Fable 3 has almost all the elements of great storytelling and wonderful fantasy roleplay. Magic, legendary weapons, evil monsters, a kingdom to save and even to rule: all of these things guarantee that Lionhead Studios will draw you into the world of Albion once again.
Fable 3 released to mostly positive reviews for the Xbox 360, though some were dissatisfied with the simpler upgrade system, the smaller game world, and the diluted enemy diversity. Now Fable 3 is finally heading to Windows PC, the delay between versions was supposedly due to the fact that Lionhead built a PC version that goes beyond a simple port. If you missed our original review, which covers the story and basic gameplay, check it out – here).
It’s a source of controversy whenever a game developer favors a console over the PC (many would say that Crytek shackled Crysis 2 on the PC for this reason). In some ways it makes sense to be critical – as gamers usually put down astronomical amounts of cash for the latest, most powerful, hardware for their gaming machines. As a result, they rightly want to see it used properly.
Now, Fable 3 might not be anywhere close to Crysis 2, but the PC version does have a massive graphical overhaul – when compared to the Xbox 360 version. Aside from offering a greater resolution, the PC version also supports 3D. Many might argue that 3D is an unnecessary gimmick – but there’s no denying it’s a very pretty one. While the term, “eye-popping” might be overused – the 3D in the PC version literally makes the game’s graphics pop, which adds an extra layer of icing to the cake.
Oftentimes, the other concern, when discussing ported games, is the controls. Lionhead claimed that this was their number one priority in building the PC version of the game. They completely reconfigured the control system for the PC – taking advantage of key things like the mouse wheel (which is used to switch between magic, guns, and swords, similar to how it is used in shooters to switch weapons). The game controls well, and even for a native Xbox player I found it easy to pick up and play. Of course, the game also supports gamepads, and using the 360 controller offered a equivalent experience to playing on the Xbox.
Like most PC games, graphics settings are customizable, as are the control schemes. Unlike the 360 version, the PC version allows players to increase the difficulty level – which some may find too easy on the default setting. You’d expect a feature like this to have been available in the original version of the title – better late than never, I suppose.
PC users are also given all the add-ons included with the Limited Collector’s Edition of the console title – which amounts to a new area, a quest with a new sword, outfit, and the boxer dog breed. For those that have pre-purchased from Steam, there will be 5 exclusive tattoo sets as well as 4 legendary weapons made available to your Hero.
Overall, the PC version does deliver some aesthetically pleasing differences from the Xbox 360 – most notably the graphics improvements, but it’s still the same game. Even though it looks prettier, the same flaws remain. If you have a great PC, and you haven’t already purchased Fable 3, pick it up. The RPG elements may be minimal, and simplistic, but the game still manages to be an engrossing experience – because of all the things you can do in (and to) the world.
Fable 3 is available now for the PC and Xbox 360