For all Fable III's simplification, the Sanctuary is ironically the most unnecessary and unwieldy introduction in videogame history. Regular RPG menus and inventories are replaced with a series of walk-in rooms, where you can change clothes, upgrade weapons, check achievements and access multiplayer features. Intended as a less daunting system, the Sanctuary remains cumbersome and time consuming long after a traditional menu system would have been mastered.
Throne in for good measure
With so many other divisive alterations, Fable III's game-changing two-hour denouement arrives with little surprise. In asking what happens after the hero has deposed the despot and acceded to the throne, Lionhead Studios attempts to reveal the sobering weight of responsibility that comes with authority. A mature theme poses complex political questions – ones especially pertinent to our present times of economic austerity. Yet, like so much of Fable III, its execution is overly simplistic. Alas, the gameplay devolves into repetitive, facile choices between the short-term needs of the few, and the long-term good of the many.
Despite the unexpectedly gloomy finale, Fable III sustains the entertaining characteristics of its predecessors throughout. The ensemble of British acting luminaries imbue the narrative with a vitality and gravitas that elevates a disjointed and often puerile script, even managing to enliven its dated, stereotypical Python-esque comedy with their dead-pan delivery.
Need to alter a few things
In trying to make itself as accessible as possible, Fable III is a gamble that doesn't pay off. Stripped of the compulsive mechanics of collecting and levelling that define the RPG experience, Fable III is left to rely on adventuring alone. While there's no denying that adventure occasionally entertains – helped immeasurably by some excellent voice acting – a lack of variety and shallow gameplay ultimately spoil the fun. ®
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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.