Guild your combats
It's a novel system offering a simpler levelling approach. But in unifying attribute points under one currency, and by supplying a superabundance of that currency through acts as simple as running errands or amusing citizens, Fable III quickly devalues character progression through a surfeit of choice.
Learn the surroundings
This wouldn't be such a problem but for the ease of combat. Retaining the series' one-button principles, mêlée, ranged weapons and magic are always at your disposal, their efficacy equivalent regardless of enemy or situation. And infinite stamina, ammo and mana further reduces combat to button-bashing attrition, in which the only real skill involves not falling asleep at the pad.
Health also needs little consideration. Dispensing with a meter, Fable III adopts the warning system of numerous FPSs, where respite is required after suffering too many hits. But unlike those FPSs, food and potions instantly restore. Even when felled, the penalty is insignificant. Knocked out for a second or two, you are restored in situ, with full health, and with only your progress towards the next Guild Seal affected.
It's not just combat, levelling and inventories that are scaled back in Fable III. Despite being in the middle of an industrial revolution, Albion itself feels simplified, with much less emphasis placed on ancillary gameplay of relationships, commerce and general exploration.
Never give a sword to a man who can't dance
The expression system is also simplified, replacing Fable II's radial menu with contextual prompts, and limiting interaction to one person at a time. Whistling, dancing and farting your way to approbation now feels tired, the extraction of Guild Seals consequently prescribed and laboriously mercantile.
Next page: Gloomy Finale
Molyneux needs to give up
He hasn't done anything worthwhile since Populous.
Everything he has done since then has been preceded by monumental amounts of hype and magnificent claims about all manner of ground breaking innovation.
The end result is always completely underwhelming pap.
Black and White anyone?
The review writer
Should have reviewed Fallout New Vegas, and Lucy Fable III
No Strength, Skill and Will and the choices and options between them that completely change your playstyle? But...that's the absolute core of the Fable games.
And no simple menu system to jump through to pick your options nice and simply? Sounds like a real PITA to get things done.
I'm now wondering if I should cancel my order. I like humourous aspects in the previous games, but sometimes it wasn't humour - it was just stupid and made me cringe, a feeling I don't like. I was hoping they'd step beyond pathetic things like 'friday is poker night' and 'oh, I'm so dreadfully evil and dark, don't you know' and make bad bad and good good.
Hmm, this may be worth a rental before a buy I think...or at least spend some time watching someone else play it. Sad to hear it's not extended the game depth. Sequels in stories, movies, books, games...are always better when the sequels gain in depth and complexity as the story goes on - otherwise the consumer gets bored.
The map... how annoying is the map!
I have no sense of direction. I need a GPS to find the bathroom in the dark. So in games like this, I rely on the map. It's no big thing normally - click a button, see where you are in relation to stuff, maybe zoom a bit. Move towards where you think you're going and life is good.
No. Now I have to jump back to some room and listen to Stephen Fry start talking. Then I have to walk to a table to see the map. Then choose the place I am. Surely that should be the default? Then zoom in. Then get a feel for things and go back to the world and try again.
No compass to let me know if I'm going the right way. This is going to take forever finish, and not in a good way.
Isn't this the hardware side of Reg? Why a software review here?
And, anyway, Molyneux seems to think that "busy" is the same as "depth" nowdays. Sad.