Let me first begin by saying that I was late to the Fable series of games. I didn’t play the first iteration until a year after it was released. I picked up the second in the series a few months after it’s release, sold it, bought it again and fell in love. The third and most recent release was a pre-order, of the limited edition variety. Whether or not that’s relevant, I don’t know. I just thought it necessary to point out my history with Fable. Now, on to what I thought of Fable 3.

The story

I loved it. From the opening cut-scene to the last. I won’t go into specifics, but it definitely made me emotional, which is a good thing. If I’m not emotional when I play through a game, it usually means the developer didn’t do their job. I think there’s something to be said about a game and a developer that can make a 24-year-old guy feel horrible for his actions, and even shed a tear. I don’t think enough games make the consequences of your actions hit home quite like Fable does for me.

The visuals

I’ve always enjoyed the stylized look of Fable. I’m constantly standing in high up places peering out over the landscape at a forest, a lake, or mountains. Sometimes it makes me feel like a kid again. I’m usually in awe.

The audio

Again, I’ve always enjoyed the score in the Fable games. I’m a sucker for orchestral pieces set in a game that allows you to wonder the world at your leisure. There’s a particular piece of music that sounds like it’s played with a xylophone. Every time I hear it, my brain thinks “child-like sense of wonder.” It reminds me of a kid wondering around using their imagination to explain things they are seeing. I think it fits, and I really like it.

Aside from the score, the ambiance is top notch. I really enjoy walking through the woods and hearing them come alive with things I can’t see, but can imagine are there. This carries over to the towns as well. I like to stand in a town square and hear the conversations that take place, or listen to the criers inform everyone of the latest happenings. It just feels alive, and adds to the immersion.

The gameplay

I am now a fan of using one button for attacks. You use the X button for melee, the Y button for ranged, and the B button for spells. The longer you hold them down, the better they get. It’s simple and fun. If you want to interact with people, walk up to them and press A, which gives you your good, bad, and neutral actions. If you want to hold the persons hand, hold the LT. I’ll talk more about holding hands in the wrap-up.

The Bad

This is my one and only complaint about Fable 3, and it drives me absolutely bonkers because it seems like such an easy thing to prevent. In this game you can become friends with people. In order to become friends with any villager, you have to do a quest for them. I don’t mind helping people, the problem I have is that there are only two types of quests you can do for them.

When you want to be someones friend you either do a fetch quest, or a courier quest. It is very repetitive. If I seek out five friends in Brightwall Village, all of their friend quests are in the same area. If I have a “go and dig this up” quest, I’m digging in one of two places. If I have to go and meet someone for a courier quest, I’m going to one of two places. I’m constantly wondering if this is some conspiracy by the villagers. Why would they all bury or lose things in the same spot? I really wish there were more creativity with these friend quests.

Wrap up

For me, Fable is one of those games that if you let it, it can suck you in and make it hard to return to reality. It’s the same with any RPG, the more you give yourself to it, the more it gives back. I absolutely love being able to purchase houses and shops, set the prices, and see tangible feedback. If I set the prices high enough, I see more beggars, people yell at me, they wear different clothes, and the general mood of the area drops.

No other game I’ve ever played has made me feel so connected to the world. Being able to take a characters hand and lead them around was an amazing feeling. Whether it was dragging a prisoner back to a guard, or helping a little girl out of a cave. I understand why Lionhead put that mechanic in the game. It worked, 100%. When it came to the end, and things transpired, I remembered all of those people I had helped, talked to and led by the hand and it was a terrible feeling.

This game is for anyone that enjoys an immersive experience. It isn’t going to be fed to you, you have to put in the effort, but if you do, the reward is great. Even if things don’t turn out the way you had hoped.

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