I thought Fable 2 was a great game, really great, but it had some really severe design shortcomings that badly impacted on the overall experience. My chief concerns were the game's length(It was far too short for an RPG, taking around 12 hours to run through, the game's total lack of any real climax, not even giving you either a final dungeon or boss fight, and it's clunky, difficult to use NPC interaction/gesture system. It was a flawed game, but mercifully, all of these problems have been addressed for this sequel... but unfortunately, there have been several other changes that prove to just as ruinous as anything Fable 2 had. Perhaps moreso in some ways.
Putting you in the role of either the son or daughter of the first game's main character(Your choice), Fable 3 sees you begin as prince/princess of Albion, with the increasingly tyrannical actions of your older brother Logan(The king) forcing you and your mentor and butler on the run tasked with travelling across Albion to recruit allies and find resources to help you organise a full scale revolution to despose your evil older brother and claim the throne of Albion as your own. The story is very satisfyingly put together and a lot more inventive than the previous game I found, with some great twists that really change the gameplay and "morality choices" that actually make a genuine impact on the people and world around you. Fable 3 doesn't lack ambition and for the most part delivers on giving the player a growing, evolving world... even if a lot of the "changes" that can occur can feel a tad scripted and pre-set in places.
The gameplay has changed little since the last game, with mostly the same controlS for navigation and combat (Though I have to admit I found the melee combat a bit less responsive this time around), but the NPC interaction controls have improved dramatically, with interaction now handled in tightly managed one on one button assigned actions to control how you act around individual NPCs that makes it much, much easier to get the proper reaction out of the civvies without managing a clunky "gesture wheel" every time. It's a great change to the game... However, there have been some other serious, serious changes to the game's presentation that, for me, came very close to just destroying the whole game. To sum it up in one sentence: There are NO menu screens of any kind in this game.
Yep, no stat management, no inventory, no items, no weapons or accessories screens... Beyond the game config/save menu, everything in Fable 3 is managed during gameplay... or not at all. Want to level up? You can't. Instead, you earn 'Guild seals' from combat and quest completion that you can use to unlock chests in an area called 'The road to rule' that get you bonuses like "power ups" for your individual abilities like melee and magic or new spells and NPC interaction options. It's basically a skill point assignment menu in disguise, dumbed down to a massive degree in what appears to some baffingly odd attempt to hide the series' more traditional RPG stylings. This carries on across every aspect of the game, as instead of a menu when you press start, you get "teleported" to 'The Sanctuary', which is basically sort of like a medieval version of the TARDIS, that you use as an armoury, shop, wardrobe and world map without ever needing to look at one of those offensive, number/writing packed menus that Lionhead thinks we hate so much. Using this instead of the more straightforward menu screens Fable used in the past is not only cumbersome and slow, but it made the game significantly less rewarding to play for me personally, and a lot more annoying to multitask, given how awkward it is to keep track of quests, their locations and requirements and setting quest markers now. You can't so easily head out to do one quest and do some work on others along the way so easily now and no mistake. You also only "get" to use items too when the game 'tells' you you can, and item collection is mostly gone as wel come to that, so how big an issue no inventory is is debatable considering that, but even so, it's another baffling, unnecessary change. The whole game feels like a less involving, less rewarding, downright dumb experience for these (major)changes and I couldn't even begin to guess at the logic behind implementing them. The system they had in place before worked FINE, and if they really HAD to simplify the experience, couldn't they just have followed Mass Effect 2's lead, which seriously cut down on stat/item management, but tailored the game around this in a way that worked for the most part? Fable 3 changes nothing about the core gameplay except for the lack of menus, so it feels like a stripped down, dumber version of what has gone before in far too many respects.
