Review: Fable 3

I’m going to cut to the chase: Fable 3 is one of the biggest downgrades of a franchise in the last decade. It is full of so many stupid design choices and idiotic features that it makes Fable 3 not worth playing.

The story is incredibly predictable, despite all the support characters gasping in shock every four seconds at plot details we learned two hours ago. Pokemon Red had a better implementation of reiterating plot points and it’s not even the same kind of RPG! It as if Lionhead Studios assumes that people playing RPGs won’t be paying attention to the story.

That is if you can even call this game an RPG. Fable 3 is split up into two parts, where the first section is rather enjoyable, but extremely tedious, and the second part is just sit on the throne and do QTEs. Oh yeah, spoiler alert: You become king, as if it wasn’t obvious already because the marketing material gave it away.

Your first order of business as king is to make decisions that affect the racial community.

See, the first part is an RPGish thing, it’s more of an adventure game than anything. Sometimes the game throws in some stupid moral choice stuff with options that range from “yeah fix the burning orphanage” to “DESTROY THE WORLD WITH A WANNABE NUKE”. They did add a middleground to some of these choices, but you’ll very rarely choose it.

I'm not joking.
Interacting with cardboard cutouts of NPCs actually sounds more enjoyable, now that I think about it.

But the critical flaw of Fable 3 is how it handles NPC interactions. This is a critical mechanic for RPGs to implement, and Fable 3 just tripped over a spec of dust and completely fucking flopped on this task. In order to interact with a person, you must stand somewhat nearby them and wait quite a while before a “Interact” button will fly over their head.

Only then you are able to interact with them. There’s no more group interactions, and with it went the lock-on-targetting NPC interaction system that took literally no time at all.

Once the game has recognized you want to interact with an NPC, it transitions to a black screen before you’re able to do anything. It actually loads up the interaction that you are about to have. That’s stupid. If I want to talk to someone, I don’t want to have to wait for the game to load up the person before I can say something to them. I’m standing right next to them, what the hell?!

Additionally, Fable 3 introduces four EXTREMELY ANNOYING mechanics that make me want to throw my computer at the wall:

Fuck the hand mechanic.
This guy cannot pay me enough to make me want to continue doing these “Hold hands with the criminals” missions. It’s so frustrating.

First: The hand mechanic. To get a person to follow you or to be able to escort them, you must hold their hand. To do so, you wait about 10 seconds for the “Hold Hands” prompt to pop up. Then you have to walk at their speed to wherever your destination is.

In very rare occasions you will be able to run, but then other NPCs (and your dumbass dog) will decide it is a good idea to cut inbetween you and the NPC you are dragging, thus causing the hand link to break, which is frustrating. And to make it worse, if there is more than one NPC in the area, the game will reset everyone’s pathfinding.

Basically, towns and bridges become a clusterfuck really quickly.

Second: The “Accept this item” mechanic. No matter what you do, should it be having bought an item, getting a quest reward or receiving the key for the quest from an NPC, you must accept the fact that you have this item by pressing a button. This is a great addition because there is no button to deny receiving the item, THUS RENDERING THIS STEP UTTERLY POINTLESS.

It’s just yet another stupid button press between getting each item. So when you buy an item and accept paying it, you then have to accept the fact that you just got the item. Thank you Peter Molyneux for making getting rewards annoying as hell.

Third: The “I want to be your friend” bullshit. In order to do pretty much anything, the villagers have determined that you must earn their trust by doing remedial fetch, courier and/or gift missions.

This means that you must take whatever item they have and chuck it into the nearest firepit for them to consider you a good person. Luckily, Fable 3 does not require-OH WAIT, IT TOTALLY DOES.

There are several main quests that require you to be friends with people in order to build a better standing with the town/place. To do so, you must interact with every NPC individually. Fantastic.

Fourth: The “there is no health bar in real life, so we don’t have one” mechanic. A good RPG would have a life bar during fights, or atleast some extremely obvious way to tell that you have 5% of your health left. It would also be reliable, and would show up at the first sign, all the time. NOPE, we can’t have that. You are assumed to know when you are about to die or not. The first and only warning sign is your world becomes incredibly gray and there is a faded red border around your screen. The issue here is that the hint appears sporadically, ranging anywhere between 65% of your health, to 5%. There is no way to tell I was about to die until it happened.

What the hell. If I’m supposed to fight a billion enemies all at once, I’d atleast like to know how much health I have before I die, dammit.

All in all, your dog is an idiot, and you should skip Fable 3.

Verdict: PASS