Fable III Updated Impressions

Peter Molyneux shows us how the world of Albion is shaped by your choices and actions.

"The old Peter Molyneux would say, 'You can level up everything in the world!'" joked the Lionhead Studios creative director with no small dash of self-deprecating humor. This moment of self-reflection punctuated a sequence in Molyneux's E3 2010 Fable III demo in which he sought to explain the game's focus on empowering players by giving them the means to leave a visible impact on the world around them. Is he finally trying to temper expectations--a likely first for the charismatic game developer? Not exactly. In poking fun at his own penchant for lofty proclamations, Molyneux still managed to highlight just how ambitious the latest entry in the Fable series aims to be.

More so than previous games, Fable III is about a hero's rise to power--literally taking the throne and ruling over the world of Albion. To do so, the player has to recruit followers and gain influence. With enough followers, the player will be able to stage a revolution and bring about a new rule. The current king, Logan, is a tyrannical dictator of epic proportions. He has recklessly thrust Albion into an industrial revolution, with the Dickensian sights and sounds of charcoal skies and children shuffling into day jobs at factories making up the initial gameworld. Molyneux didn't dance around the issue: "I want you to hate Logan."

As you run around Albion doing missions, you'll collect more and more followers. Your influence--that vital indicator of just how close you are to ridding the world of Logan--is reflected in a number of different ways. At the most immediate level, you'll see your weapon morph and change in accordance with your number of followers, as well as your affinity for doing good or evil. A well-known jerk will go to battle with a sword that has gradually grown red, dripping spikes and horns, while a famous nice guy will wield a weapon that bursts with angelic light.

However, you'll also see the world changing in other ways based on more heady decisions, like those made over the course of the story. At a certain point in the game you'll encounter a group of travelers led by a character voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley. Being people of the land, they're very familiar with the fact that Logan is chopping down every tree in the kingdom, so you're able to work with them to stop Logan from demolishing Mother Nature. The same goes for the factories in the city. As you gain wealth and power, you can eventually own those industrial factories and make the decision whether or not to continue employing children. Once king, your influence is felt in things like how viciously you tax the poor. All of this is a means to the same end: letting players see their experience reflected not only in their own character, but in the world around them.

Bowerstone is where Logan's rule has hit hardest, with peaceful mountain villages more secluded from the tyranny. These locations offer up a chance to interact with characters who aren't quite as downtrodden as the ones in the city. Maybe that's why the Lionhead rep manning the controller during our demo didn't seem to feel any guilt when he walked up to a nice lady and farted directly in her face…which was followed up by jumping onto her back and riding her like a mule. Of course, that stuff is typical of the interactions the Fable series has always had. New to Fable III is the ability to reach out and take people by the hand and guide them places. If you're the mean type, you can literally drag a homeless man into forced labor. But it's not always for something that vile. At the end of a mission where you have to rescue a missing girl from wolves on a snowy mountain pass, the little girl is so traumatized that she won't move. You have to console her with kindhearted gestures, which lessens her traumatized state so that she will accept your hand and return to the village. But if she were someone from Bowerstone more aware of your status as a hero, she might have been more cooperative from the outset.

These are a few of the ways that the decisions you make and the actions you carry out affect the world around you and, as a result, how people interact with you. What we're most eager to see at this point is the game's second half, when you're king and making decisions on a much larger scale. What about those promises you made to people before the revolution? Just how much can you abuse your seat on the throne and still feel comfortable as king? We should find out more before Fable III is released on October 26.

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Discussion

101 comments
Dr_Manfattan
Dr_Manfattan

@Psycho snowman wouldnt it be better to dive into the game only expecting it to be mediocre? then if its better than that you will get more enjoyment out of the game. anyway, i wasnt too sure about the game after the first few details were released but now im sure im getting the game. hopefully this fable will finally show of more of Molyneux's visions than the previous two.

Psycho_snowman
Psycho_snowman

After reading up on the game a lot, and watching just about every video I could find, I must say I'm very skeptical about this release... Especially after much of what was promised in both Fable 1 and 2 was just barely dabbled into, or not at all. Don't get me wrong, I love Fable, and Fable 2 was pretty good, but I don't think Fable 3 will be much more than okay. I intend to give it every chance though, and dive into it expecting something totally new.

