By DowntownJimmy (08.20.10)

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: October 26th, 2010
Weblink: Lionhead.com/Fable/FableIII/
Related Articles: Fable II Review

Fable III was the first game presented when you walked through the doors at X’10, making it a great place to start. I have been a fan of the Fable series since its conception, so I felt quite comfortable jumping into the third adventure. The look of the game is very much the same (which is great) while embracing a little more diversity. While exploring Albion, I noticed the NPCs to be of various heights and weights corresponding to their costume choices. This world seems to have taken on its own life and strangely reminded me of the “Sweeney Todd” -Tim Burton film, so much that I thought I caught a glimpse of Helena Bonham Carter. Truly, the more varied Fable can be the better, and even without short time with the game, the atmosphere seems to be falling perfectly into its own niche that can only be described as ‘Fable.’

In the demo, I started from the very first footsteps of my game. Waking out of bed with my beloved dog (yes, my character was sleeping with a dog) we meet Jasper, the butler (voiced by John Cleese) who walks me through the initial set up of my game. In typical Fable fashion choices need to be made and even my first choice in the game picking out my wardrobe has consequences. Without going into too much detail about the family politics driven narrative, Fable III has everything from subtle little decisions to high impact choices that can change the course of the entire adventure.

Speaking to Fable III’s lead designer Josh Atkins, he reinforced the idealism behind choice and how Fable III interacts with other players in a more decisive nature. You will still be able to run around and “acting like a fool” and trust me, there is plenty of time for that, but choices have to me made and the destination between good and even seems to more absolute. The system might be less ambitious, but it seems to be be the right fit. Interesting enough, Fable III will also test you resolve with some timed responses.

Skipping ahead and accompanied by the voice Simon Pegg I had the chance to experience a more “combat heavy” section of the game. Fable III’s combat system has once again been refined, and while blasting through a bunch of ruffians I noticed the combat was aptly balanced to encourage the player to use their entire arsenal in battle. In each skirmish I encountered, I turned into a savage mad-man, jumping into the center of the battle without regard. -- Conan the barbarian would have been proud -- From ranged gun attacks, to radial and directional magic attacks, sword attacks, and defensive rolls, Fable III seems to know exactly what it's doing with its “one-button” styled combat. Although, Fable III might not be a refined as something like ‘Assassin’s Creed’ in a group battles, its a lot of fun without being overly complicated.

Fable III seems more focused with a little less hodgepodge to clutter up the experience. Its tale of high order is extremely inviting and from our first hands-on with the game, Fable III made a superb impression. The only thing I wished for was more time exploring the co-op features, and a little more information on our four-legged friend (who was present, but seemed less important.) Thankfully we don’t have too long to explore everything Fable III has to offer as its released date is set for October 26th.