platform that he made his name on. After the unforgettable Fable: The Lost Chapters
, its sequel was never released for the PC, the most widely used gaming system. This means that PC gamers will forever miss on the complete tale that will determine the fate of Albion. Not to mention us missing on the best installment of the series.
AND YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD TO OVERCOME SIBLING RIVALRY!
During the first part of the game you try to rally the support of all the regions in order to dispose of your evil brother and, you guessed it, save the land. If you are successful you will also get yourself crowned, so it is a win-win situation (well, not for your sibling, no - just for you and the land).
And the game is far from over - now that you got the power you coveted you have to choose which promises you made on your way up you can actually keep.
ARE YOU SURE ALBION IS NOT SOMEWHERE IN ...THE NETHERLANDS?
In the tradition of Fable, your character can form relationships or marriage(s), stable or not, ephemeral or not, of the opposite sex or not. Everything goes - in a surreal playful atmosphere. This is one of the parameters that make FABLE III a very quirky and yet immersive game to experience.
At the same time, moral choices are also abundant and fun to follow through. And, as they say, it is easy to make choices - the hard part, sometimes, is living with their consequences.
What are not so easy to digest are all the personal delivery services you have to carry out. Everyone and their sister seems to have a parcel for you to fetch or deliver! Fortunately, they will reward you for your time and trouble.
APPARENTLY ALBION IS RIDING A BULL MARKET
You can set up a business or engage in property sales - but there is really no need to do so. You will be swimming in money very soon. Thus, the property customization is kept to a minimum. There are tons of (not so interesting) side quests that will keep you into the red, no matter how expensive your tastes in weapons or property are.
MAGIC SO OLD THEY HAD TO USE ...SOFT-FOCUS
The graphics have definitely improved since the first FABLE (a 2004 game mind you) but, playing The Witcher II
in parallel, I was not that impressed. Lighting is dynamic, the environments look beautiful but not realistic and the characters as if walked in from a Japanese anime cosplay convention.
Having said that, high-end graphics had never been a FABLE game's strong point. Instead, an ever-playful atmosphere, imaginative environments and outrageous characters are what set the mood of the game.
A cRPG ON CRUISE CONTROL
This is where the game lost me. I did not mind the ...patty cakes or the juvenile body-sounds jokes from a Fable game but the gameplay oversimplification was sticking through in too many places to ignore. Although there is an appearance-modifying and weapon-equipping Sanctuary (accessible by hitting the Esc button), FABLE III has neither in-game inventory nor quick-slots.
Potions are consumed automatically. If you do not have enough you die. Something that never should worry you though. Because all you lose is some orbs and you respawn before you know it. This way, however, fighting not only is repetitive, it is also unchallenging. Even choosing the hardcore setting will not be much of a challenge to most gamers - and you still die with impunity.
Spell-combos are possible and the game encourages you to explore the possibilities but the combined effects are minimal. Most of your weapons gain levels and abilities as you keep using them. And you can always buy that coveted cool war-hammer.
ENTER THE DRAGON
Well, not the silverback one but still a dragon. The game utilizes mandatory Games for Windows Live DRM. Limited installations? Yes. Extra hoops to jump through for the privilege of playing the game you bought? You bet. Can you play offline? Yes - after you set up an offline Profile and forfeit any achievements while offline.
Overall I found FABLE III to be an overdue underperformer. It is a 3.5 stars game but I rounded down rather than up because of Monsieur Molineaux's snobbery towards PC gamers.
It is all about choices, right? Well, choices have consequences.