Fable 3: First Impressions

When I first played the original Fable, I freaking loved it.  It was a captivating story and it didn’t feel like there was anything else out like it.  My life was consumed with that game for a good three months.  I also played the intro to Fable 2 five thousand times…I have no idea what happens after you’re done training.  Can you tell that I’m still bitter that never came out on the PC?  But, I’m telling you all this because Fable 3 finally came out for the PC last week and I pretty much crapped my pants with excitement.  This may be old news to some of you who own Xbox 360s, but for us PC gamers this is brand new territory.  So, in light of its recent release, I’d like to offer you some of my first impressions.

The World of Albion

Straight up, I love any game that doesn’t require me to run incredibly long distances across a world for no specific purpose aside from getting some place. *cough* Zelda *cough* Fable 3 has an excellent map screen that allows you to easily find and travel places quickly.  It makes quests feel like less of a chore.  On top of that, Albion is freaking pretty.  Every town is different in terms of personality, clothing, scenery, etc.  It’s really fun switching between them all.  I haven’t gone or discovered every place yet, but I’m excited to run around the maps more.

Playing with my dog while wearing a masquerade costume. Mostly, I want you to see the scenery here. Isn't it just pretty?

 The Relationships

I never got far enough into Fable 2 to know what relationships looked like on that so I’m not sure if these features were already present.  But, I like that you can’t hook up with every wandering villager in this game.  Some people are just straight and no matter how much you flirt with them and try to win them over, they’ll just be your best friend.  How tragically true to life.  As always, you can hook up with both guys and girls, eventually marry, and even have children.  I enjoy that Fable is sneaking in all these societal expectations about needing to have a house, money, and gifts in order to land a potential mate.  Nice.  What if I wanted to run around knocking up the whole town?  Apparently I gotta be rich to do that.  Curses.

Good or Evil?

One of the best features of Fable is the ability to be a great hero or a complete a-hole.  You can be a jerk to everyone you see or be chivalrous and kind.  I bet you can all guess what road I took here.  As I said before, my parents raised me right, mmkay?  I hope my appearance changes with my choices though – that was always one of my favorite parts about the previous Fable games.  Only time will tell.  I’ve only played for six hours which in Meghann time is…not a lot.

Notice, I've already won the acceptance of the Brightwall villagers. You can see them cheering becuase I'm just SO AWESOME.

Co-Op Mode

This has been a lovely addition to the game!  Everything is better when you can play with your friends.  (Well, almost everything.)  I’ve been playing with Miss Danger’s brother this week and we’ve gone on a few adventures together.  It makes fighting super fun and I like the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships.  The only thing that’s kind of weird is our identical dogs running around barking at treasure together.  No wonder you can only play with one other person.  I imagine seven dogs barking for ‘treasure’ would get insanely annoying and hard for even the fastest super computer.  Overall, I can see this being incredibly advantageous as I progress to more difficult parts of the game.  (I miss being in a party.)

As the sun sets, I hold hands with a criminal to gently take him back to jail. Oh Albion, you're so polite.

The Controls

I’m still getting used to not having the awesome Dragon Age controls.  The swap was killing me for a bit there.  The mouse wasn’t as sensitive and pausing isn’t a main component of this game.  Figuring out the new system was driving me nuts.  However, after playing for a few hours I’ve gotten the hang of it and really feel like I’m enjoying it in a completely different way than I enjoyed DA.  I haven’t figured out if you can zoom in on stuff yet, but I’ve always liked being able to see my character up close.  That’s definitely a feature I need to figure out if it exists.  Better screenshots that way.

Additionally, there isn’t a health bar which I like and dislike for different reasons.  I like it because it seems more true to life and when you’re hurt, you just have to run away and recharge.  I dislike it because sometimes it’s hard to hear/see that my character is hurt.  I haven’t passed out yet (you can’t die) because I’ve managed to run around in circles in intense battles recharging my health.  Way to use the system, right?  I can’t tell if this means I’m really good or really bad at the game.

Clothing

Um, I really only want to include that I am huge fan of the fact that this game just lets you use and wear whatever the hell you want.  In many RPGs, women and men usually have different versions of outfits and this rings true in Fable too.  However, I generally always like the male versions better.  In Fable 3, I can let my character wear the guy’s outfit whenever she wants.  I can even put facial hair and men’s haircuts on my character.  That’s not really my style but I love that it exists!  My outfit of choice so far has definitely been the men’s mercenary outfit.  The women’s outfit just isn’t as cool.  But it’s nice that there are double the options!  Plus, I just look so so so badass.

Sporting my sweet men's mercenary outfit (sans hat). Notice also the enormous hammer in hand. I love me some melee fights.

I don’t want to get too in-depth to my gameplay since I just started and don’t want to make too many assumptions yet.  But, overall my first impression is a good one.  I’m not obsessed with playing Fable like I was with Dragon Age, but I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with it.  It’s promising and as always, I’m excited to start romancin’ some villagers.

Have you played Fable 3 yet?  What are your thoughts?  (And are you interested in playing some co-op with yours truly?)

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