Zero Punctuation: Fable 3

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never really liked fable anyways.

If you want an interesting game that came out recently to review, try Ghost Trick for the DS. Every review I've read has either loved it or hated it (either of which would make for an interesting ZP video)and it's a very unique game. I know you'll probably completely ignore this comment, but if you're really desperate for games this is a good one.
Also, it's by the genius who made the Ace Attorney series, so it has one of the best plots I've seen in a video game.

i do have to say fable 3 was woefully disappointing
usually the fable games had a sense of entatainment about them
or at least to me
maybe it was the almost total removal of the morph system

What bewildered me is that the exact amount of gold pieces was the exact amount of people in need of saving. If each person donated one gold piece to the "I want to live" fund, there'd be no issue. It also raises the question of how messed up the taxes in that world ultimately are if there wasn't enough money to save everyone if one life = one gold piece. That's less than the cost of a carrot per person.

Instead of wreathing your choices in sparkles and flames, why not just present the choices without any overt good/evil alignment attached? I understand what the game was reaching for--being a ruler isn't easy, you can't please everybody etc, but I think it lessens the impact when there's a big arrow pointing down saying "this is the good choice", "this is the evil choice." Draining a lake to get resources to help fight off the incoming eldritch abomination is not an evil decision. The second half was disappointing because I could see the potential for actual moral dilemmas, ruined by the game's stubborn need to label everything good or evil.

For the most part, though, I enjoyed Fable. There were a lot of little fixes from Fable 2 that I liked, but I really appreciate that the games aren't stuck in fantasy medieval England; each successive game has the technology continuing to advance, the latest featuring an Industrial Revolution of sorts. Even if they gameplay and story isn't quite right yet I love that at the very least the civilization is still progressing.


My friend likes Fable. I have no idea why. He tries to show it to me like it is cool, but I can't get into it. Plus I have seen Yahtzee's reviews, and know how big an ass Molyneux is.

There's really nothing in your post that makes sense.

You "know" that Molyneux is an ass because the most obtuse, biased and self-admitted agitator has said so, with no prior knowledge or even first hand experience on the matter?

Hold on, I'll get you a shepherd to herd you sheep off a cliff.

That last sentence does not convey what I meant it to convey. It shall be changed.

Good to see you survived the floods, Yahtzee.

great review, laughed my ass off;P

lol your meant to gather the funds as you play through the game so at the end you are a dirty rich bastard :P. Well at least I was.

Though to counter your point about there only being the white heroes, in fable two your hero can become black though I'd rather not explain how as it makes me think that Peter Molyneux may be more than slightly racist (Hint: It involves spamming the fire spell and being evil).

Actually you know what I think Peter was trying to be racist with that option.


They need to make these games more balanced, the magic was still the only ability that you should ever use in this game, again. Also I'm surprised, Yahtzee you didn't mention the COMPLETELY messed up menu system. It takes five times as long to do anything now.

THANK YOU! Will someone PLEASE explain to me why they thought it was a good idea to make the character go back to the sanctuary just to check his inventory?

Amen to that. The whole sanctuary thing just completely baffles me. Most of it is completely broken and even three second tasks can now take five minutes to complete!

Enduring a little hardship to ensure survival against cosmic horror from beyond? Sounds reasonable to me. That's that moral gray area that video games are not so good at touching on.
"Ok people, a Cthulhu wannabe is coming to destroy us all in exactly 1 years time. Now you have 2 choices, either a) endure a year of hardship in order that I can properly prepare and defend you from said cosmic Cthulhu wannabe and then after that have things be all sunshine and smiles etc etc or b) have a year of sunshine and smiles etc etc and then die a horrible horrible death at the hands of the big bad lovecraftian horror monster thing."

You pretty much summed up my feeling of the Fable franchise. Kudos to you good sir.

