Fable 3’s first ten minutes of gameplay are very well done

He's not a very nice guy.

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.

  • That’s pretty awesome. My Fable 3 is in the mail and will arrive today, but I won’t be able to play it until after 3 when I’m done with my last midterm. Sounds pretty amazing.

    I’m not sure how keen I am on the idea of the ‘non-menu, menu’. But I may like it once I start to use it.

  • You’re playing it on XBox, right? I don’t have one of those. I’ve been interested in this title as I was a fan of Black And White, but have to wait until the PC version comes out apparently. The problem is that the more I hear about how great something is without experiencing it, the less I care about experiencing it. So they need to get the PC version out soon or I know I’ll never try it.

  • I like it enough to be on my second playthrough.

    I rushed through the first time, because I wanted to finish it before putting it aside until they fix the performance issues. Far too often there are stutters and ‘slow-mo’. Quests get stuck too often as well.

    But with no patch by Saterday, I picked it up again and started my full playthrough. You kind of get used to the bugs/lag.

  • This game does have serious frame rate issues, which I hope they can fix. Also you’ll have to be patient with the golden trail, sometimes it takes forever to point you in the right direction. This game is beautiful, Its a nice change from the dreary greys and browns of some games like Fallout. Wait till you get to the second continent of Auora which is a nice contrast to the colors of Albion yet still remains to look amazing. The “Endgame” really had me indecisive, its so hard to make a decision. Piece of advice to all those who play, save as much gold as you can, you”ll need it.

  • A couple more hours in and you’ll own every property along with having beat the game. I’m extremely disappointed in what could have been a fantastic game. It feels rushed and falls way short of what I expected. I don’t consider myself a hardcore gamer but over the course of a few days with a few odd hours here and there with no strategy guide I ended up with all 5 gold keys, 27 silver keys and 33 gnomes…along with completely beating the game (had my wings). Granted I didn’t open every chest on the road…I really didn’t feel the need to. If you play the game all the way through you’ll understand why.

    Money feels unimportant because it’s do stupidly easy to get from the very beginning. Sadly…this will be the last Fable game I ever buy 🙁

  • You chose the girl to die! Omg Keen, you better hope your GF(Or future GF) doesn’t read this blog 😛

    Me on the other hand, I would never let Puntang slip through my hands like that 😉 hehe

  • I have to confess, I was completely unmoved by the first part of the story. Should I kill my g/f or kill some random people I don’t care about? I don’t see why I’d feel at all bad about letting the random people get killed. I certainly didn’t put them in their situation. o.O

    I was much much more frustrated by the decision just a few moments earlier. A guy asks you to sign a petition, because people are poor and that’s sad. They don’t let you read the petition, so of course you don’t want to sign it. But that’s not an option. You can either sign it, or yell at and insult the guy who gave you it. Very frustrating. Not to mention that signing it (supposedly good) almost certainly would ensure the guy’s death for being associated with you a few moments later.

    I went through the game, pretty much choosing on my conscience, and the first time I actually felt guilty about something my character did was the time where it didn’t let me choose what to do. The only way to advance was to agree to make a promise about something. And you had no idea whether or not you’d be able to keep the promise. The most haunting, immoral thing I did the whole play-through and it was forced. >.<

  • It’s amusing that you wasted so many words describing such an insignificant event (choosing whom to kill – your GF or a group of random peasants or all of them) which has no noticeable impact on later parts of the game 🙂

  • @JohnC: You missed the point, but I disagree anyway. I don’t consider it insignificant when it’s a device used to generate a purpose for disliking the antagonist other than simply stating “this is the bad guy — hate him”.

  • I didn’t miss your point, I just personally expect the interactive choices given at the very beginning of the game (which, in case of Fable 3, was a weird thing to do since I, as a player, could not even develop any emotional attachment towards either a main character’s GF/BF or a random group of a strangers (peasants) only after a couple of minutes of playing the game) to have SOME sort of noticeable consequences on the later part of the game. If that is not the case, there is no need for any virtual “choices” – just use a non-interactive “cutscene” to show your supposedly “evil” brother kill someone supposedly “innocent”, the outcome will be EXACTLY the same (you will think of your brother as “evil”).

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