WARNING: This section or article may contain spoilers!
|Type||Action Role Playing Game|
|Publisher||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release Date||Xbox 360|
NA: 26 October 2010
AUS: 28 October 2010
EU: 29 October 2010
NA: 17 May 2011
AUS:19 May 2011
EU:20 May 2011
Fable III is the third game in the Fable series of games.
In 2009, Lionhead Studios, developer of Fable and Fable II, announced that they were planning on continuing the Fable series with Fable III. The game is currently available in North America and Europe and some parts of Asia. Unlike Fable II, it was also released on the PC in May 2011. The PC version comes with the Limited Collector's Edition content included for free, but Understone Quest Pack and Traitor's Keep must be paid for and downloaded separately using Games for Windows LIVE. It is also the first game in the series where the Hero is shown to talk in full sentences.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Development
- 4 Reception
- 5 New Features
- 6 Limited Collector's Edition
- 7 Notes
- 8 Minimum Requirements
- 9 Images
- 10 See Also
- 11 External Links
- 12 References
- Main article: Fable III Storyline
Set 50 years after the events of Fable II, the continent of Albion (where the Fable series is set) is under the control of Logan, a tyrant king and the Hero's older brother. The player's character, the "Hero", is forced into a quest to become a revolutionary leader to defeat Logan after he reveals his true personality to the Hero. Over the course of the first half of the game, the Hero will overthrow Logan and become ruler of Albion themselves. During the second half of the game, a strange force from Aurora, called the Darkness will threaten Albion and the player has to decide how to react to it.
While the player is attempting to overthrow the current king of Albion, they need to gather support from the people. However, depending on the amount of control the tyrant exerts over a region, initial support can be hard to gather. To encourage citizens to join the revolution, the player must amass 'Guild Seals" by completing quests, interacting with the people or performing good deeds to gain support and make promises to improve people's lives when the Hero has the throne. These promises can affect anything from a single individual's life to affecting the entire population or a class group within it. After the player has gained control of the crown, they have the opportunity to carry out or ignore the promises they made that allowed them to achieve their position.
As Peter Molyneux, Lionhead's Creative Director, explains:
|“||The really strange thing about leadership is that there's a common thread that has existed for centuries in all cultures. Whenever politicians, rebels or juntas are climbing to power they make promises, and very often these promises are not delivered on. We want to give a sense of that, so as you're building up your forces, as you're being a rebel, you will find this opportunity to promise things to get more power. Then after you've become leader, the opportunity to live on those promises has real consequences.||”|
When queried over how the game would work after the player had assumed control of Albion, Molyneux was quick to deny that the game would become a Theme Park-style management game and that Lionhead would not be returning to its roots making strategy games.
Fable III removed most conventional menus in favour of the Sanctuary, an interactive pause menu consisting of a set of rooms, each of which replaces the function of a Fable II submenu. Other options now involve holding the A, X, or Y buttons on the Xbox 360 controller to select an option. Players can only migrate the gender of their Hero save file from Fable II, no in-game choices affect Fable III.
One feature that made the third installment unique to the previous two was its improvement on the social gameplay in the series. Levelling up is now tied to social gameplay besides combat. Making new acquaintances allows him/her to gain Guild Seal that they can use on Road to Rule. This feature is important as the new King must be able to win the heart of each and every one of his/her subject on their path to ruling Albion.
The 'Expressions' system has been greatly overhauled, now it is referred to as "Expression Touch", in order to form relationships with people, the player must use a random order of expressions, until the NPC asks for the player to do a "Relationship Quest" to improve their relationship. This can range from being a courier, retrieving an item or taking the person on a date. The NPC's characteristics will determine how they react to the performed expression.
Also new is the "Dynamic Touch" system, in which the player can either hold hands with someone or drag them to an objective point; the NPC's reaction is dependent on their opinion of the Hero and the Hero's intent. For example: if a villager hates the player, they will not willingly accompany them anywhere. Alternatively, even if the NPC loves the player, they will still put up a fight when being led to sacrifice or a forced labour camp.
The Hero disciplines formerly known as Strength, Skill and Will are not referred to as extensively as in previous Fable titles. In the context of the Road to Rule upgrade system they are known respectively as Melee, Ranged and Magic. In the context of effects on the Hero's appearance, they are known as Strength, Stature and Magical Aura; these are attained over time as opposed to being automatically incurred with upgrades. As seen in the item description of The Channeler, phrases such as 'Will User' have been replaced with 'Spellcaster' in keeping with gameplay.
Unlike other games in the series, Fable III now boasts two categories for melee (blade and bludgeoning) and ranged weapons (pistol and carbine), with tools such as blunderbuss and axes now integrated with pistols and hammers. Weapons can also morph into different appearances based on the player's morality and play style. Different spells can now also be weaved and combined. Some spells have also been relegated to potions, allowing the player to cast three magical spells at once.
