GDC: Fable 3 Will Let You Take the Throne, My Lord

GDC: Fable 3 Will Let You Take the Throne, My Lord

Fable 3 was just officially outed at Microsoft's GDC 2009 talk show, and in it you'll be able to become the ruler of Albion. No, not "The Ruler of Albion Achievement" in Fable 2 (PCW Score: 100%) where you bought Albion's premium real estate and left your Xbox 360 on for a couple of days to rack up 2.5 million gold, but an honest-to-goodness monarch. After you incite a revolution during the game's first half and overthrow the existing one, anyway.

If Fable 2 was a steampunk Napoleonic era riff, Fable 3 is supposed to be...a steampunk Napoleonic era riff. That's according to Lionhead by way of Eurogamer anyway.

The game will also involve a ground-quaking, planet-realigning shift in...well, something. "I think there's something fundamentally wrong with RPGs like Fable," said Molyneux. "It's a mechanic that's been there since the '80s. I'm going to take that foundation stone and throw it away." No, not a literal foundation stone. Think conventions, then speculate away. Molyneux's lips on the matter are sealed.

What could it be? If I had my druthers, it'd be the zero to hero shtick. Every RPG amounts to a mass power grab. Start small, end big. Get teased and kicked around at the outset, do the teasing and kicking toward the fireworks finale. In diagnostic terms, we call that an "adolescent power fantasy." Because it is.

Not that I'm immune or anything. Still, it's been, what, a quarter century since Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar traded Epic Evil Big Bad Quests for what was basically a lengthy self-improvement pseudo-psychotherapy session? I'm not saying go back to that, but 25 years along and we're still poking around dungeons and castles and killing dragons while fiddling attributes that sound like they were cribbed from a paleolithic patient's chart. "Me have much strength! High agility! Impressive charisma!" Plus Santa Claus sacks of cursed wands and healing staves and plus-some-number swords with prepositional titles.

Fable 3 Logo

Speaking of playing as a lord, have you seen the Evony ads? No relation to Fable, except for the "my lord" bit. You know, as in "Click here, my lord"? Hey, it works better than "would you kindly?" though the thought of Peter Molyneux in a dress with neckline cut practically to the navel wouldn't make my list of pro sales tips.

For more, plus the trailer, see Microsoft's official info page, since Lionhead's isn't working. Molyneux says the game's coming in 2010, but "don't expect it too early."

Follow me on Twitter @game_on.

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