WITH EACH passing edition of Fable, Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux has made grand promises – from the original being the “best game ever” to the sequel offering a bigger world, improved graphics and a canine companion.
But it’s Fable III which promises the biggest change of all. Not only will players be able to develop their hero or villain from the ground up, but they’ll be able to overthrow the king and take the throne themselves.
This opens up a whole new play mechanic whereby the user’s actions have huge effects not only on their loved ones, but the fate of the entire kingdom. Do players turn a blind eye to illegal market businesses – or kill them? Should they unite the people or go to war?
It’s these grand decisions that set Fable III apart from its already massively successful predecessors.
“Fable is a hugely successful franchise which has truly captured the hearts and minds of UK gamers,” explains Microsoft product marketing manager Laura Disney.
“With its unique sense of humour, A-list cast of characters and incredible storytelling it has been entertaining gamers for the last six years and we are extremely excited to release the latest installment.”
The first two Fable titles were key releases for the Xbox platform and the third edition is no different, arriving on 360 on October 29th.
LONG LIVE THE KING
Set five decades after the events of Fable II, the latest game allows players to take control of their previous hero’s child. How they treated their son or daughter in the previous game will affect who they are in Fable III.
Of course, there is the option to command a new male or female or hero that doesn’t share the character traits from the user’s old game save.
The citizens of Fable’s in-game medieval world Albion are being oppressed and kept in place by their corrupt leader, King Logan. It’s down to the player’s hero to front an uprising and overthrow the king – who just
so happens to be the evil brother of said hero.
Once the new leadership is in place, gamers must lead battles and make decisions to keep the kingdom functioning. But it’s not all about staging an uprising and saving the world – Fable III gets a range of new gameplay features to charm both fans of the series and newcomers.
A tweaked co-op mode allows two gamers to play as their own heroes on-screen at once, with a free roaming camera that removes the need for them to stay close to one another. The two connected players can become in-game friends, marry, have children or forge business partnerships. Gamers can even bring their dog with them into a friend’s game for a deeper multiplayer
REWRITING THE RULEBOOK
Combat-wise the game’s RPG and action mechanics have been completely overhauled, with users now able to craft weapons by how they use them. A rusty blade can become a glowing sabre if a player is good, or drip with blood if evil.
There is also a range of new finishing moves and multiplayer combat bonuses which allow faster progress if players team up online.
Other additions include a new lighting system and higher resolution character models, with a context-based system that gives gamers the chance to perform new emotes such as hugging or picking someone else up.
In-game menus have been entirely removed and are replaced by regal chambers and a butler, played by John Cleese. Here players can access their weapons room, clothing room and trophy room – complete with the hero’s gold coin stash. They can also view a ‘living’ 3D map where players can see how their kingdom’s economy is constantly changing.
“We are extremely pleased with the great work Lionhead has done to improve on what was already an amazing franchise,” adds Disney.
“There is a huge and extremely active Fable community which is eagerly awaiting the game. Lionhead’s variety of additions have helped to create a more action-adventure-style game that will appeal to a whole new audience.”
And with top voice talent in the title including Simon Pegg, Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry, it looks like this really will be the best Fable game yet.