There are other complaints I have about the game that are fairly minor in comparison, such as the dog now feeling even more pointless an addition than the previous game as it only seems to exist to let you know about nearby items or places to dig. I heard it still assists in combat, but I honestly did not see it help out once in fights during my playthrough. The visuals also are pretty disappointing, as, while the areas are large and well designed, the game isn't exactly the most detailed or well put together, as the animation(Especially the mouth movements during conversations) is pretty rubbish and stiff and the textures look very bland. Plus the game suffers from massive slowdown in places, so while it is visually varied, it isn't exactly visually or technically striking in any real sense.
Where it is flawless though is in it's audio aspects. Voice work, soundtrack, effects work... all are incredible. I have nothing to complain about here beyond occasional voice glitches during cutscenes(Though this would probably count more as a technical problem than an audio one).
It really does have so many elements here that would make it a great, great game, but some of the design decisions detract from the experience in such a dramatic fashion that the best I can rate Fable 3 is on par with Fable 2. Though really, there is simply no reason it shouldn't have been a massive improvement across the board.
It feels far too much like Lionhead were trying to produce a game that would appeal to more casual audiences who would normally balk at RPGs, as opposed to making a game for the fans, as they should have been.
A real disappointment that could easily have been a true great.
on 3 November 2010
(Apologies if i've included any spoilers.)
Now completed the game (well, killed the bad guy and now running my land) so thought it would be worth giving my tuppence worth.
Overall this was a fun game to play. The humour is a nice touch, and some of the locations are nicely rendered. However, and maybe as a result of all that 'niceness', as the game went on i did begin to notice that the framerate would drop as if i was entering some kind of slow-motion. The introduction of the system for changing equipment/clothes etc is a chore. This was supposed to improve the supposedly tedious previous menu system but unfortunately the new and improved system means it takes longer to make any changes. The emotion wheel has been dispensed with and replaced by fixed options which occasionally change but don't really improve things (what ever you do only affects the one person you have chosen to interact with, and not the crowd that is watching). Moving from location to location has a disjointed feel to it, making the land feel like its a series of almost random areas with no symmetry. And as for the TV ads, (and maybe due to the way i played it out) this was hardly a 'revolution', there was no sense of it being a climatic conflict with your brother with opposing armies (just a few troops here and there in some of the latter missions).
Overall this is either 'Fable: The Sims Years' or an RPG-Lite. Probably aimed directly at the casual gamer. If you felt Fable 2 was a disappointment after the original Fable, then you may not be impressed with this.
The things which made the first Fable so memorable are being eroded. Shame, as a lot of people loved that game.
on 28 November 2010
I've actually never felt compelled to write a review before, but was so gutted by the gaming experience provided by Fable 3 I felt I should sort of warn other Fable 2 fans. It just seems like a load of unnecessary changes have been made that made the experience worse, some necessary changes haven't been made, and the whole thing takes a fraction of the time Fable 2 did (which, in a funny way, turns out to be a blessing).
The small stuff first - NPC interactions have been broken. The expression wheel has gone and you can no longer choose your action. The fact that it seems to default to 'dance' means that to make friends with anyone (male or female) you have to perform a Patrick Swayze lift on them. Not very kingly. Also, you now have to enter an 'interact' screen with your dog - why?
Combat, always a bit of a weak point, is now worse. Magic powers are too powerful and your melee attacks are virtually useless.
SPOILER ALERT: Once you become King the choices you are able to make are stupid, simplistic and mean that you can either have a beautiful but poor kingdom with everyone dead, or a ruined but rich kingdom with everyone still alive. Once you know this you can of course spend ages in the early stages amassing a personal fortune and donating it to your kingdom, but to me this seems like a workaround for a broken system than a valid gameplay tactic. Also, the second 'half' of the game when you're King only lasts an hour or so, then the final battle sneaks up on you and gives you no opportunity to sort out your finances. END SPOILERS.
