Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Game: Fable III

Developer: Lionhead Studios
ESRB Rating: Mature

This game has so many flaws and unreached potential that at times you want to smash your controller. That being said I have played for about 35 hours. Despite the glitches and the repetition this beautiful game is very addicting. It is like buying a giant wheel of cheese and finding it covered in mold. Once you scrape all the mold off you still have a ton of delicious cheese. While a lot of people would just see the mold and throw it away I would recommend keeping it because it is good cheese, or rather a good game.

First off you get to choose your gender. Unlike the previous games your character will not dramatically change physically. So no massive she hulks running around because you like melee weapons. There is plenty of customization though as you go through out the game you obtain outfits, tattoos, hair styles, and makeup. You can mismatch and dye all of these to your hearts content. The downside here is that there are not a ton of color choices and you must progress a ways into the game to unlock them all. The thing that really gets me is that they took four dye colors (black, hot pink, cream, and turquoise) out of the game and are charging one dollar to buy them as DLC. This seems to be a problem that is cropping up more and more, but I digress.

I love to use exotic weapons in games, such as scythes and spears. In Fable 3 you get to choose between hammers or swords and rifles and pistols. You get one "hero" weapon of each and as you increase you skill with the associated category (ranged or melee) the weapons grow based on the actions you have taken so far. I love this feature it makes some really neat weapons and adds diversity between play throughs. The downside to this is the "hero" weapons are some of the worst weapons in the game and the other weapons all look the same in every play through. My last gripe about the weapon system is in an attempt to promote socialization only a handful of randomly selected weapons will appear in each game. Like hammers but the best hammer isn't in your game, get on live and trade someone for it or start over.

I personally don't have XBOX Live so I have to miss out on black dye (sigh) and quite a few of the achievments (meh). Also some of the the objectives to improve weapons require Live. None of this has really deterred from my experience, but it is a bit annoying that I am missing out because I am not paying Microsoft a yearly sum (that just increased).

When it comes to Fable the thing that sticks out most is the ability to make moral choices and have them impact game play. In this installment while you can still make the choices the impact is barely noticeable. Lionhead said they made the game a little easier for evil characters in an attempt to get more people to experience the other side of the game. However the main story is scripted for a good character. Did you just spend twenty minutes killing an entire village, well to progress in the story you still have to gain their trust and promise to help them later. I played through as good first and loved the story, but on my second evil run the story is for the most part the same. There is just not enough of a difference for me to play through it a second time.

Interacting with people is not fun anymore. They have removed the option of picking how to interact with someone and now you get one option for each morality. Also you don't start with evil option, you have to unlock it about a third of the way into the game. Only then are you able to be truly evil, which just amounts to you farting in peoples faces over and over. You need to make gold in this game, but the only real way to do it other than being evil is to become a real estate mogul. The problem with this is (surprise a downside) that the houses degrade over time and you must repair them, one at a time. When it gets to the point that you own every property this takes five to ten minutes.

Ignoring all the glitches and poor designs this game is worth the purchase if only for the story. Well written and dramatic it really keeps you playing, and many of the side quests are quite fun. Over all Fable III, much like it predecessors, had amazing potential but fell short. I think that if someone that sees the potential of this game series took this out of Lionhead's greedy hands and truly finished it the next one could be the greatest game of all time.

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