MaddogQ80
MaddogQ80

i really hope for once he can meet expectations

ooblah
ooblah

For the debate that Fable 2 was too in depth, I believe the contrary. However I do believe the story was not intended for children or simpletons. Peter Molyneux may not admit it to the general public, but the Fable series is intended for adults. Not that children shouldn't or couldn't play it and enjoy it, but that it would be beyond there realm of thinking. Sure there're plenty of juvenile and immature things that you can carry out in Fable 2, but the game offers much more to those who wish to be enlightened. Children, even older teens, couldn't possibly understand all of the complexities that accompany the task of making many of the moral decisions offered to you in the games. There was a side quest in Fable 2 where you were tasked with finding a suitable "mate" for a farmer's son. I wont spoil the quest for anyone who's yet to play it, but it's a clear example of why Fable can certainly be "in depth". Also, folks complaining about the lack of RPG elements, get over it. Molyneux has stated on several occasions that he wants to move away from RPGs, even that he would like to be disassociated with them.

razgriz1972
razgriz1972

Fable 2 was in depth but some people can't follow a story from the first game and the prehistory to that

C_Jubb
C_Jubb

Loved the past two Fable games. Admittedly I did prefer the first one though. I hope the second one goes back to having a similar, more in-depth story like the first game. Also kind of wish they would develop the armor system from the first game a bit more. Rather then replacing the different suits of armor with different clothes, actually developing a system more like other RPGs like Oblivion. My biggest hope, however, is for them to make this new game a little less childish then the second one was. I mean farting or dancing like a kossak for a group of people is fun for the first 10 seconds, but after that it just gets tedious. But seeing as we will be able to ride random passersby like mules that hope might be in vain. Still all things considered looking to be another awesome game.

Phantom2745
Phantom2745

@ remmingten hahaha you must be trolling "..it was too in-depth.." that made me burst out laughing. Story of Fable 2: 1: Get shot 2: Grow up 3: Recruit three bland characters 4: Shoot Lucien in the face 5: ??? 6: PROFIT

KoolzKatz
KoolzKatz

I never get tired of hearing Peter Molyneux talk, he is a great hype machine all on his own

siarhei
siarhei

Great, a mute hero again. Would it really hurt to voice over the main character?

Castlevania1986
Castlevania1986

That's funny, Graphics don't matter? If they dont matter then why in the f*ck do you owna Next Gen console? Why aren't you still playing PS2 games only or better yet, 6 Bit games? Graphics are just as important as everything else a game needs. I wish I would spend $300-$400 on a console and pretend that I dont care about the graphics. We're not wasting cash to play games with good gameplay but crappy graphics. And I don't know, but Fable 2 wasn't that great. the game had too many bugs in it, it was laggy, and I wouldn't say it was that short since you have to do everything in the game. Now if you blow right through it, then yes its short. But what I hated the most were how the NPC's were. They were just flat out lifeless, your kids didn't grow into teens or anything either. And I wondered why there weren't any main characters standing around like Reaver or the characters of all the legendary weapons you picked up. I mean its like make the NPC's do something, give them more personality. And in case you don't know by now? Fable 2 lacked items and clothing horribly. You could dig up something a dozen times, only to find out its the same crappy item you can buy from one of the shops. So I always paid the dog no attention whenever he barked. Sometimes I did, but sometimes I didn't. Peter needs to also do away with that stupid system where you grow horns for being evil, and a Halo for being good. Its part of the reason so many people that play Fable preferred to be Neutral.

khoofia_pika
khoofia_pika

I can't wait to get my hands on this! Fable was awesome, Fable II was even better, this will be the BEST! :D

I_Like_Muffins
I_Like_Muffins

@ gorygorefest45 and remmingten, you're both idiots. I personally love the Fable series, I lost count of the number of times I played through fable 1 and TLC, and as much as I hate Fable 2, I've played through that at least 5 times as well. Disregarding all it's flaws, it is a good game. Unfortunately, it just lacks, well, everything a good RPG needs; compelling and long story, decent graphics and no bugs! And remmingten, there is nothing "in-depth" about Fable 2 at all, you're hand guided through the whole freaking game. Don't insult people's intelligence for having an opinion.

