I picked up Fable 3 over the weekend. I really liked Fable 1, thought Fable 2 was pretty good, and I’m already liking Fable 3 more than its predecessors. The graphics have improved greatly. I feel like the texture clarity has really sharpened and the colors used are much more rich and diverse. The biggest change is definitely the menu system or lack of a traditional menu. When you press the Start button your character is magically transported to a staging area of sorts. From here you are able to do things like change your clothes, interact with certain NPC’s, train abilities, and do everything you would do at a menu but actually have your character moving around. Pretty much all the menus are gone.
[Spoilers from the first ten minutes of the game ahead!]
In the first ten minutes of the game you are forced to make a very difficult decision. You’re not given much warning that this girl you meet and apparently have a fond association with will soon have her life at risk. Your brother, the evil king, and you are sons of the character you played in Fable 2. The evil brother has really been screwing up the kingdom and as a result the people are rioting/demonstrating. The evil king decides that he’s going to kill the people but you step in and tell him not to — this angers the evil king and he then decides that this wonderful girl you held hands and brought to the castle with you is to die or the people are to die. You’re faced with having to kill one person (this girl you may love/like) or a group of people. I was really torn over this forced and timed decision — if you take too long, the King will kill them all. I didn’t know what to do! Do I kill my friend and save the lives of many or kill the many and choose selfishly? It was gut wrenching, but I chose the girl to die.
Decisions like that are absolutely awful, but at the same time the urgency created by being forced to choose under time constraints really made that moment stick with me. I think it was really well done for such a quick decision too. I really only had five minutes with the girl and I was already torn up about having to choose her to die over the people. The Fable team also did a really nice job of also creating a sense that you’re a Prince. You’re able to choose your clothes when you wake up at the beginning of the game, talk with your servant Jasper, and then interact with those in your court as you walk out about the immediate grounds (Where you find the girl). Kudos to them for making such a memorable experience right off the bat. That’s something I would really love to see in other games more. Makes what I’ve done feel more personal and sets the tone quite nicely. Now it makes sense why the game begins to play out like it does and why the villain is so bad: he’s actually wronged me in a way.
My first impressions of Fable 3 are very positive. I’m a couple of hours in and liking the game very much.