Developers: Lionhead Studios
Publishers: Microsoft Game Studios
Plot: 50 years after the events of the last game, the King of Albion’s reign becomes tyrannical, causing his brother to set out on a personal quest to usurp him.
There is something every comfortable about Fable. On one hand, it comes across as a simple version of Skyrim: something to play, while we are waiting for the next Elder Scrolls to come out. However, when we look closer at it, there is something sweet and homely about it. This is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and in doing so, we allow it to get away with so much. It is the little child of the family, not quite as experienced as the older siblings, yet it always manages to draw attention back to itself.
I enjoy the Britishness of the game as well. Fable 2 had several fantastic British actors, providing voiceover work for it. Fable 3 seems to have double the amount of stars in it. You will be playing along and then realise that the soldiers you are meant to be rendezvousing with are actually Simon Pegg and Jason Manford. To name a few of the stars in this game, we see Naomie Harris (Skyfall), Bernard Hill (Lord of the Rings) and Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3). Stephen Fry and Zoe Wanamaker also return from the second game. Even star of the year Michael Fassbender managed to fit in time to voice this game’s particularly cold villain, Logan. For a Brit like me, this game feels like a home-grown production and made me throw myself into this game more, because of it.
Sadly, there is a sense that this game is stepping over old ground. After a neat intro, your player is given a dog sidekick, a few friendly faces to call ally and then you are thrown into the world of Albion. The game requires you to travel around the map, doing favours and making promises with the local tribes, so they will vote you to become the next King, once you’ve defeated your brother. In doing this, we kind of feel like we are playing a reworked version of the old game. We get the remote villages, the zombie monsters, the side quest, the appearance of the Balverines in the second half of the game. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I enjoyed going through the old map from the second game, but 50 years in the future (this game is going through a state of Industrialisation). It is an enjoyable experience, but it feels lazy and gets old a lot quicker than Fable 2 did.
Also, this game takes the brave move of giving you a character to play. In the second, I enjoyed the idea that your character is fairly anonymous. Much like Skyrim, you are bestowed the honour of being a chosen one, but other than that, you can decide on the path your guy will take. As the brother of the King, you are already given an extensive background and you can’t be as mean as you would like. You kind of feel like a greedy politician going around and being overly nice for the sake of getting votes. However, seeing as I spent the last paragraph arguing how Fable 3 slips into repetition, I can hardly blame the writers for trying something new. I just preferred the anonymity of the second game.
The third act is where the game comes into its own. When you complete your mission and take over Logan’s rule, it seems a sensible point for the game to end. However, the writers do something fun here and throw in a twist. I don’t want to spoil this for you, but is a great piece of storytelling and changes the way you look at the game, in general. It lasts a little too short (I would love the entirety of Fable 4 to be based on this kind of gameplay) and sometimes the farcical nature of the game dampens the message being put across, but nonetheless, it takes the game to another level. It is worth getting this game for experiencing the ending.
Final verdict: Even without the interesting end, it is possible to overlook the repetition of the series, and just enjoy it for its simple nature.