Yes boys and girls, now that “The Squirrel Book” is in the can, I can get back to Whack-A-Doodle Wednesdays. So as you may or may not have guessed I received an Xbox 360 for Christmas, fell down the rabbit hole and it has eaten my brain ever since. The one thing I wanted to discuss today is the game Fable 3. So here is the deal – the original Fable game came out a couple years ago and it was a sensation. You could decide whether to be good or bad and your choices effected the game. It spawned two sequels.
In Fable 3 you are allowed to play either the Prince or the Princess. You are the youngest child of the Hero from Fable 2. It seems your older douche bag brother is in charge of the kingdom and making a total mess of it.
You start out the game in your palatial bed with your trusty dog under the covers with you, which is a bit strange in and of itself. Your Jeeves-like valet wakes you and you pick out a suit of clothes to wear. They can be fancy or plain, your choice. (Don’t worry, you can always buy the suit you didn’t choose later in the game at one of the shops).
You proceed to meet Elise (if you are playing the Prince) or Elliot (if you are playing the Princess). They are obviously your girl or boyfriend and at this point no you are not allowed to choose a same sex friend. You discover that the peasants are revolting (that’s right, they stink on ice). So you and your new boyfriend/girlfriend and your trusty man at arms are off to confront your douche bag brother about the situation.
At this point you can start making choices as to whether you want to be a wanker or you want to be good. For example you can give the kitchen help a pep talk or you can tell them that they’re all a bunch of lazy idiots who deserve to be canned.
You confront your brother, he gets all pissed off, and tells you you have a choice to make. He will either kill your boyfriend/girlfriend or he will kill a few poor peasants that came in to tell him about how they are being repressed. If you do not pick a person for him to kill then he’s going to kill the poor peasants and the peasant horde outside as an example. Can you now see why your brother is a dick?
I found out after the fact that if you decide to save your girlfriend/boyfriend it will not count against your good score. You will be able to see them and possibly hook up with them later in the game. Bugger. Keep this in mind because if you wish to play as a heterosexual, they are the best looking NPC’s in the game.
So I am forced to kill my boyfriend and then find myself spirited out of the castle with my valet Jeeves, my man at arms and my faithful dog at my side. You are now tasked to raise a coalition of disenfranchised groups to depose your brother so you can rule the Kingdom, bringing happiness to all. This sounds great right? Well now we start getting into the reason this game has sucked my soul and the Top Ten Things I Hate About This Game.
Number 1 – The Sanctuary:
The Sanctuary is basically your inventory. They structured it as a multi-room, magical place you teleport to by pressing the right arrow key to the side of the Xbox button. Instead of just bringing up an inventory screen with various tabs like every other game they have created a new room, actually a series of rooms to do that job for you.
While some people might think it’s keen to have a map room, a weapons room, a treasure room and the obligatory store, I find it slows down your game play. You have to push multiple buttons to view items as well as get details on that item and equip it. What is wrong with just pressing one button and having your inventory screen pop up? That way you can scroll through items and see everything on one screen. There’s a reason that the majority of games on the Xbox do something similar to this, it’s because it works.
This room is also where your annoying Jeeves guy hangs out. Every times you teleport here, you have to hear him tell you the same things over and over. Which brings us to…
Number 2: The Map
The Map sucks ass. 1st of all the map looks nothing like the actual zone you are in. I do not know how many times I have been in some town and find areas that run into each other but are not close to each other on the map. Everything looks like it’s 500 miles away from each other on the main map. Also if I want to go to a specific place, I can’t. Not really. Technically you are suppose to be able to click on something and it will teleport you there but more often than not, you just appear in the general area. Since nothing looks like it does in the map, you have a bitch of a time trying to navigate. You have to look at these little signs on the houses and examine them to find out if the name matches anything you can remember when you looked at the main map. It’s a pain in the ass!
Also there is no “You Are Here” arrow on the main map. I have no idea where my character is in relation to everything else on this map. Also once you have a husband/wife/SO that’s in love with you, you have no idea where they are. This is a pain especially when you are married. Sure, they display a ring over their heads but if I decide I want some lovin and come home I expect my little woman to be home waiting for me so I can shag her. She is NEVER at home. She is somewhere in the City usually sweeping! Where in the city? I don’t know! So I have to waste time running all over that town looking for my partner to get some lovin.
Numbers 3: The Idiotic co-op Play
They “fixed” the co-op play on this version but if this is their idea of good co-op gameplay I really want to whack them in the nuts. Basically you can do one of two things. You can show up in a stranger’s game or play with a friend.
If you want to pick the “pop into a random game”, you stand on this pedestal in the Sanctuary and are randomly teleported to some stranger’s game. I did this once by accident. I wanted to see what the shiny disk did. I stood on it and BAM, I just appeared in a strangers game. Here is some chick, fighting skeletons and I have no idea what to do. I mean am I supposed to help her fight stuff or just walk around and check things out? Since this is a random person, you can’t communicate with them either by headset or send them a tell like an MMORPG and ask to group with them.
I was just uncomfortable. It was like I just opened the door to a strange house and someone was there in their underwear, eating cereal and I couldn’t leave. I felt like a wanker. I grabbed some treasure, killed a few things and ran off. I couldn’t find a way to get back to my game. After about 5 minutes this random person dropped me. I will admit to feeling a bit sad and dejected after that. It was an accident! I didn’t mean to just show up, grab treasure and run! I just didn’t know what the Hell I was supposed to do!
Your other option is to play with a friend on-line HOWEVER you MUST have identical set-ups in order to play. So if your friend has the frackin’ Yule hat or the Dog Package and you don’t, you can’t play together. Also it seems co-op play was constructed not to play quests together as much as have a “virtual family” and pass STD’s back and forth to each other! Sure, they have condoms in this game but if you want a kid, you have to have unprotected sex! I’ll talk more about the sex in the game next time. Believe me, this is a double edged sword
Next Rant – ugly NPC’s , the clunky storyline or “why are you killing my girlfriends/boyfriends”?, Kyle the Whore, Virtual Sex, Kids & STDs