Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Fable III [a kind of review]

I suppose this was inevitable, at some point I would have to say what I think about Fable III. As you might (or not) guessed by earlier posts I'm a bit of a fan, or at least used to be. Right now I'm a bit torn, because although I do like Fable III, it took me a while.

The first hour or two I was not pleased with what I saw, or should I say touched. Actually what I saw was quite nice, sure Lionhead went a little overboard with Bloom-effects, it feels like I'm too stupid to squint when I'm looking straight into the sun. And the characters are much more detailed than they were in Fable II. I never liked the villagers in Fable II because they always looked, how should I say this nicely, butt-fuckingly-ugly.. Yeah, that outta do it. But in Fable III they are much more pleasant to look at, meaning I no-longer feel the strong urge to stab myself in the eyes every time I have to talk to someone. Sure the cut scenes are way nicer, but then again they usually are so I can forgive you for that.

But back to what I touched...and how I wasn't pleased with it... Lionhead, seriously? I actually believed you when you said you wanted me to feel more emotionally attached and all that with the new touch system. But alas, you failed almost entirely with it. When it works the way it's obviously intended it's really quite nice. There's nothing quite like having a stroll with your loved one and holding hands but when my loved one always seems to hang a bit behind me like I'm walking too fast and she (or he) just can't be bothered to tell me to "go slower douche bag", the level of immersion quickly fades away and I'm left with the feeling that for Fable IV you should really give me the option to carry my loved one instead. At least that way I wouldn't have be annoyed every time they get stuck in a tree or an oddly shaped rock and let go of me like I have leprosy only to seconds later running quickly to catch up to me in a pathetic attempt to say, "I'm sorry I let go earlier, I totally do love you despite your leprosy and I won't happen again." But it will.

And to interact with a villager I end up watching more "fade to black" -screens than anything else, why is that Lionhead Studios? I would really like to know.

My dog is dumber than a.. well a dog I suppose.

Weapon types have been scaled down to a bare minimum and my selection of clothing has been limited to a level where it feels like the next step would be; "This is what you wore when you were born, deal with it". Doesn't Lionhead know that I easily spent hours in Fable II just nitpicking over which shade of red my bandanna should be.

And my butler keeps nagging me about that there's new crap in the Sanctuary Shop, oh rly? There wasn't last time I looked and since I didn't buy the crap that was there in the first place, I'm obviously not interested in buying it.

So with this in mind. Did/do I like Fable III?

The answers actually a short, yes, yes I do. The world is bright and colourful and it's people is incredible charming, in a genre where most developers seem to think RPG means "Defeat the greatest evil the world has ever seen". The quests range from the so serious "Find my missing child" to the ridiculous "Fart on people because you wants to". (No I don't actually know if the second quest is a real one, but I sure hope so). The combat feels appropriately challenging even though it's a bit of a button-mash-fest.

Despite several flaws, I like Fable III and I will give it 3.5. But I do sincerely hope that if Lionhead Studios continues the Fable legacy, that they stop changing things just for the sake of changing things. As for their Title Update, I hope they will some of the more severe glitches Fable III has.

Sometimes you might miss a good idea because you're so busy changing it.