A two-year gap separates Fable II from Fable III. In that time, Lionhead Studios put in a good bit of work to make the sequel look substantially better. The game still takes place in the land of Albion. And while the setting remains the same, the looks have definitely changed. On an artistic level, the world evolved, cities grew bleaker, and the inhabitants look quite a bit more downtrodden. From a technical standpoint, Lionhead Studios updated the game with higher resolution textures, better water reflections, normal mapping, and considerably more.
We'll go through some of the changes and point out specific areas of interest with zoomed-in versions of the screenshots.
Fable III ditched the soft focus filter that made Fable II so cuddly. The bleak outlook that starts off Fable III wouldn't be quite as believable if it were warm and fuzzy.
High Resolution Textures
Stepping into a tavern in Fable II treated us to some rather drab interiors. Fable III remedies the issue with considerably higher resolution textures and much more detail. Get a better look at the differences with the second set of comparison images.
Furry Dogs and Better Clothes
Lionhead ditched the wet-dog look from Fable II and gave your furry friend, well, fur. In keeping with the higher resolution textures, your character also looks considerably better and the clothes much more detailed.
Normal mapping, also called bump mapping, adds depth to textures. An example of this is readily visible on the tree bark. Fable II's tree trunks were relatively featureless, while the bark on the trees in Fable III have deep crags. You can see more examples of this on the bricks in the images further down the page.
Fable III's water and water reflections are head and shoulders above those in Fable II.
More of a stylistic change, full-character representations are available at the outset of the game, rather than the cards that Lionhead used in Fable II.
The main city of Bowerstone changed considerably from Fable II to Fable III. Take a gander at some of the differences.