Fable III Preview

King Wrong

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Ah yes, the promises. For some bizarre reason, The People want you to uphold your pledges, rather than sticking your fingers in your ears and chopping off their whining heads instead. It's up to you whether you honour or ignore these promises, but you'll soon learn that life as a monarch isn't as straightforward as you imagined it to be - in order to ensure the smooth running of the kingdom, compromises have to be made. It's Fable's customary morality system taken to another level: rather than being good or bad simply for the hell of it, you'll be forced into making the kind of tough moral choices that real leaders have to make all the time.

When you need to take a break, why not pass judgement on your subjects? According to Peter Molyneux, you'll be able to go up to any Albion inhabitant involved in a crime and 'pass judgement' on their life, initiating a side quest where their friends, family and co-workers present evidence about their misdeeds. You can either judge the perp on the spot, letting them off or throwing them in jail, or you can investigate their life in more detail, in order to make a more informed decision (and presumably get more cash or XP as a result).

The expression system has been removed, replaced with something called 'Touch'. Rather than farting, Cossack dancing or clucking like a chicken (which would seem a bit odd as the ruler of Albion) you'll now hug, snog or shake people by the hand.

Apparently, this is because Lionhead "didn't feel like there was a connection in Fable II. The characters felt separate from the world." So you'll now be able to hold anyone's hand, for instance, taking a loved one to a cliffside to watch the beautiful sunset, or dragging a cute child from a burning house - reassuring the brat afterwards with a soppy hug. Lionhead are calling this 'Dynamic Touch'. "Imagine being able to embrace your own child," Peter said, explaining the concept. Well... we'd rather not embrace anyone else's.

It's another ambitious evolution of the Fable experience, then. But with every title Lionhead edge closer to their original goal with the series once known as Project Ego. The second game let you have another life - bearing children, getting a job or playing the property game - but Fable III just might let you live it, thanks to the new touch gestures and the chance to actually change the world in a meaningful way. Lionhead put it another way: when developing Fable II they were "still learning the art - but this time we're taking it seriously".

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