Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Am I repeating myself?

Fable 3 feels like it is going to be very short. This is not a good feeling for a game that ostensibly takes you from prince to nobody to king and then you have to actually rule the kingdom for a while. Nothing feels epic in either scope or importance, mostly because side quests range from 'rescue my idiot daughter who likes to explore wolves' dens' to 'put on this chicken suit and lure my flock back to their cages with oddly erotic dance moves.' This is not a joke, just a bit of an exaggeration. It's hard to feel important when you aren't doing important things, and shooting foul mouthed gnomes off of rooftops just doesn't feel all that relevant to sparking a revolution against your despotic brother. This mundane nature is nothing new for Fable, it is just another thing that ceases to be forgivable when a franchise gets anywhere past the number 2.

There was honest growth between the first and second game, with the sequel getting just a little but closer to what was promised and never delivered on by the first game. Everything was larger, there was more to do, your actions had more (well, at least some) consequence. It was what a sequel should be. The third time around just feels like the second time around with guns instead of crossbows. Steam punk in general is an underused setting (and I wish Arcanum was more playable than it was) but the new setting just isn't cutting it. My disappointment in this game makes me nervous for other upcoming sequels like the oddly named BioShock Infinite and the new Batman game. Have I finally had my fill of established genres?

I hope not, because Fallout New Vegas is setting there in line, I have yet to play DJ Hero 2, and there are probably a dozen other new versions of old games that I need to play.

Perhaps expecting constant growth is unreasonable. Developers can't continually one up themselves, can they? Actually, they can. Red Dead Redemption was a sequel to a game that very few people played, but it was still a sequel. I might not like all (most) of their games, but it can never be said that Rockstar simply rests on it laurels.

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