I spent weeks and months of my life playing and replaying Fable 2, but after 3 days I doubt I'll ever have Fable 3 in my console again. I never even bothered to get married, have/adopt kids etc as I couldn't see any point. I never felt connected to the game, characters, my dog, Albion... and why have an RPG sequel that's so much shorter than its predecessor? What a shame.
on 27 January 2011
I was really looking forward to this game in the run up to it's release.
Now that I have it it's pretty disappointing.
I'm yet to finish it so I can't really comment on the ending, which I know has annoyed a lot of people, but I think I have a pretty good view of the game and how it differs from it's predecessors.
Great graphics, some of the best. (though there are some framerate issues and glitching animations e.g. almost every time your dog tells you to dig, you dig through the dog!)
Humorous script and dialogue. Some of the things people say to you during the game will really make you laugh.
The combat is simple (though this is also a negative point) and when you get some of the moves right there is a pretty good slow motion action shot of the kill (bit too similar to Fallout though...)
The really annoying menu from Fable 2 is gone. In it's place is the Sanctuary - a few rooms with your butler (John Cleese) to guide you around. It looks very nice (especially the map) though is not necessarily the easiest way to change items during the game.
Too simple for an RPG type game. There is no health, magic, or ammo count so you can pretty much stroll through every fight you come across with a bit of button mashing. I've played for about 5 hours now and haven't died or really been tested. Health potions seem to have no point.
You can buy houses, work, marry, and talk to people, but there's no real incentive to do any of that.
The story seems ok so far but as was the case with Fable 2, it's not particularly gripping and I just don't feel any emotional reason to finish it.
It's supposedly an open world game where you can explore and roam freely, but as with the buying of houses and marrying people, there's just no real need to do it. The game doesn't force to explore and if you did you wouldn't find much besides some gold and a few items in chests dotted around (most of which are pointless like dyes for your clothes or rugs for your house).
As I mentioned before, the Sanctuary has taken the place of any conventional menu system. I suppose it is a fairly innovative bit of design, but honestly it's a pain to have to completely exit what you're doing, walk to the right room, look at weapon, choose it, equip, exit room, exit Sanctuary. I'd much rather just pause and go to weapons screen (even if that wouldn't look as nice). Or better still, press one button to bring up weapon/magic scrolling system and choose mid-combat.
Basically this is a game for newbies and children rather than hardened RPGers and most gamers will probably find it a watered down version of Fable's 1&2, which were already less immersive than many other games of the genre. If you just want something easy and are not too fussed about a challenge, you will probably find it quite entertaining, and there are certainly some laughs to be had. The opening sequence alone is pretty amusing.
For me though, I like a challenge and if this game wasn't so short (or so I've heard) I probably would have stopped playing already.
Story (so far) 7/10
Longevity - 5
Overall - 7.25
on 3 December 2010
Though I missed the first Fable, I got the second as a present and, though it wasn't perfect, I did enjoy it a great deal. So I was looking forwards to this game for a long while. Fable 3 is a game of two-halves, involving you first building allies to join you in overthrowing you total tyrant big brother who is King of Albion and then, once you've grabbed the throne for yourself, running the country in the shadow of a new and more terrifying threat than anything Albion has yet encountered.
But though it looks pretty and is occasionally fun, Fable 3 is often frustrating and ultimately disappointing.
For starters, navigation is total nuisance. The local map bears little resemblance to the actual world and doesn't even show where you are on it. The most important part of any in-game map is the big dot marked 'You Are Here', surely. But the makers of Fable 3 seemed to have forgotten that. The golden breadcrumb trail that shows you where to go is present here, but for some reason, despite working perfectly well in Fable 2, here the trail is hopelessly bugged, often disappearing for no reason or - even worse - pointing in completely the wrong direction. I spent a lot of time lost or giving up on simple missions because I couldn't work out where to go. One such time I just had to buy a toy for my daughter, but became so frustrated at getting lost and sent in the wrong direction that I just went mental and massacred an entire village with a hammer. Grrrr.
