It’s time I admit it: I’m in an abusive relationship.
Fable keeps promising it will change, but in the end I have the same old black eye. (If you had not guessed, this review is about to go poorly for Fable 3.)
I should know better by now, but I gave Fable 3 a chance because I bought a new phone. It was a “buy a phone, get a game!” deal, and in hindsight I realize that they were only doing it to get rid of the massive pile of unsold Fable 3 copies currently clogging up a warehouse the size of an airport hangar.
Albion still sucks
The land of Albion is known for its downtrodden people, oppressive monarch , and little kids who grow up to be Gods. Fable 3 decided to change all this, so Albion is now full of severely downtrodden people, a massively oppressive monarch, and a hero in his twenties that will grow up to be a God.
You start as the prince of Albion, brother to the king, and son of the hero from Fable 2 — although the way I left things in the last game means I’m not sure how that came to be. I think they had no clue how to tie this one together with the last one and gave up, because the way I left things in Fable 2, I was more of a nomadic jerkwad than a king.
So your brother is a royal jerkwad…oh! Now I see how they tied it together, that is pretty clever. He enjoys killing severely downtrodden people and ruling with an iron fist. He is also a tool. But his shenanigans have gone on for far too long (the opening cutscene) and it’s time to depose him.
Word to the wise: I’m going to throw a spoiler or two out here. So, if you have not already stopped reading, this would be a good time.
With the help of your sword trainer and a 150-year-old butler, you set out to overthrow him. If that doesn’t scream “ACTION!” I don’t know what does.
My grand quest was underway, and I was going to overthrow my brother, become king, and rule justly. At least, that’s what everyone kept telling me. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to make it through a Fable game without being more evil than Emperor Palpatine kicking a wheelchair-bound orphan into a blast furnace. I think it’s because I hate the people of Albion for being a bunch of sissypants crybabies. They can’t do anything themselves, so they send you to do it for them… and then they don’t give you cool stuff in return.
You have to woo rebellion leaders so that they help you. They promise to help you in exchange for your promise to help them once you become king, and the mutual promising of weighty promises of support is all very dramatic. They put your gamertag on a contract and everything! Not that it’s legally binding — once you are king, you can have them put to death for forging your gamertag.
This happens, and then it happens again, and again and again. The funny thing is that I was having fun with this wash, rinse, repeat gameplay. I was doing quests, earning magic, and dressing like a moron. It was great until about eight hours in, when something horrible happened: I became the king of Albion.
The new king sucks!
Let’s get this straight: the moral choices in Fable 3 are not complex. You have “really good” and “really bad” options. In games like Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic (both recommended by me), you can make it through the entire game without going to one of the Karma extremes. This doesn’t seem possible in Fable 3, which started to upset me. Once you are king, you sit on your throne and make black and white decisions.
Yep, the game of high adventure turns into a bureaucracy simulator. Can you say “thrilling”? No, you cannot say that at this point in the game. In order to save the kingdom from an upcoming threat you have to make some hard choices.
If you choose to save the kingdom and its oppressed people, you are evil
If you choose to let everyone die, you get to keep the people’s high opinion of you.
This is beyond frustrating. Why? Because in the end, it doesn’t matter at all. You get a spiffy graphic update to your character, and that’s it. Why even have the game mechanic there?
Wait! That was it?
I beat the last boss in Fable 3. The thing is, I had no idea I was fighting the last boss. I thought it was a pre-final-boss fight. It was super easy, and took maybe ninety seconds. The great horror that had been hyped since the middle of the game took NINETY SECONDS to BEAT!
Then the end credits roll. It would be a lie if I said I was not upset. Fable 3 had a worse ending than Fable 2, and we all know how that ended. It’s beyond comprehension that the creators of the Fable series have no clue how to end a game. It’s like a guide climbing Mount. Everest, stopping twenty feet from the peak, and saying to the rest of the team, “That’s it, guys, let’s go back down!”
“But we want to reach the peak,” the team shouts.
“Why?” He asks them.
“Because we have worked so hard for this grand pay off!”
“Oh! Yeah…No, you don’t get that on Lionhead tours.
So you’re left on the doorstep of a dramatic end, just inches from what could be greatness. I do NOT recommend that you play Fable 3.