I told you my backlog was big. I’m just now getting around to Fable 3 and I figured I’d share some thoughts on it so far. I’m probably around halfway through (I think) so I’ve got a good handle on the core mechanics and things the game has to offer at this point. I’m not going to go into detail with spoilerish things like the story line or specific quests but I’ll give you a good idea on some of the game mechanics at play.
So, my first impression is that things have been simplified. I wouldn’t go so far as to say dumbed down, just that Lionhead has tried to make the menu systems and other RPG elements easier to manage. Case in point being that the pause menu has been completely thrown out the window. Many of your menu items and lists have been turned into full-blown areas where you go and visit. Instead of the pause menu, your character is now transported to “The Sanctuary” where you can interact with things instead of clicking through menus. I will say it’s growing on me, but it wasn’t my favorite at the start. I had trouble finding specific things that a menu could have provided me much quicker. Now that I’m used to where things are and how to find other things, it’s not so bad. I think I still would have preferred a menu system but I can understand why Lionhead went this route.
Since this is still a light RPG game, leveling up is included just….well…different than you might expect. Experience takes the form of Guild Seals, earned for defeating enemies, interacting with people, and completing quests. You can spend these on treasure chests on “The Road to Rule” which is basically your typical skill tree in a physical form just like the Sanctuary. You unlock new areas in the Road by moving the main storyline along which can be compared to having a character level up. Again, it’s different but I don’t have any problems with it really. The only thing that I think should have been explained better is the fact that you now have to unlock/purchase things which you got at the beginning of Fable 2 like the ability to purchase shops and homes, get married, have kids, etc.
I think as a whole, that’s one of the main issues with Fable 3. It changes a lot of the mechanics from Fable 2 and presents them in a different way, but forgets to really inform the player about what they need or where stuff is. You’ll learn by doing in this game. While there’s a million things you can do between side quests, demon doors, purchase real estate, find hidden collectables, to name a few, it’s those little things that really nag at you. With that said, the Industrial Age setting is very interesting and the voice acting is once again top notch. I still have a long ways to go before I’m finished with the game, but I’m having a good time and enjoy being back in Albion. In the end, that’s really all you can ask of a video game, right?