Combat in Fable 2 was reasonably simple but it kept you on your toes to some degree with various combinations. Here it's simple in the extreme, consisting of pressing one button repeatedly - depending on whether you want a ranged, melee or magical attack - until all the baddies are dead. Similarly, interacting with people has been simplified with just a couple of options available at any one time (e.g. whistle or fart!)
Fable 2 and 3 stand out in throwing a bit of The Sims' gameplay into them, in that you can get into relationships, get married, have kids, get divorced, become widowed (or make yourself widowed with a sneaky swing of a sword!) I enjoy this aspect of the games as it's nice to see my hero's efforts in saving the world and hacking up endless baddies pay off in the form of making a big contribution to the gene pool and having lots of rugrats running about. Plus it's a laugh farting in your loved one's face until they take the hint and file for divorce.
Of course, you could do all this family business in Fable 2, and this is the problem with Fable 3 - the good bits in Fable 3 were there in Fable 2 anyway. There's very little new here that's great, except maybe the storyline, although that promises more than pays off. The idea of raising a big army to conduct a revolution sounds great, but when it comes down to the Big Fight you might as well be playing a team-based skirmish game. You don't get the feel of leading a vast army. It's a few tedious fights with the sound of a big battle in the background.
Some aspects carried over from Fable 2 are worse here. As mentioned, the golden breadcrumb trail is broken and unreliable. Your dog is back, but with such simplified interactions available there's no emotional connection between you and your doggie and it feels like just a treasure-finder in canine form.
The voice acting is good and it's fun recognizing famous people like Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry chattering away, but ultimately its a rather frustrating game that promises for more of an epic tale than it even comes close to providing, and it is one which I'll be trading in now that I've completed it.
on 1 November 2010
Both my girlfriend and I were lovers of Fable 2, in spite of its often simplistic gameplay, both playing it through to the end and enjoying seeking out most of the secrets.
Fable 3 has been highly anticipated in our household, and indeed by a great many fans of the series with hype and buzz abounding across internet forums.
Having picked up my copy at HMV this weekend, I have reached the end of my tether with the game and will be taking it back for a refund.
What follows is an objective review based on my opinions and findings after about 15 hours of play - I am no whining fanboy, just an ordinary gamer severely disappointed by both the calibre of the game and its frankly unfinished state.
After a rather predictable and dull start, once the game gets going it sucks you in quickly and devours time in such a way that players of previous iterations will be all too familiar with. The gameworld is rich and engaging and the stunning vistas that frequently present themselves when traversing the gameworld are some of the most beautiful I have seen in any game. I spent a few minutes just panning the camera round whilst stood in a field of swaying flowers and trees watching the sun set as birds and butterflies drifted through the sky. The graphics really are first class - shame there is no facility to take screenshots. Equally involving is the quirky and witty dialogue and you soon find yourself empathising with or despising the key characters as the plot demands, whilst the music complements most locations in a subtle but effective way.
I soon began to find the quests and actual gameplay pretty tedious however. Whilst some of the supporting narrative was imaginative, it failed to disguise what was usually a case of 'bring item X to Mrs Y'. or simple romps through unbranching environments fighting endless hordes of enemies. This is not helped by a combat system that is so unchallenging it sends you to sleep. The generic enemies come in only a few types and generally mill around waiting to be killed as you move from flourish to flourish, press, hold, release; press, hold, release - yawn...
Furthermore the dialogue choices have been simplified to the point of being totally unnatural. For the last five hours my only option when I meet someone has been to either dance with them if I want to elicit a positive response, or alternatively burp in their face. What happened to the freedom of expression of Fable 2?
Overall I am just reaching the point where playing on is unappealing as I just cannot face another slog through mindless boring combat situations. I still love exploring the world, but I bought the game to participate in, not just to spectate!
In terms of gameplay they just don't seem to have moved the game on at all and if anything, the additional streamlining has made it less fun or involving to play.