Aww, I totally missed that being Mark Heap. The good ending where you donate all the money is pretty much the same... I'm right there with you on the NPC-marrying, I can't for the life of me figure out why I would want to marry anyone. The only ones that would be cool to marry were the actual plotty characters like Ben Finn or Page. Hell, even Sabine would have at least been an interesting choice.

You're so eco unfriendly.
But it looks pwetty.

Another great review, never fails to disappoint.

To be fair it is really pretty:3

Agreed 100% with everything Yahtzee said, which is rare for me. The only reason I bought this game was because it had John Cleese, but otherwise it's still worth a rent.

My problems with Fable:

1) The moral choice system is retarded.
2) Marrying NPCs is pointless.
3) Length, or the apparent lack thereof.
4) Story: Exactly what Yahtzee said. Why couldn't you just have the 'evil' policies for 1 year. Completely nonsensical and indefensible. The 120 day jump was just plain cheap. There was no real drawbacks to being good or evil, all you did was loose a few NPCs (which are faceless anyway) for being good. All the NPCs are completely fickle and faceless, so there's no real reason not to be evil either. Honestly, I made most of the Kingship choices based upon aesthetics (i.e. kept Bower Lake, and built the sewage facility) without any mind to the meaningless moral consequences. Epic fail Molyneux. The characters in the story were strong, if he didn't half-ass it and made it a complete action game, we could have had a developed main character, which would have improved the story drastically. But no, they had to cling to the last semblances of being an RPG for no apparent reason, even though the only RPG elements Fable has are completely irrelevant.

By far the funniest thing is that once you've accrued several million gold, you can instantly change from completely good to completely evil by transferring funds between the treasury and your personal account, thus making the entire moral choice system completely meaningless.

The game was fun, but it could have easily been 100x better if a more thoughtful designer was in charge. I'm pretty sure ol' Petey is completely off his rocker and should be committed.

Glad to see it wasn't just me who was honked off by the 150 day leap. Sold the game straight after that point. Lionhead? Fail!

Yeah, it does seem very strange you cant just say ''look, work for me a year, and i promise i will revert it all if we can live''.

Moral choice systems do lead to some odd situations -- like in the first one where you get +3 Good for slaughtering a bandit you've never seen before but +120 evil for killing the bandit king who burned your town and slaughtered everyone you knew.

Fable 3 seems to have the same problem- hmm... get eaten or drain the lake...

Fable 2 I think had two excellent moral choice situations -- first when you're in the tower- you can either play along, kill your friend, let prisoner starve etc OR you can resist BUT lose a whole lot of exp. every-time you do. The second on is when you have to choose between a young women you just met or you losing your youth (ie you look like an old man/woman for the rest of the game)

When what is at stake is something the player values like exp or not looking old, it's a lot more tempting than just tossing up some gold (especially since you could get gold by NOT PLAYING THE GAME with the rent system)

That's pretty much what I thought too. I couldn't express it in quite those words, but that's what I managed to get out of the game. It's an okay game, but it's not great.

At least he didn't talk about the horrible we need guns, lots of guns achievement.

I completely agree with this review i mean i was gunna wait until the last month or so before i raised the last million gold but no they couldn't spread out the choices more. Also very little actual content padded out with collectables seriously, flowers, gnomes, silver keys, gold keys,chests. Its ridiculous.

Imagine my surprise when I got home from work to discover that not only was Yahtzee reviewing a game I've actually played, he was also reviewing a game that I'm currently playing at the moment. So I thought I'd break my three month Escapist hiatus (fun pair of words to say in tandem) to weigh in on this one.

Off the bat, I like the Fable series and I think that Fable 3 is the best so far. Admittedly this is like saying that you've just stepped in the best dog turd so far, but y'know, stepping in a dog turd is probably preferable to stepping on an open manhole cover, breaking both your legs and getting your flesh stripped to the bone by a pack of ravenous sewer rats.

