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Fable III Review

There are few things that warm the cockles of my cynical heart:  my dogs, the Yankees, ice cream and Fable IIFable III was released in late October.  I am just now, in November, sharing my review of the game because I have been playing the game.  A lot.  Once finding out my save file from Fable II did not transfer to my current X-Box, my anticipation of the third installment of the Fable series became that much more significant.  But would it live up to my expectations and affinity for its predecessor?  And, more importantly, could it divert my attention away from my ice cream addiction and Derek Jeter’s free agency?

We are again in Albion, with this installment coming decades after Fable II.  The old Hero monarch is long gone and your character’s brother, Logan, has become quite a douche-bag as King and is universally hated by the public.  We see the effects of an industrial revolution and Logan’s heavy taxation in widespread poverty across the land.  You, as either the Prince of Princess, decide to embark on a path of treason against your brother because of the suffering he has caused the people of Albion, plus he made you choose between killing someone you cared for and a group of protesters.  As you gather supporters to stand alongside in your fight to usurp the throne, you are aided by Walter, your brother’s (former) advisor and Jasper, your manservant.  Jasper will also serve as the keeper of The Sanctuary, the location you are taken to when hitting the start button.  It is here that you can change clothing, weapons, choose quests, fast travel, save your game and so much more.  This is also the location of a Cullis Gate, the portal that allows access to the Road to Rule, a literal pathway leading to the castle and headed by Theresa, the 500 year old blind woman from the previous Fable chapters.  There are a number of side quests you can and sometimes need to complete in order to progress through the main story.  Becoming the ruler of Albion does not, however, mean the end of that story.  This game has hours of play beyond that, because choices and rulings that decide your and Albion’s legacy.  Plus, there’s a sneaky little plot twist thrown in to shake up your game as well.

Much of the gameplay is the same as found in Fable II.  Making friends and allies are important and done by interacting with townspeople.  Expressions are more simplistic in Fable III in that the actions from which you must choose are only one per category: friendly, evil or silly.  By building relationships and completing quests you will acquire Guild Seals, which are used to open chests on the Road to Rule.  Combat options are melee, range and magic and simple to use by hitting the X, Y and A buttons, respectively.  Upgrading your fighting levels are done by opening chests on the Road to Rule; instead of leveling up each individual magic ability as done in the game’s previous installment, here you upgrade your magic ability as a whole.

Pros:

1) In-game progress updates let you know how close you are to an achievement

2) There are so many quests, both big and small, that you can play for hours and hours and still not make a dent in the full scope of the game.

3) Your dog is adorable!  Plus, you don’t have to worry about him becoming injured every five seconds.

Cons:

1) Your character still cannot jump

2) Money does not accrue when the game is off.

(hint: MONEY IS IMPORTANT, like, really important)

3) You can’t shut Jasper up.  He will loudly welcome you to the Sanctuary each and every single time you pause the game.

Fable III provides hours of gameplay and bad-guy-stabbing, well worth the purchase price.  It wasn’t good enough to turn my attention away from Freddy’s Frozen Custard, but nothing really is.

Final Verdict for Fable III:

4.5 out of 5