Aside from the rather mind numbing gameplay, the biggest complaint has to be the unfinished state of the game. This game is riddled with bugs and I mean RIDDLED.
You only have to type 'Fable 3 bugs' into Google to see what I mean.
The bugs I have experienced include buttons remapping on the face of the joypad so that shortcuts to the 'road to ruin' and the options menu don't work anymore, my butler's dialogue ceasing never to return (a bit of a game killer considering he is a central character to the plot), having to reset the game because the 'back' button ceased to appear on the map screen and when inside the games central 'sanctuary' hub, the dog disappearing and the breadcrumb trail disappearing. Some are annoying, others potentially game breaking, such as being 'trapped' on the map screen unable to return to your game and having to reset, losing all unsaved progress.
At the time of writing Lionhead had set up a support page to log bugs. A good idea, but the text box is so small you don't have space to right in much detail. Currently their advice is to restart your game if your save game gets corrupted. Little solace when fifteen hours in. Whether Lionhead can patch all the bugs will only be known in time, but personally I am not bothering to wait.
I think it appalling that after the buggy mess of Fable 2, they release their supposed AAA sequel clearly without any proper playtesting just to try to cash in on the run up to Christmas to max out sales.
If you are considering buying this game I would recommend perhaps renting a copy first for a few quid from Blockbuster, so you can see if you find the game actually fun to play once the initial novelty wears off, whilst perhaps more importantly checking to see whether the bugs have been properly patched or not...
on 19 May 2011
I have completed this game and played it through part-way a second time and I have enjoyed it despite many peoples displeasure with the gaming experience.
I agree that it is not as good as Fable 2 and I also agree that it feels way too short. Regardless, I still had a lot of fun and sank many hours into the game.
- Easy to pick up and play. This could be considered both a plus or a con. For me this is a plus as you do not have to spend hours trying to figure out combo's and learning all the buttons to press.
- The weapon system I found very cool, with the weapon improving only under certain circumstances. The weapon designs were also pretty awesome as well.
- I found the main quest to be interesting with sections towards the back end of it really really good. I won't put examples to avoid spoilers but some parts really shocked me.
- I like the new 'menu' system where you got to see everything instead of going through lists and more lists to find what you want.
- The second half of the story with the 'decisions' aren't anywhere near as good as advertised. They were obviously meant to be tough decisions but if you play the game right then there is no tough choices and they just lose their meaning.
- The main quest aside, I did find most of the side quests to be pretty dull and did not hold my attention as the main quest had.
- Locating your Wife/Husband in game can be frustrating as they can literally just wonder off anywhere in the village/castle grounds. Would have been nice to be able to pin point them easier than having to run around searching for them all the time.
- Too much of the same as previous games. Apart from the main quest, all the other things to do just feel like they have been done before. There are still the doors you have to do various things to unlock and get in, they have replaced shooting the gargoyles with something similar, there are still things to collect to unlock chests. They could have made it far more interesting than it is.
- Obvious good & bad points. I know this is a crime most RPG games have, but it still does not change it. I would like to see games start giving decisions which aren't so obviously good or bad. Hypothetical(This does not actually occur in game) example: Save someone from drowning or let them drown and loot their corpse. Why could they not make it more: Save a known criminal from falling to his death, but then he is free to continue robbing people or let him fall to his death and have other criminals attack you later for letting him die. I know its not a great example, but just something more morally gray than things so obvious between good and bad.
The game overall I still found to be a lot of fun for a time, but it does not hold a candle to Fable 2 in comparison. There are only a handful of ways Fable 3 is better than Fable 2, while there are bountiful ways Fable 2 is superior to Fable 3. Were Fable 3 not part of the series it would have gotten far better reception, but you can not create a sequel without comparing it to what has come before it.
on 1 March 2011
Fable 3 takes us once more to the land of Albion to explore our good or evil side in a quest of heroism or villainy as desire suits.
