Fail-ble 3: The Demise of Albion

I finally finished Fable 3. It’s not that the game is long but other things got in the way. I am at a loss. What am I supposed to think?.

All of the flair, depth and engagement of Fable 2 was pushed aside for a clumsy broken two-piece game mechanic. The Road to Rule was a clumsy way to guide the player through the world, the primary joy of Fable 2 was accidentally traversing the game world, stumbling on encounters that usually ended in spell casting and sword swinging. A game built upon decisions that effected, not only the world but the way you looked. My joy of finishing Fable 2 as a bloated scarred monster with twisted horns cannot be underestimated. I felt as though I’d shaped the character and left my mark on the world. I owned things, i’d met people. I got married. In Fable 3, I’d compared hand holds, chicken kicks and melee kills. Fable 3 took the secret sauce out of the burger bun.

The drive towards asynchronous engagement divorced me from the game world. This suspension of disbelief was further compounded by the disastrous implementation of other online characters in the game world. The floating orb mechanic, populated with random gamerpics, that were intrusive and shattered the illusion worsened by fragments of audio from jabbering trash talking strangers. Uninvited and unwanted.

At the midway point the problems start to far outweigh the good. Its only when you finish the game that you realise how hideously imbalanced the game is. This is a cut and shut video game. The pacing is disparate and the prescriptive game mechanic and box checking of the latter half (or should that be third?)  is ill-considered. The cast of engaging characters feels miserly and the decisions presented  feel lightweight and inconsequential. The Hero sits dispassionately on the throne … my mood exactly.  Fable 3 razed Fable 2 to the ground.

My expectations of Lionhead are bordering on the unreasonable, but my patience for their craft is almost limitless. I’ll let you off on this one, but I expect better next time.

Must try harder.

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