Do you have what it takes to rule a kingdom?
Pretend, for a moment, that you have a chance to go back in time and into a video game where you can take over a prince/princess' life in a medieval fantasy world. Forget for a minute that there's no running water or Internet, no television, no cars and then answer this: do you think you'd be a total pain in the ass snob or a little darling angel? Didn't take me too long to figure that out after I was rudely woken up in my comfortable looking pixelated bed by my servant for an "extremely important meeting." That "must attend" meeting where I hear a rooster cockadoodledooing outside my window turned out to be me needing to eavesdrop on my stupid older brother to learn about his evil plans to become more rich by basically hosing the economy. He must have been hit over the head with a heartbreak hammer because he irrationally decides to make many changes around the castle laws seemingly out of nowhere that leaves you no choice but to set things right, or to be evil ... in your own way, of course. Here's a few of my thoughts and opinions about this game.
You play as the offspring of the main character in Fable 2. One ordinary day you are woken up to find your big brother has gone completely mad. Your parents are now gone and he was crowned king. Turns out he didn't get enough hugs as a kid so he decides to torture his mansion staff by working them more on less pay and did I mention that he will also kill any townsfolk who get in his way of judgement? I suspect you never really ever loved your brother since you decide to plan a way to take him out and fix things up throughout the lands of Albion.
In the beginning you team up with your handy dandy butler (John Cleese?) and the head of the military forces, a chap named Walter. (Throughout the game you can work up your fellowships with other leaders.) Y'all escape the mansion through an old getaway cave that in all honestly looks like no secret but more like a tomb. Once you make it to the end of the cave you just so happen to open a portal to your father's secret lair which holds the power that will help you destroy your brother.
The ghost of the blind chick who helped you to becoming a hero in Fable 2 returns to guide you through the journey. It would be easy to tip the cook to poison some of your brother's food, but that wouldn't make for much of a story or game now, would it? Having the townspeople on your side to uproot the current system is what your ultimate task is. Once everyone sees you have what it takes to rule their lands better than your brother then they will fight and or die along your side.
BAM. Flash forward! Once your brother is taken care of the journey is not nearly over, in fact, it is just starting. Turns out the second half of the game involves your ruling of the kingdom! You are forced to answer to the townsfolk about their armies and lands and concerns as any leader must. Especially in a recession.
As always, you can chose to be good or evil all throughout the game by the actions you chose and I loved the way Lionhead studios went about it in Fable 2. One of the only things I was disappointed with in the entire game was how they didn't emphasize the different choices between the two. In F2 when you stole from a house or killed an innocent person a devil icon showed up above your head. In F3 you get nothing (yeah the A & X has clouds or fire around them but it took me 1/4th through the game to even notice I was making the right choices I wanted to make.) If you are going good I would suggest always choosing the "A" option when interacting with a NPC and "X" for the bad option. Trust me.
The menu is a whole new type of system I've never seen in a game. When you enter it you're actually in a secret hero lair your father left you with 4 rooms for each sub menu; weapons, clothing, awards, friend zone. This takes some time to get used to. Good news, you don't have to go through your entire menu in search for a health potion or food ration during a battle! Now it just shows up on the d-pad to use instantly. That was one of my biggest pet peeves in F2. It seems as if Lionhead wanted to remove as much UI as possible and the system largely works. In F2, every time you killed an enemy with either a melée, magic, or ranged attack you would receive orbs for each type of attack. You then collected those orbs and spent them to upgrade your attack power. In F3 there is a communal collection of orbs that you use to open chests found in a sub world.
In F2 you bought, crafted, or received weapons in various ways which would hang in your inventory bag. Each one had stats and some had slots for gems with special abilities or buffs. In F3 your weapons end up in your armory with sub quests built onto it such as "kill 100 human enemies with this weapon for a +10% health boost." I found it kind of cool but hard to keep track of since the only way to check up on the status is by checking the weapon manually. Turns out it doesn't give you a prompt when it levels up. ::shrug::
What disappointed me the most was how your character's body didn't evolve as cool like it did in F2. I felt more powerful from the actions I chose all throughout the game and would have loved to see my devil horns and blue glowing veins shine through my dark evil skin. Sadly, your dog doesn't change colors either. At least I never noticed a change. Don't like the dog your given? Then buy the dog breed DLC pack which includes 3 new breeds, German Shepherd, Doberman, a fluffy poodle. I personally would have loved an Australian Shepherd because I own one. <3
For you collectable hunters, this game gives you plenty of things to find. Note that now you won't always see the silver keys, books, flowers, or gnomes until after you beat an instance. That gives your game more play through and extends the shelf life nicely.
Good news! You can now co-op with a friend either via XBL or split screen and they finally get to use their own characters! Share bank accounts or trade weapons or clothing. Visit each other's sanctuaries and quest together. It's so much more fun with a friend by your virtual character's side.
Just like F2, you can marry multiple people, though they don't arn't a fan of that so make sure it's in a different city to be safe. If they see you with another person they will (just like in real life) divorce you. If you have children, while you're away on an enemy hunt, a nanny will show up to take care of him. When I first went to visit my little boy I was shocked to see another man chilling in my house with my little boy. Thought it was a stranger! Killed him before I realized he was just a helping hand. Whoops.
If you haven't played F2, I suggest playing that one as well. Keep in mind they are 2 different games so be prepared to relearn how to play with their different features when you move onto the next one. The combat is very similar.
- This game, much like the real world sadly, revolves around money. I suggest buying as much real-estate as possible to gain money over time. Stock up on potions whenever you can because you'll need them when gangs of enemies come at ya.
- If you are going for the achievements to collect all the silver keys & gnomes don't stress about looking for them through the story quests as they my not appear in the lands until that quest is done which will open the location to free roam.
- Use a condom when hooking up with hookers if you must. You don't want an STD on your stats! Gross, even in-game.