Most of the game is just an extension of Fable 2 with a few tweaks under the bonnet to combat and interaction. Now instead of being able to interact with a whole audience of people you instead focus your gesture based interactions with people on a one to one level. This makes interacting feel much more personal but raises the first of a few concerns. The majority of characters in the game have a preset number of random phrases meaning that there are probably somewhere in the region of 8-10 different character types in the game, from a vocal perspective at least. You are told what each character is like from a selection of words such as noble, stingy, rude, prudish, flirty etc but never have the chance to have a proper conversation. Whilst this is intentional it means that character interaction works on only the shallowest of levels and none of the NPCs outside of the quest related characters actually have a personality to call their own. This may not have been such a big deal in previous Fable games but forcing a player to have one to one interactions without any chance of knowing the character they are interacting with seems rather pointless. In fact the only reason to befriend and interact with characters is to gain guild seal points to unlock further skills and receive gifts from them making the whole endeavour rather capitalistically selfish.
On top of this you now don't really have a choice of what gesture to perform during interaction. You're given three choices of good, evil or rude/jokey and the game cycles through what options the character uses depending on how many gestures you've unlocked. This leads to numerous immersion breaking problems in the game. For example I may want to do a chicken dance to my child to make them laugh, but the next comical gesture that is cycled through is a vulgar thrust. I may want to shake someone's hand but once you unlock the more "powerful" gestures you can end up intimately dancing with someone you've only just met, regardless of their gender or your sexual preference. If someone falls in love with you, you're invariably left with kissing, dancing or hugging, however if you marry or are interested in someone else there is no way of putting them back to friend level with anything other than evil or rude gestures. My character just wasn't the kind to go around breaking wind in the faces of ladies.
I've admittedly allocated a lot of this review to a minor issue but the rest of it is familiar Fable fare. The locations are all quite large and impressively designed, the combat system is basic but does work well and levelling up has been heavily simplified to opening treasure chests on the road to rule. There is a lot to love here and the voice acting is once more exemplary with some familiar voices returning and the addition of the likes of John Cleese, Jonathon Ross and even Brian from Spaced (Mark Heap.) Those who were fond of the quaint settings and quick wit will certainly find a lot to love here.
The newest addition occurs in the final third of the game where you usurp your brother's rule and become king. Some potential for tough moral choices arise but can be sadly diminished if you played the first half of the game with a financial mind as every choice is money related. It highlights another negative kicker of Fable, and that is moral polarity. There are very few choices that the game judges as morally grey and bar one impressive choice at the beginning everything is pretty much either an evil choice or a good one. Even when you become king the good and evil choices are actually morally balanced due to money being the key to saving your populace from Armageddon and money being the sole way (outside of personal donations) of filling the coffers by solely evil choices and broken promises. It's a shame that the game does not recognise this as there is a lot to explore on the concept of morality that the game fails to judge accordingly.
Saying all this I did thoroughly enjoy the experience and apart from one of the worst endings of all time with the most uninspired of end game bosses the journey there was thoroughly charming and engaging. Exploring forests, mountains, caves and wandering around the villages is pleasant and charming. House customisation, furniture, clothing and hair dyes etc allowing fans of The Sims style of gaming to get their teeth set in to renovating houses and changing their hero's appearance.
Although most of the game's depth is only skin deep there is a lot of skin to explore, and as long as you don't spend too long letting the visible gears thrusting beneath to distract you too much there's a lot of enjoyment and potential for immersion. Just beware that frame rate jittering is quite common and a few potentially game breaking bugs have been reported over time that online updates may be the only way to correct them. Maybe fourth time's a charm?
on 14 February 2011
I never played the first two Fable games so I will refrain from comparisons or reflecting on those two installments.
