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Hands on: Fable III

Greg Tito | 24 Jul 2010 05:59
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Walking outside the shop, I noticed that there was a golden trail on the ground and I decided to follow it. The trail led me to house of a particularly unhappy couple. The woman was out front and told me her tale: her husband hated her and she wanted out, but her money prevented her from divorcing him. She came up with a dastardly plan on the spot, since I was a girl, to have me seduce him and prompt him initiate the divorce so that she could keep her inheritance. I accepted the task, even though I had an inkling that her hare-brained scheme would end badly.

I set about ingratiating myself with the man of the house, who was voiced by a suitably officious sounding Brit. Here's where I hit the only snag in my demo, as I couldn't seem to get this guy to like me. I mean, come on, I cut a pretty cute figure, even if my eyes are a bit sunken and my face is pasty from me being a scary pirate mercenary and all. I eventually had to call over a dev and he told me that you have to hold down the button corresponding to the interaction until a status bar filled, which made the interaction more potent. Suddenly, my dances and pat-a-cakes took on a whole new level, as evidenced by the more in depth animation. Soon, I had him eating out of my hands and he agreed to marry me and ditch his wife. I did end up betraying her though and shooting her in the face, but that's a different story. (I did mention that I was dressed as a mercenary, didn't I? I can't help role-playing even if this is just an "action" game now.)

The dev was kind enough to boot up the combat demo, and I was whisked away to a cave dungeon. I'm not sure when this event takes place in game but it felt like an early mission. Alone in a dark cave, I was surprised and glad that Fable III has some creepiness to it. A voice reverberates in your head as you wander through the dungeon and I was soon attacked by shades and some kind of monster that oozes up from floor.

Keeping with the trend, the combat feels more fluid than previous Fables. Before, there was a pause as you shifted from magic attacks to melee to ranged. In III, you can seamlessly swing your sword, fire a few rounds from your gun, then switch to a lightning blast. Each attack is mapped to a different button, so there is no holding bumpers or triggers to activate. Like the interations, holding down a specific button charged up the attack and made it more powerful, which was then evidenced through the animation. Combat is intuitive, and did what games like this should, made me want to acquire bigger and better weapons and powers.

I got to say that I was impressed with this build of Fable III. And perhaps it was the gin and tonics, but I felt like the dev who was showing me the ropes was genuinely excited about the game and what it had to offer players. That kind of enthusiasm and passion is what making great games is all about and it certainly shows in Fable III.

Greg Tito has an unhealthy obsession with British girls wearing stockings.

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