That analogy refers to quite a few video games that I've played in recent years. Yes, I would describe pretty much every first person shooter, every cash hungry DLC spammer, every multiplayer only game and the last third of Prototype (while we're on the subject, fuck the last third of Prototype ) as terrible games (or terrible thirds of games, SINCE THAT SEEMS TO BE ALL YOU GET WITH THEM THESE DAYS, har har DLC joke). The Fable series may not the deepest and most immersive series out there - and it suffers from a lot of bugs (how many times has that golden trail dissapeared and left me stranded in a goddamn cave). But it's got some heart to it, a sense of humour and it's a pretty easy RPG to just pick up and play when you don't feel like spending forty five minutes subtly adjusting your tactics in Dragon Age .

(I do like Dragon Age though, sometimes I do like the deep, fiddly work of an immersive RPG, and the deep, fiddly work of a five quid hooker - but that's neither here nor there.)

There's my position on the subject. Clarified. Right.

So I'm a fan of the Fable series, I have to agree with a lot of the stuff Yahtzee says here. I damn near sprayed coffee all over my keyboard when he summed up my exact feelings on the ending. I was planning on leaving the X-Box on overnight too, but that final confrontation really does come out of nowhere.

[spoiler] Also, it annoyed me how you get that error message if you fail at being good. I think it goes something like "You've saved the world - but what's the greater danger, a terrible threat from beyond or the leader that's unprepared for it." That one really rubs salt in the papercut. [/spoilter]

One thing though. Out of work comedy actors? John Clease (sp), Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg - QED.

Though I do agree, I like seeing Mark Heap getting work where he can too. I haven't seen him in much new stuff since Big Train went off the air and all TV turned to shit.

If anybody calls the tl;dr on me for this post, bare in mind that I haven't said anything on here since November and I had a bit of a backlog. If it bothers you, here's a rebuttal in advance - no YOU shut up.

Yeah, Fable III didn't take advantage of its potential at all. The second part where your character was monarch moved too quickly. In fact, it was all too short. Everything. Absolutely every quest, every quest series, the entire storyline, it was all too short to make up for the shallowness.

Another non-linear game with potential gets tarnished thanks entirely to our obsession with quantification and representing every thing as verified "achievements", evil or other wise?
Yay! Mass Effect has another friend! Join the Friggin Club Fable! does anyone know when the PC port is coming :3

If a Moral Choice is grey it shouldnt count as either good or evil, just color NPCs perceptions. And be balanced for both choices. And not retarded

All those points of crap about this game, and he didn't even touch on the worst, the completely unusable map.

Someday I'm going to get that $60 back out of Peter Molyneaux the hard way. Someday.

Wow, I wasn't expecting him to go this easy on Fable III. Anyway, would I be correct in assuming that I wasn't the only person who managed their funds just right enough to enter the monarchy with something like, twenty million gold, therefore rendering the whole problem entirely irrelevant? And that was charging half-rent on almost all my houses.

Nice review and the moral choices are indeed kinda lame.

Fallout 3's moral choices kicked the arse of Fable 3's. Just the fact that there were moments where I wasn't sure what the right choice was and the economy mattered beyond a massive gold dump at the end is enough for that victory. Plus, it felt less like genuine good vs evil and more like people's opinion of you, which I personally prefer.

I like fable, but only with massive qualifications. There are a few things it does well and that keep me coming back, but so much of it is just stupid. The moral choice at the end was a particular bitch.

Another good and funny video.

I did enjoy Fable 3, but only as a linear game with a clever if limited ending. I agree the king segment could have been better, but I think the biggest disappointment was the revolution. No organisation at all? Not even choosing who goes where? Oh come on, a little bit of strategy never hurt anyone who was on our side!

I also think the 100 day jump is kinda deliberate, lulls you into a false sense of security and BAM your plan has failed. I too got ultra good ending, because I took each decision properly and I didn't try to cheat. I also built the mine and the brothel but only because I believe in full employment.

