Random Thoughts: Fable 3 Isn't Very Good
Spoiler Warning: Heavy Spoilers for Fable 3
Pretty much every single thing that was changed between Fable 2 and Fable 3 made was a change for the worse. Peter Molyneux kept throwing around this fact that "people didn't use more than 60% of the available features" in Fable 2. As a response to this I feel like he locked the design team in a room and wouldn't let them out till they had simplified every single aspect of the game whether it needed to be simplified or not.
"How so?" you ask? Well heres a few examples off the top of my head...
The inventory menu in Fable 2 was horrific, so they responded by removing it entirely. Now the only place you can see how many potions you have is when you try to sell them in a pawn shop.
The dog was useful in Fable 2, so they responded by breaking it's pathing, and making it not notice treasure chest until you are actually opening them.
They even broken the simple joy of playing fetch with your dog by removing the ability to aim the ball, and also removing your dog's ability to fetch it.
Fable 2's expression wheel was too complicated apparently, so now it just picks a good and an evil expression, which is 90% of the time dancing and farting. Want to shake hands with your loyal guards and soldiers to show your appreciation? Sorry, you can only ball-room dance with them or fart on them. If you are especially lucky the game might allow you to play pat-a-cake with them.
The combat was too good in Fable 2 so they replaced most enemies with unending hordes of hollowmen, that continue to spawn long after you get bored fighting them.
While the tree-based menu was far from ideal, at least selecting your active quests in Fable 2 wasn't so complicated that most people don't seem to be able to find out how to do it.
Renting out property was one of the few things not streamlined. They instead made it less fun by forcing you to individually repair every house you own from a slow menu in order to keep rent coming in.
Leveling has been streamlined into opening a series of chests containing combat bonuses or more farting expressions, costing various amounts of 'Guild Seals' you get from doing absolutely anything in the game - including farting on people.
The game is also a nightmare from a technical stand point, with the framerate dipping into single digits during combat and also not during combat.
The job mini-games, while hardly a big part aspect of the game are now even more broken than they were in Fable 2, with a framerate that will never fail to mess you up even if you get all your button presses exactly right on.
It's not all bad news though - In between realising all these issues exist and the terrible end-game, there exists a core of decent quality Fable gameplay. It's sort of like the eye of a storm. I'd say this eye is located sometime between you leaving Brightfall, and the bit where you head off to Aurora. During this 8 hour or so section of the game, it's sorta fine. Good even. There are some fun side-quests, and the main story progresses rather pleasantly. Unfortunately, the ending does eventually come and when it does any good will the game has built up will be immediately eroded. It felt to me like each subsequent portion of the ending had exponentially less amounts of time spent on it. I was half expecting the final boss battle just to be a scanned design document, and the ending sequence to be a photo of notes scrawled on a napkin.
It all starts to go awry in Aurora where you show up five days after most of the natives were killed by a horrificly generic ancient evil and their city has been left in ruins. After a single conversation they agree to help you go to war and give the boats necessary to wage said war. Thanks guys, but shouldn't you be like burying your dead still? When you get back to Bowerstone with your army, you fight through Old Bowerstone for a few minutes and then suddenly are in Logan's office with him having apparently surrendered of screen. It has all the emotional gravitas and third act payoff of accidentally hitting the next chapter skip on your dvd remote and accidentally seeing something which spoils the plot.
After this your kingly duties start up which amount to selecting good or evil with the A or Y buttons. I had a billion gold from all the renting and business owning at this point, so receiving money from whorehouses was not a compelling reason to do anything. What am I going to spend it on, Fable 3? There is literally nothing to buy. You see little videos of the results of your decisions, and even these get worse as they go on. The last few videos only go on for about 10 seconds and the even the compression on the videos seems to get worse.
Then without any ado, warning or notice your are plunged into the ending which occurs precisely 121 days before it's supposed to. You fight through Bowerstone Marketplace alone, and fight the generic darkness evil bad enemy thing who has possed Walter presumably because the game could already do humans fighting. Coming up with a big monster boss would of taken time and effort, something which Lionhead were running low on. Evil is weak against bullets apparently and died after absorbing about 15 of them, and that's it. No actual final boss, no revelations, no ties to anything from other past Fable games, no promise of anything to come. Albion saved, everyone lived. The End.
The main consequences of the 30 or so hours I spent playing it is thatt due to me selecting the Good option for a decision involving lifting an alcohol sale limit (which somehow cost money. Why would people being allowed to buy more alcohol cost money?), every single citizen in Albion is now constantly throwing up and shambling around like a drunken zombie. This seems an oddly appropriate reward for finishing such a clearly unfinished game. Unfortunately I find the vomit sound effect to be a bit too realistic, and I really don't like listening to it. Of course it wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't taken to a ridiculous extreme, so when I walk down a street and every single person throws up as you pass them, it's sort of nauseating. It's not like a king should have the power to rescind this ruling right? You should have to live with your decisions! Consequences = Good game design however illogical!
In conclusion, Fuck you Fable 3.