Thursday, 7 October 2010

Fable 3 / Peter Molyneux developer speech - Eurogamer Expo 2010

To start with I should announce my blatant fanboy-ism for Lionhead and any thing that they lay their hands on, that being said - Fable 3 didn't do it for me.

Essentially I felt it was Fable 2 with some nice addons; Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed both Fable 2 and the 10 - 15 minute long preview of Fable 3, but I felt crushed by it, potentially this was my fault; Peter has been kept shut tight for a while now, but I still can't help but feel there must be more to it?

Whilst the story, the quests, aesthetics and the characters are improved ten fold, the battle system remains the same boring one button bull shine.

It seems that apparently adding short, slowed down cut scenes on special attacks was Lionhead's way of improving the battle system, rather than cutting all the simple mechanics and making it some what more challenging and to make matters worse, the hammer combat was terrible (I'm a fan of using hammers) it was basically flurries, with only one or two special attacks consisting on smashing the enemy to the floor.

The sword combat was a little better, but the same type of combat with a bunch more cut scenes.

The magic system was also practically identical, merely with the ability to mix spells together, which in my case (I used vortex and force push) was boring; Maybe some of the other mixtures would have been more fun, but magic was never really my shin dig within the Fable universe.

Guns work exactly like they did in Fable 2, I was told that the system was alot more slick and felt different, but it looked and felt the same, also the buttons are mapped out exactly the same.

In the Developer conference Peter mentioned the fact that he loves fighting games, he then proceeded to list of all two that he could remember at the time (Street Fighter and Tekken) but then went onto saying how the amazing moves that you can do in those games are impossible for the crowds that aren't very good at games; "Those that lack the dexterity" I believe was his direct quote.

Now; I try not to get involved in the big "Casual VS Hardcore" arguments, but this seems like someone hasn't done his research? I really enjoy Action RPGs, but I really don't need them to pander to my needs like Fable does, I can successfully press more than one button at a time, or tap a series of different buttons one after the other and yet I'm hopeless at fighters such as Tekken and Street Fighter, especially when it comes to combo moves (I still can't hadouken after all these years, seriously, diagonal? Pffft) what I'm saying is; If their demographic is the action RPG audience, then maybe they're under estimating their audience? Or are they trying to draw in the VERY casual market? Peter mentioned the women really got into Fable, thus the reason why female characters were introduced in Fable 2 - The female market is a massive market that is missing out on games (Obviously not all females).

On a plus side; the quests were very nice, the staff working the booth asked me If I wanted something more combat or quest based; I went for the quest based stuff as this is where Fable really shines and I wasn't wrong to do so.

I was given a quest called Table top, in which three NPCs said something along the lines of "Play our table top game with us"

Not really, I have no idea what they said, even though I had some giant head phones on the Rap Star booth was all of 20 foot away and the whitest guy in the world singing Gold Digger drowned out all of the sounds coming through my headset.

I was shrunk down onto this table top game of Dungeons and Dragons, with the faint murmurs of the Dungeon Masters telling me specific instructions that I once more could not hear, so I followed a long the path, spoke to some more NPC characters (This time they were figurines, the sort you'd find in table top games) and ended up fighting some wolves, like I said I was disapointed with the combat system; But this gave me the incentive to change some stuff around in the newly designed menu.

By pressing start I was instantly transported to an area where John Cleese began talking to me, once more, his words were useless compared to the torrent of bad rapping I could hear.

I instantly stumbled into the weapon change room and got myself a bad ass hammer and then over to the clothes room, which was a little bleak, but this was a demo, so I can't place judgement on that.

This new menu screen is very Black and White-esque, for those unfamiliar with Lionhead studios outside of the Fable franchise, Black and White was a god game for PC, the main mechanics of the game were based around choices such as; Kill every thing to impress or kill bad guys and provide grain - Oh and there was a massive animal that could eat it's own shit.

I finished the demo and as per usual the Lionhead team had filled it with humour and joy; the audio that I could hear was of the usual amazing standard that Lionhead employs.

Graphically it was impressive, but there was some awful tearing and frame rate drop but I will say in defense of Lionhead, this was an early version of the demo, or so I was told by one of the staff from Lionhead.

The Peter Molyneux developer speech was very nice; It started with a live sword fight on stage (Albeit a pretty pathetic sword fight, but the novelty was nice) and then a town crier showed up, shouting out in what was presumably a satirical view of old English.

Peter rolled onto the stage with a presentation that went through the history of Fable as a series, showing the inspiration that got the Fable series where it is today and some of the concept art.

Sadly it's quite obvious that Peter over the years has either A. Gotten tired of all the bullshit he receives from either the press or just gamers in general OR B. Been slapped on the wrist so many times by Lionhead that he's become a some what cynical, unhappy man when it comes to presentations - I'm not saying he was bad, or that he wasn't happy to be up on stage, he just appeared to be some what unhappy with how things are going - I could be wrong, but that's how I read his body language and speech.

After the history of Fable he proceeded onto a new surprise; A brand new Smart Phone App coming out soon for Apple devices, Android and The Windows Phone - Essentially the app tracks where you are and you can place a marker for either the rebels or the loyalists, doing so gains you Fable 3 gold which is transferable to the game and who knows, it might have some effect on future DLC.

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