A new mechanic, called "Judgements" has been implemented so that once the player becomes ruler of Albion, he/she will have assigned duties to perform some of which involve hearing two sides to a subject's proposal, a beneficial one to the people (Also uses money in treasury) by holding the A button or being beneficial to the treasury and unpopular with the people (Sometimes gains money for the crown) by holding the X button. This mechanic is present only through the main storyline.
There are rewards for being a self-serving ruler, including a treasury filled with gold piles that grow or diminish based on the player's wealth. If the player chooses to be good, he/she will need to fund the treasury with his or her own money, making it much more difficult to be good than previous games. Expanding on the Judgement mechanic, the hero must also decide on factors of crime, poverty and child labour, though outside the throne room. He/she may also change taxes, guard budget and alcohol laws, changing people's opinions of the crown.
Like the character-morphing that defines the series, where the player's character changes appearance based on his or her actions, growing beautiful or ugly based on good and evil actions respectively, Fable III expands that to location-morphing. For example, if the player removes the limit of alcohol citizens can purchase per day, the amount of intoxicated/drunk people will increase, whereas banning it altogether will prevent citizens from becoming intoxicated altogether.
At the beginning of the Gamescon announcement of Fable III, Molyneux stated that the game was taking a different theme compared to the others as he believes the third game in a series to be hard to do correctly. "If all the rules have been established and all you offer is a new story and a handful of locations, people will start to lose interest."
In an interview with OXM UK, he spoke about how Fable was at risk of becoming a generic game where the player started off underpowered and weak but slowly got more powerful after they met the bad guy. After the player killed the bad guy, the credits would roll. Believing that is the formula that applies to many games, he asked why games "end at potentially the most exciting bit?" It was this that formed the basis of Fable III, where the player can overthrow the tyrant before becoming ruler themselves. He stated that it was when the player was ruler that the consequences of "who you are going to be, are you going to be good or evil, cruel or kind" stopped applying only to the player, but affected the entire country.
Molyneux hinted that there may be drawbacks to leaving your castle too often to investigate crimes or fight wars, asking "Are you going to be a king that is the equivalent to Picard in Star Trek? Quite honestly, if the captain of the ship was going down to planets and getting involved in battles, I'd be worried because I think he should stay in his chair. But if he chooses to go down and get involved, that's the freedom we give you as a king." But this is unfortunately either Molyneux hyping the game as he does usually, or unable to be finished in time for the game, as you cannot investigate crime or fight wars (end of game doesn't count it is obligatory) and neither is there any form of drawback for leaving the castle.
Talking about the inspiration for Fable III, Molyneux said "if in Fable I the inspiration was folklore and in Fable II the inspiration was King Arthur and Robin Hood, then Fable III is definitely the rebels and monarchs – both modern-day and historic."
|“||What's so interesting about that is you look at it and you realize that, "Gee, these people who ruled our land up until very recently were actually very creative with their power and abused it and use it in many evil ways." Take Henry VIII, let's just go through some of the things this guy did. Rather than say, "Hey, this marriage is not working out so well," he just decided to completely kill off his wives. Not only did he do that, but to do the deed he just got rid of religion and replaced it with a new one. He also took five percent of the entire tax income – the equivalent of billions of pounds in today's world – and spent on his personal wine cellar, while many people within the country were suffering from starvation and plague. This guy definitely wasn't that nice a guy, and if you write that down he sounds really evil. Does history paint him as being really evil? Not really, it paints him as being a bit of a jolly chap who was quite infatuated with six women. That's fascinating inspiration and we really want to give you the power to be that colourful when you're ruler.||”|
The first of Lionhead's new season of video diaries, detailing Fable III development, was previously available at http://www.lionhead.com/Diaries/Default.aspx
Fable III received generally positive reception on the Xbox 360. IGN gave the Xbox 360 version an 8.5/10, praising the final segment of the game involving your role as king or queen, but criticizing its slow beginning and a lack of innovation. GameSpot gave the game a 7.5/10, saying "This gorgeous world is brimming with humor and personality" but felt "a bevy of technical problems and overly simplified gameplay distract from the fun." Official Xbox Magazine said "Fable III is most memorable not because it makes you laugh, but because it also makes you care. If a spouse gets carved up in your absence, you'll feel pangs of guilt. When your dog saves your bacon during a fight, you'll feel pride."
The PC version of Fable III received more mixed reviews. IGN gave Fable III (PC) a 6/10, calling it "a royal disappointment" with "interface not well tailored to the PC platform", "uneven story and pacing", "dull combat" and "repetitive quests". GameSpot gave it a score of 7/10, saying "It lands on the PC with graphical enhancements and tougher combat" but criticised the "simplified gameplay" which "still distract from the fun." Most negative responses came from the fans who pointed out the bugs that never got fixed in a patch, or that the child of the hero is generated randomly depending on the location of its parents; a design flaw in Fable III where the ethnicity of the biological children does not match that of the player character or its spouse.