gorygorefest45
gorygorefest45

@ remmingten true that bro. those kind of people are probly just mw2 fanboys and cant play anything else

remmingten
remmingten

@gorygorefest45 it was great but you cant get mad at people for not appreciating fable 2, it was too in-depth for those people... If you thought you were going to play something like crackdown 2 or ironman...and got fable 2, you would be VERY upset and probably beat the game with very little understanding of it...some people dont like being forced to think hard

gorygorefest45
gorygorefest45

@ freedhitman i agree it waas a great ass game. everyone that couldnt appreciate fable 2 is jus a dum tit licker i play games jus to have fun u dont have to get all technical an sh it dumbf ucks

JFHansen
JFHansen

Coolest news ever, fable 3 for PC . . YES !

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

So, is the becoming king thing the story line? I hope not because that is pretty shallow. you can drag homeless people around though.

M-Mehl
M-Mehl

I really hope that this game keeps the promisses made. Fable 2 was such a let down in allmost every way.

thefableman
thefableman

I hope they make a way to put more spells into the game. Fable 1 had over 20 spells, Fable 2 had like 5. Also I'm looking forward to the combat system so long as its sped up like they say and they keep some stuff from Fable 2 like a barrel roll and counter move. Hoping they finally fixed the where are you on the map issue where in Fable 1 you had a map and could find where shops were but in Fable 2 they made you try and look for everything which got annoying if you were lost or going in circles.

detectivepbert
detectivepbert

This looks good enough to give me a reason to finish playing through Fable II so that I can import my character into Fable III.

reka10
reka10

wow combat system looks awesome! october 26 seems like a millenia away. oh well at least civ 5 comes out first =)

KainsDaughter
KainsDaughter

I personally don't need newer or better graphics - as long as the story and the atmosphere works and I am incredibly grateful that it will be produced and released for PC as well - unlike the second one. A more mature setting would be nice and I am really hoping to get that... epic feeling again. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

desauce
desauce

I've never played any of the Fable games but they looked like a lot of fun. I do plan on getting this one when it comes out.

imperarer
imperarer

More difficult, better story and characters too, bigger, if we can teach things to our dog like a BK and WT creature whit this things this game will be great..i hope to see a better story, fable 2 story was a crap and the end make me stop playing on that save game |:

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

Fable is one of the greatest rpg games on the xbox even though there are still some flaws in it its still A MUST HAVE for any rpger Fable III looks promising and the new idea for the 3D menu looks interesting and also quite similar to an old rpg game know as Terranigma for the SNES.

peterfaj
peterfaj

Sounds good, but I don't like the walk through menu idea. I like 2D menus; they're quick, useful and efficient. By 2D menus I mean moving my mouse on a 2D plane to choose an option or choosing it with keys.

Ace0013
Ace0013

I agree with everyone who asked for the story to be more mature. I mean the last two fables carried a rating of M so why not use it to its fullest. Its not like the game is meant for small children whose parents should be the ones responsible for what they can and can't play. However, i quite enjoyed the one button combat because of the ability to seamlessly switch between attacks, I know there isn't much variety, but i can live with that. The one thing that killed me about Fable 2 was the length. It needs a long engaging story. Fable 2 was great, but it needed more depth to it, something that really made you excited or sad or whatever feeling trying to be portrayed in a scene. Anyways this looks to be a great addition. As for the live, it is confirmed that you will be able to use your own hero in multiplayer so no more stupid presets! @Greater_Aura I thought i saw the dog in one of the videos but i'm not sure. I really enjoyed the dog because its nice to have a companion on your adventures.

fuzzybutt738
fuzzybutt738

I saw on the trailer two ships fighting it out... clue about battle at sea? or more hype from Molyneux?

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Fart jokes? Really? That's what the future ruler of the kingdom does to gain or lose favor or be good or evil? Haha, that's so funny...for 8 year olds. I'm sure there's an analogy to be made in there somewhere about Molyneux's propensity to over promise against what he usually ends up delivering.

