First, I feel I should clear the air about my experiences with Fable II. When last I spoke of Fable II, I believe I was a bit harsh in my judgement of the game. In July of 2009, shortly after we received our Xbox 360 Elite, I set myself to playing Fable II. As my first impression review stated, I was not impressed with it in comparison to the original Fable. I picked the game up again in November of 2009, however, and played both it and the two expansion DLCs through completely. My opinion of Fable II has changed significantly. To be succinct (something I have already failed at, since this entire sentiment could have been wrapped up in a single sentence), I enjoyed Fable II immensely, and have plans to play it through at least one more time before I get my hands on Fable III.
Now, the subject of this post requests the limelight. I have been looking forward to Fable III with a particular attitude. This attitude could most accurately be described as “giddiness.” I am giddy as a school-girl (or school-boy, rather) for the release of Fable III, even with the gameplay changes that have been announced. I maintain my giddy attitude in spite of these announced changes because of my experience with Fable II. Originally, as you may have read, I hated what changes were made. When I gave the game a chance and immersed myself in it, however, the gameplay seemed wonderful. I hope to have the same enlightening experience with Fable III compared to Fable II that I did with Fable II compared to Fable. Many of you are already aware of the changes I have alluded to, if you’ve followed announcements regarding the game. However, for those who may not have seen all there is to see, allow me to bring you up to speed.
- Voice talent includes Sir Ben Kingsley, Jonathan Ross, Stephen Fry, and the inimitable John Cleese as your character’s butler.
- The ability to be “intimate” (by which we mean “bone”) and have “spawn” (by which we mean “whining, crying things climbing out of you”) has been extended to Xbox Live friends. I’m looking at you, xPsylocke. [insert suave, smarmy grin here]
- In-game touching of other characters has been added. You will be able to hold hands, etc. This is both an aesthetic element and a gameplay/character element.
- Weapon morphing based on your character’s alignment and actions has been included. The color, texture, size, length, sharpness, curvature, glow, etc are all dependent on what you kill, how often you fight, how long your fights last, whether you kill innocents or evil people, and your actual gamerscore. This means that your weapon’s appearance and abilities are completely unique for each individual player.
- The first half of the game is spent in taking control of a kingdom. The second half of the game is spent in ruling your kingdom. Albion is not the only country in the Fable world, so there are many opportunities for diplomacy, war, and more.
- There will be no more health bar or experience orbs. Health will be communicated to the player by color saturation, I believe, and experience will simply accumulate in the background.
While I loved the experience orbs in Fable II, I can get by without them. The one thing I may have issue with is the lack of a health bar, but we’ll see how it’s implemented. The thing that I am looking forward to most, however, with Fable III, other than John Cleese as my butler, is the Collector’s Edition packaging.
Aside from different box-art, the collector’s edition includes a collector’s box similar in design to a book you will find in-game. Within this book-box you will discover a pack of playing cards with game characters featured on the faces, a “Guild Seal” coin with a good and evil side for directing your decisions (kind of like an industrial-revolution-era fantasy Two Face, I suppose), and a few bits of DLC (an exclusive region, a new quest to recover the fabled sword Wolfsbane, access to the Boxer dog breed, and an exclusive outfit from the neighboring land of Aurora). This collector’s edition will retail for $79.99, a premium of $20 over the $59.99 price point for the regular edition.
In my opinion, well worth it. See you all in Albion!
-[insert FOR ALBION! here]