I started this game out not because I’d finished Fable 2 (or even Fable 1), but because I’d played the multiplayer with a friend. It was much better than the Fable 2 multiplayer, in my opinion. The story actually felt more natural than the rise to power than in F2.
Fable 3 review. Time: 24-28 hours. 620 of the default 1000 achievement points (I have not bought the expansion). Let’s start this by saying that I’d never finished Fable 2 (or gotten past the first boss in Fable 1). The gameplay and level design was boring and dull, basic good-v-evil choices, over the top characters (which were a good part of the comedy in F2, I must admit), all in my opinion as I know it was a successful game and several of my friends favorite game. I didn’t think Fable 3 would be much better.
However, after playing it with a friend I actually enjoyed it. The animations were a bit better, the gameplay was a lot more enjoyable (I really am having trouble putting exactly what was different between this and the battles in F2, both were basic but it was faster in F3), and the humor was more subdued. Don’t get me wrong, I like a funny game. But when you THE FATE OF THE WORLD RESTS ON YOUR SHOULDERS (read that with a Dr. Orpheus voice) and then you make fart noises at some children to make them laugh AND THEN YOU GO ON A SECRET MISSION TO A JAIL WHERE YOU ARE A SLAVE AND EVERYTHING IS DREARY, OH SO DREARY (again, Dr. Orpheus voice) I can’t take it seriously, it is too melancholy and can’t pick if it is serious or not. It honestly felt like this was Fable 2.5 instead of an entirely new game. The good bits were left in-tact, the superfluous bits were removed or ignorable, and it was more streamlined.
But just because I say it was streamlined doesn’t mean I tried to rush through it. The optional quests were actually worth it. It wasn’t always “There’s a balvarine infestation, please help us by killing X balvarines!”, it had fun things to do like being a Peter-Piper for chickens, or a tabletop RPG recreation (great writing here!). Even the relationship quests were more streamlined. I don’t remember EVER having to buy an item to give to someone on a date, and the route to the date spot was usually close by and lit by the trail.
The story was a lot better (once again, my opinion). I did like how F2 started out with you being an orphan, you get adopted, then almost sacrificed. Everything after that was MEH. In F3, you aren’t the king/queen. You are the younger sibling to the King, who has become a tyrant lately. After an incident you are taken away by your fathers compatriot to start a revolution. Then you collect followers and learn or your elder brothers affronts to the people first hand.
Best parts: The random side quests I mentioned. The writing was superb. Multiplayer worked, unlike that tackily added-on POS in F2! (excepting one disconnect we blame on the other persons internet). Unsure about parts: The new main enemy you are handed less than 3 hours from the end. Also, the weird transformation that goes on with Walter. It felt out of character and forced, these are probably the worst bits of the writing. Worst parts: Less expressions, all I could do was “Dance” or “Paddy-Cake”. I suppose there may have been more if I’d chosen the evil path. Constant lag, and many times in the last several hours of play if I tried to hold hands and walk someone around the characters wouldn’t be able to go faster than a slow walk (this and the lag may be because a hardware issue). Another bug would be that several of the houses I owned would be in disrepair, but the map wouldn’t let me repair them; I had to travel there and repair them by hand.
I think most people know if they are Fable people or not. But if you didn’t like Fable 2, don’t write off Fable 3. They took what I thought was wrong about F2 and fixed it. I only meant to spend 10 hours on it, and invested over 24 (though several of those hours were intentionally leaving the controller on while I ate dinner or taking the long way on and between quests so that my coffers filled up).