Peter Molyneux has confirmed that the game will have many new features, including:
- Episodes: There will be 2 episodes featured in the game. The first is to campaign to remove the king from the throne. The second is ruling Albion after you receive the crown.
- Judgements: As ruler of Albion, you can decide if you will keep the promises you made as a revolutionary, to the people's joy or anger.
- Touch: The simple expression system has greatly evolved. Now, "You can shake someone's hand, and then that might turn into a hug. You can then turn that into an embrace, and then into a full-on snog."
- Strong Consequences: There will be much more far-reaching consequences for your actions than in the past two games due to at least part of the game taking place with the character as a monarch.
- Peter Molyneux has stated that it won't just be Albion, but Aurora featured in the player's experience.
- Co-op impregnation and marriage will be possible
- Once all stats are maxed out, not all characters will be big and bulky like in the previous games.
- Social gameplay in the game has been improved. Now players can earn experience points (or guild seals) to upgrade their characters with each new acquaintances they make, or how people react to them based on their morality.
At Microsoft's X10 event in San Francisco , Molyneux announced some more new features:
- Weapon Morphing: Depending on your alignment and the way you use the weapons; they will change accordingly.
- Dog: Man's best friend will return in the new release, but does not chase rabbits or scents as promised and In the limited edition it was announced that there will be a new dog breed; the Boxer.
- RPG Elements: The health bar, experience orbs/XP points and the HUD in general are to be scrapped.
- Aurora: GameSpot report that Aurora [sic] is to be a new continent.
- Extreme Morphing: An expression that allows the Hero to show their "true character" by sprouting a pair of wings (and horns, if they are evil.) The wings will match the Hero's alignment - if good, they are white and pristine, but if evil, they are darker.
- Fable III will have an improved camera for co-op.
- The ability to use your custom character and dog for co-op.
- Followers: Peter Molyneux has said on various occasions that there will be a system where players may amass "followers". These followers are used to determine experience, among other things. It has been stated that marriage and doing well in combat will give you followers.
- Interactive Pause Menu: When you pause the game your character will appear in the "Sanctuary" (known as the Guild Chambers before E3), a collection of rooms from which you can do everything you could normally do in the traditional menu.
- Map Room: The Sanctuary will feature a fully interactive map of Albion and Aurora which can be zoomed in on, allowing for manipulation of troops and tactical strategy for battles.
- Wardrobe: A room in the Sanctuary containing all your clothes on display mannequins.
- Armoury: A chamber containing all your weapons.
- Treasury: Instead of a number telling you how much gold you have, you will be able to enter this room to see, and pick up, your gold reserves.
- Butler: You will have your own butler, named Jasper, in the Sanctuary. He will make clothing and weaponry recommendations based on your current situation, and will be voiced by John Cleese.
- Also judging from the trailer shown at E3 2010 it can be seen that you are able to combine different Will spells, as the Hero was seen combining Shock and Inferno.
- It was confirmed in some interviews at E3 that spells will be used through gauntlets, one containing each spell, and the gauntlets are expected to morph like weapons.
- There is expected to be around 7 spells used through gauntlets, but "Certain spells could still turn up...not necessarily as actual gauntlets..." according to Lionhead's Gradius1.
- The Lionhead team took two gameplay demonstrations to E3:
- One featured the village of Brightwall, the nearby region of Mistpeak Valley and the Sanctuary. It focused on the touch NPC interaction feature as well as a couple of small quests. One of these included a demonstration of fighting with a new enemy, wolves. The Armoury and Wardrobe features of the Sanctuary were also explored, including a look at the new method of dying clothes. This involved choosing a colour from the dye rack and then choosing a shade of that colour from a shade-card.
- The other demo was of combat in Aurora and includes a couple of story spoilers. The gameplay here featured fighting in a dungeon and gave the first glimpse of in-game Auroran landscape, the region of Shifting Sands.
Videos of these demonstrations and other features from E3 can be found on the Lionhead Forums thread Fable III Info and Articles.
At the Brighton Develop conference, Peter Molyneux talked about the levelling up system (Article contains spoilers):
- As the player accumulates more followers, they will receive 'Guild Seal'-style items which they will use to level up.
- Levelling up will be handled in a 3D environment known as the Road to Rule.
- Molyneux has stated that Theresa will be your guide on the road.