Greater_Area
Greater_Area

This game looks like the old one. But the newer stuff they have added looks great. The fact that you can literally be king as control the world of Albion is great. That is what I have wished for out of this series. I will definitely be playing this the day it comes out. One question though, will man's best friend still wander behind you?

arafitos
arafitos

The game looks nice, has everything the previous ones had, but I'm not really sure about the "sanctuary" inventory system. It's all fancy and pretty, but the novelty is going to wear off pretty soon. The point of a 2d menu is for quick and easy browsing through static game elements, this is neither quick nor easy.

SmallMafia
SmallMafia

I was really sceptical when I first saw this game, but now... It looks brilliant! I do think that whole "sanctuary" thing is overkill but whatever. Like the whole fart in the guys face, that was funny.

drago9876
drago9876

Really looks improved.... And i see the outfit stuff, but i wonder if you can mix em up cuz i dont always wanna wear a set.... And what about live? is that gonna have circles wandering around again?

Creasy1903
Creasy1903

Thank you for bringing this to PC

Uhagi
Uhagi

Well put Slash_out: The combat could use a little bit more diversity in it. I thought the Fable one was better for combat and the story is more mature, if memory serves. I think this game will make the cut; however the combat is simply for the sack of story I think.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Just Like deepbluekarz. I hope the story will be more mature. The story telling felt a bit too childish... I'm not thrilled about the "revolutionary" one button fights... I hate that. But well it will have to do. I wouldn't mind bringing back the fighting system of Fable 1 which felt way more fun than F2. -Well to put things simply... More mature story. -A fighting style that doesn't only need me to push a button or two mindlessly like in a random hack and slash (looks like it's still back though :s ). - And one last addition, real time consequences to the world. I read that you could decide to use a forest for harvesting wood, and the next time you go there it will be logs only no more trees. That's cool. But I hope for something more... Like in farcry 2, you cut a branch, and you can see with time nature taking it's course, and the branch growing back. Well I know I'm asking for too much, but something along those line, allowing the world to evolve... more seemlessly rather than "one big decision = one big outcome" only. You know, what if I don't want to use the whole forest? What if I make little decisions there and there on the side, can't I see there consequences pilling up?

MrPilgrim
MrPilgrim

its like what fable 2 should have been, but now i really have to interact with the npc's, bummer

deepbluekarz
deepbluekarz

I hope this will be more mature than Fable 2

zaku101
zaku101

One thing Peter Molyneux is good at is coming up with (new games). However when it comes to making sequels it's never as good as the first game. It had me thinking maybe he should just keep on coming up with new idea rather than recycling ones that already work.

NoiseMonkeyy
NoiseMonkeyy

Anybody else feel that the simple magic of fable has been lost? It no longer has that amazing feel that made the first so popular in the first place. Shame they couldn't retain it as well as building in all these new features....

I_Like_Muffins
I_Like_Muffins

@ YodaOfTheEmpire No, buy xbox :D Also, cool user name! How mad would it be if Yoda were a Sith!? xD

Lost_Omega
Lost_Omega

I'm the kind of player who really really enjoys the ability to shape my world and image via choices. I was a little bit disappointed when I played Fable II. I was expecting major choices story-wise, and there were none. The biggest choice is whether or not to save the Temple of Light which if not saved causes the devastation of Oakfield. I just hope I can influence the outcome of the story like in Dragon Age or Mass Effect. Mass Effect made me happy... so, so happy...

freedhitman
freedhitman

I thought Fable II was one of the best role playing games ever. Now this one might be the best ever. Unless they come out with another one. They really should make the game come out sooner though.

bobbyjoe321
bobbyjoe321

Will it always be compatible with Kinect? Send me a message please!

-D3ATH-
-D3ATH-

Can't wait for this. Sounds awesome. Hopefully we are able to continue Logan's tyranny. :)

JaredTrotterboy
JaredTrotterboy

i am psyched, i love Fable. Thanks Lionhead Studios & Molyneux for making up for how bad Fable 2 was.

huntervaneg
huntervaneg

I want it but first I have to get Fable 2!