Where Fable 3 really shines is its quest system. There’s a variety of quests that are both fun and unique, each with an entertaining or sometimes ridiculous story behind them. One quest had me doing a panty raid for a fan of a celebrity, another had me in a game of Dungeons and Dragons, while another has me hunting possessed garden gnomes. These quests not only yield precious Guild Seals, you’ll also earn trophies and other stuff to add to your Sanctuary.
What’s your Sanctuary? This hub takes the place of a normal menu system, allowing you to interact and do tasks like switch weapons and spells, choose quests and locations, and see stats or join a co-op session. It adds to the experience, keeping you “in the moment” a bit more - but it’s also a bit of a burden at times. For example, performing a simple tasks like looking through your inventory becomes cumbersome. I will say the map system found here is one of the best I’ve seen in any game, with the ability to get an RTS like view into villages with lots of information at your fingertips - plus the ability to quick travel to any location really helps speed things up.
Speaking of the map, the world of Albion still has familiar places like Bowerstone, but its changed, evolved and grown into an industrial city. The people are hurting from Logan’s rule and it’s easy to see it on the streets with beggars, child labor, and plenty of hooligans causing trouble. The towns ooze their own distinct personality - whether they are a big city like Bowerstone, or a small town like the Dweller camp in the mountains.
Like Fable 2, players can invest in properties in the towns and villages - choosing a house to live in or rent out, as well as buying businesses and getting a cut of the profit. There’s something incredibly satisfying about buying a few key businesses then watching the gold tick in every 5 minutes. The houses you buy now require upkeep as well as decorating for maximum value - and if you have a wife (or husband) to fill one of these properties - it’s even more of a financial burden.
When you marry someone - whether its another player or an in game character - you’ll join assets up and really be able to bolster your wealth. You split not only the cost or new purchases, but the revenue gained from them. These business relationships can be extended with many friends on Xbox Live to really start raking in the dough - sadly I couldn’t test this very well as there’s not that many folks playing yet - but the prospect of it is exciting.
One change in Fable 3 I didn’t care for is the way you interact with NPCs and other players. Gone is the radial menu for choosing expressions, and in it’s place is this one on one system where you are simply given 2 or 3 choices of what to do/say. After a successful expression you are then given 2 or 3 more. This just seems to have taken some of the choice out of the game, giving it even less of an RPG like feel and more of a hand held guided tour.