Limited Collector's Edition
The Limited Collector’s Edition also offers unique collectibles that true Fable fans won't want to miss, including downloadable content, as well as in-box items that come with the Xbox 360 version (the PC version of Fable III includes all LCE downloadable content by default, and does not come with any in-box items). Wrapped up in a distinctive box created in the likeness of a book from Fable III, the contents include:
- A new quest: Uncover the mystery of the haunted forests of Silverpines and earn the legendary sword, Wolfsbane, deadly against wolves and balverines.
- Exclusive location: Unlock a new region, ideal for settling down with a family and discovering new treasures.
- Fable III playing cards: Created by Lionhead, these cards depict every type of character in Fable III, including Heroes, royals, rebels and villains from across Albion and beyond.
- Guild Seal Coin: The coin features a Good side (blue) and Evil side (red) to assist players in making critical decisions that will impact the fate of the world forever.
- A new dog breed: Renowned for its loyalty, the Boxer is a brave canine companion worthy of greatest Queens and Kings.
- One unique outfit: Unearth one male and female outfit from the mysterious, faraway land of Aurora, a new destination in your Fable III adventures.
- In the Teaser trailer you can find about seven clues, to name a few the Sparrow, and the Guild Symbol on the crown.
- Confirmed voice actors are Simon Pegg (as the rebel soldier Ben Finn), Jonathan Ross (as Barry Hatch), Stephen Fry (resuming his role as Reaver), John Cleese (as your butler Jasper who also appears in the pause area), Bernard Hill (as Sir Walter Beck) and Sir Ben Kingsley (as Sabine, elder of the Dweller tribe).
- Town names heard in interviews with Peter Molyneux include Bowerstone, Millfields and Brightwall. Beta names for other regions heard in various videos and articles include Mourningwood, Cursewood and Driftwood. The area name Mistpeak has also been heard, and Mistpeak Valley can be seen in the second video diary.
- The fact that the game is set 50 years after Fable II and you play as the child of the Hero of Bowerstone is due to the long lives of those who are a part of the bloodline; e.g. the Hero of Oakvale lived for many years, William Black is possibly still alive, Scythe and Theresa are still alive after about 600 years.
- It has been confirmed that Reaver will be reappearing in Fable III. However, Garth and Hammer will not be returning. Reaver is still youthful because of the sacrifices he offers to the Judges of the Shadow Court to retain his own youth and beauty.
- The game is set to have up to "47 hours of dialogue", with each NPC having up to 2000 lines personally.
- Lionhead recently released the Fable III Villager Maker as a pre-order incentive. 
- There is a new furnishing system where the player can have much more freedom in how to customise their homes; the ability to move around ornaments, change the design of wallpaper or have Jasper create a random theme style.
- There are also new features to marriage in Fable III, you can set a wedding theme. If the player gets a divorce, the players gold will be halved with the spouse or Co-Op spouse, if the player marries the Co-Op spouse and gets a divorce the host player will get the children if there were any in the family.
- As of March 7, 2014 Lionhead has released a new Fable solitaire theme for the Microsoft Solitaire Collection in Windows 8.1.
- Operating System: XP 32 SP3, Vista 32/64 , Win 7 32/64
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz or AMD Athlon X2 4000+
- Memory: 2GB
- Hard Drive Space: 12 GB of free space
- Graphics Hardware: Nvidia 7600GT or ATI HD 2600 Pro
- DirectX: 9.0c onward
- Network: Internet or LAN connection required for multiplayer
- Joy Stiq's Article on Fable III
- Fable 3 Press Release on Xbox.com
- Fable III: Staging The Story at IGN
- Fable III Teaser Trailer
- Fable III Reaches Out and Touches Someone at Wired
- Fable III has no experience, health bar News at Eurogamer
- The king is dead, long live the king at IGN
- X10 Fable III Interview: Peter Molyneux at GameSpot
- X10: Peter Molyneux Interview at IGN
- Fable III's Three Big Innovations: Touch, Weapons And Kingly Responsibility at Kotaku
- Peter Molyneux's Question Time at Eurogamer
- John Cleese Voices Fable III's Butler at Kotaku
- GDC 10: Designing Fable III at IGN
- Fable III Videos at IGN, including three new GDC Demos
- Fable III: The New Albion at Beauty of Games
- Fable III Xbox 360 Hands On (Gamescom) at Eurogamer
- Gamescom: Fable III - The First Few Hours at IGN
- Fable III Opening Cinematic at Lionhead
- Fable III - User reviews on Votable
- Inside Xbox: Fable III - Just can't wait to be King?
- Fable III coming in late 2010
- Fable III First Look
- Molyneux talks Fable III Natal support, Cleese to play butler, Fable II sells 3.5 million
- Fable 3: Story, Game and Simulation (Transcript)
- Epic Fable III Journey Expands to Windows This Holiday
- Fable 3 To Include '47 Hours Of Dialogue'
- Start the Fable III Revolution Today!
- More Fable Goodies!
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