Fable III to cut a long story short is about a Prince whos older brother is the King (Logan) and rules a land called Albion. Needless to say this King is evil and the prince sets off to start a revolution and over throw his brother. That is putting it very simply it is also possible to select to be a Princess at the beginning (I am guessing the story is similar but I can't say for sure as I opted for the prince). Once escaping the castle with your loyal butler Jasper and Mentor Walter you set off convincing several groups of the community to join you to over throw Logan. You do this by completing quests for the various groups and bit by bit gain support for the final battle. How you react and treat people in Albion determines whether they like you or not and this works quite well. Your arsenal is the usual for any RPG you have a slot of a melee weapon either a sword or hammer, a slot for a gun and a slot for a magic spell. The combat is acctually a pleasure very much hack and slash and as you progress in the game you can upgrade your weaponry.
Gold which is the currency in Albion is another important factor you can earn it via mini games such as Blacksmith, Pie Making & Lute Playing. As you build your wealth you can buy property and businesses in Albion and then rent them out or set their prices and you receive this income every 5 minutes. How much you charge people determines how much they like you and again this is a brilliant system in the game. Once you do become inevitably become King (I will not go into detail however thee plot does turn on its head towards the end), You are left with what are acctually very difficult decisions such as how much to tax the population etc. I won't ruin the exact plot by going into detail but it is a very well designed aspect of the game.
Albion itself is full of colour and plenty of variation between areas. Unfortunately unlike Oblivion for example where you see a Castle far off in the distance and to reach it you head in that direction and eventually you reach it, Albion has set paths to reach areas in a set order and hence the loading screens and lack of flow are a set back. Graphically its art design is well made, the graphics aren't brilliant but acceptable...just!
The game is not without larger faults, There is a glitch which constantly appeared for me during gameplay which is the glowing gold dust which you follow to where you need to be and at times it will just disapear and you have to run around in circles till it reapears and when its not doing that it is difficult to see due to vibrant colours of the game. Progression of the story is what prevents this been a great title. While your running left, right and centre at the beginning of the game for support for your revolution you do begin to wonder if this is ever going anywhere and then it acctually does turn out to be the fastest revolution I have ever known and you fly faster than concorde to the finish line...very dissapointing and badly paced.
Finally after all of the fancy advertising especially the convincing TV advert featuring soundtrack from T-Rex and a voice cast featuring the likes of John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross & Simon Pegg it really should have been a 5 Star game.
on 3 November 2010
As someone who loved Fable 2 and played through it several times, both as good and evil, this was a huge disappointment.
There are big quality issues and bugs including constant slowdown, the gold trail that your meant to follow constantly disappearing and characters getting stuck, but even more frustrating are the many poorly thought through design decisions.
The lack of HUD is a very big problem when it's absence isn't handled well. This is one scenario where it isn't. Any time anything appears on screen it is completely situational, often at moments of inconvenience (why would I want to have my healing options only when I'm on the verge of dying?) No menu system at all is completely impractical. Even more so is the exclusion of any sort of inventory system. In other words, good luck knowing what you have on you at any moment and pray you had remembered what you're last health potion count was, cause you ain't gonna get any warning until it's too late. The lack of weapon customization also adds to the shallow feeling of the game, I immensely enjoyed customizing my weapon in Fable 2 but in this game that has been completely removed. Instead your weapon mutates depending on your actions. This can be something as ineffectual as finding lots of treasure altering the look of the handle. Why couldn't we still add gems to it that would alter it's properties while at the same time altering it's appearance? It's all just a little............. unsatisfying.
The story just felt rushed. There were so many fantastic set-pieces that could have been great for player exploration. Instead the story is often pushing you at a breakneck speed to rush through the story, leaving only the player's consideration to determine when appropriate deviations for side quests are appropriate. Now, that wouldn't be so bad if the game would actually give you a hint at where in the story progression you are. Towards the end of the game you'll hit the no-going-back final mission and once past that there is no going back. Also, in general the world of Albion was just shallow, there are some great side quests that are incredibly creative but they are few and far between.
Will I be playing this game a second time around to see what differences playing as evil make? I doubt it.