I knew about the large jump in days before I got to that point. Now he was exaggerating a little, it wasn't a hundred and 150 day jump, it was 121 or 122 days. I don't remember exactly but I know it was in the 120's.

But I really wondered about the jumping that much without warning, the thing is, if people paid any attention to the day counter they would have seen it coming. I watched the day counter. After you do all the tasks for a section, you see that the days go down by a certain amount. If people paid attention to it, they would have seen that with each round of tasks the increment of days that passed each time got larger and larger. When it got to that 121 days I knew at that point if I completed the last task to continue, that all those days would pass and the shadow baddies would attack.

If I hadn't heard about the big day jump before hand, I still would have figured it out. When a game gives me some kind of time limit or countdown, I am of course going to pay attention to what it does. Besides, it gives you "one year". Of course they aren't going to have the player play through every day of the 365 days. I don't care how fun a game is, that wouldn't be fun having to do tasks for every one of those days. It would take forever, considering it took me a half our or more to do each set of tasks, doing all the days would possibly make the game more than 200 hours long.

I thought Fable 3 was good, good enough that I got plenty of entertainment from it worth the money that I paid for the Limited Collector's Edition. I finally just bought the the Understone DLC, which I will get to when I finish up my first play through of Dragon Age.

I guess the thing is that I don't get disappointed as often as some people with games. That's because when I buy a game, I'm not expecting it to be gee-whiz awesome game of the year quality. So when I find a game bad, it must really have problems with it (I'm looking at you Star Wars Force Unleashed 2).

...So the moral Dilemma isn't even really a dilemma? Well thats lame. Good thing i sat this game out thinking it would be another Choose this or this game.

as much as i love the fable series (i even dished out the extra $10 to b uy the collectors edition) the biggest issues i have with the series is supposed to be the biggest selling point: the decision engine and moral choices. they are so black and white and neither are really the best choice for maximum good or evil. for example after you become king there is a decision to either close down all factories and turn them into schools for the children workers or keep them all open and continue using child labor. why cant i close down 1 in 5 factories and turn them into schools then keep the others open using adult labor? theres certainly plenty of beggars on the streets; the kids get their schools, the factories stay open, and i create jobs, sounds like the ultimate good and makes everyone happy. or maybe i want to give land to reaver for him to house his employees and their families then he can work all of them as much as he wants and he wont have to pay them because hes giving them free housing. more profits for him, more money and goods for the kingdom, gets beggars off the streets, makes everyone miserable but keeps me and reaver rich. and then theres the fact that the decisions dont affect anything of meaning, the story as the same no matter what, all that changes is how the worthless and pointless npcs see you and in some cases how many there are. and then for all the decisions you are given the story really pushes you towards good, the world is in unrest because of what your brother has done and all your advisors and supporters are trying to do all these good and make you do it for them/with them. so the evil decisions dont make much sense, if i was truly evil wouldnt i just sit back and enjoy my life of luxury in the castle and let my brother deal with all the politics and decisions? the games are still fun but the decisions are limited stupid and basically pointless.

I's actually pretty easy to see why most people like fable, I like it because I like the combat and thought they balanced it out a lot, they games feel pretty unique, and that twist I didn't see coming, although I'll agree the day skipping thing was Bullshit.

On another note, one vast area they can improve is to let you marry story NPC's, as they are the only ones you end up remotely caring about, and just come up with a few more "medium" moral choices.

Fable to me has always been about exploring previously explored areas in design, trying new things, with each game doing something that others didn't. It really interests me to see where they are going to go with each new installment, for better or worse.

Also, I managed to get the good ending where everyone lives, it isn't nearly as hard as people make it out to be.

EDIT: This is pretty funny, after I watch the review, I look down to see Peter winning a GDC award.

Glad someone video-discussed the Shoggoth :D
and yes, it is a shame Molyneux decided to go have a drink at a Morality Bar :P

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