February 12, 2010 – Peter Molyneux told journalists yesterday at Microsoft’s X10 event that three major gameplay innovations will make Fable III the most innovative game in the series.
Molyneux touted that the game will feature in-game touching, weapon-morphing and kingdom ruling. The journalists gathered for X10 got a chance to play the game and afterwards, Lionhead Studios released several new screenshots from the game.
“You will start out the game as the 18-year old [child] of your Fable II character,” said Molyneux. “You’ll find that Albion is being ruled by a tyrant. You are going to storm the castle with all of the people who follow you you’re going to take him down and then people are going to come to you and say, ‘You promised you would eradicate slavery. You promised to turn factories into orphanages. Your promised to stop childhood labor. We are going to make your time as a ruler a little bit tough.”
Molyneux also touted an on-screen interface that’s derived from first-person shooters. Gone are icons, maps and bars. The purpose is to create a more seamless game world with little to interfere with your viewpoint and that seamlessness extends to eradicating experience points and health bars. Instead, Molyneux says that your experience points will be visible through the number of followers you have and that those numbers are determined by your skills as a ruler, promise keeper and fighter. In addition, your health bar will be replaced by visual indicators on the screen as in shooters like Gears of War.
The in-game touching element focuses on character interaction. In the demo, journalists saw your character searching for his daughter in the streets. When he found her playing with friends he comforted her with the pull of a trigger on the Xbox 360 controller and then he took her hand and walked her home. Along the way, though, Molyneux tried to walk his character into a pub. The daughter tugged back, telling him that he shouldn’t go in because his wife had said he needs to stop going to pubs.
Molyneux then proceeded to show how a homeless man could be led into an undesirable situation. Taking the homeless man by the hand, Molyneux’s character was lavished with thanks as the homeless man assumed he was being taken home for dinner. Little did the man know that he would be sold to a factory – until they turned a corner and the man stops in his tracks and tugs against Molyneux’s character. “Don’t sell me to those fiends. You might as well put a bullet in my head,” the man says.
These interactions, claim Molyneux, allows the world to feel more alive. If a character upsets you, you can drag them by the neck to your dungeons or you can reward a helpful character with a kind action.
Fable II featured the ability for your character’s appearance to change based upon your decisions and morals. A particularly vicious character would take on a devil-like appearance while an upstanding character would appear angel-like, youthful and exuberant. Fable III goes a step further by allowing weapons to change their appearance based upon their use. Weapons can grow larger if you fight often, they can drip blood if you kill innocents frequently while glowing if you fight against evil.
In addition, Molyneux says that the weapons color, texture and writing can change based upon your actions. “Weapons morph from boring things to really interesting things depending on the way you use them,” he says.
Finally, the weapon will also reflect your gamerscore to create absolutely unique combinations. Molyneux claims that there are thousands of weapon variations in Fable III.
Ruling The Kingdom
Molyneux says that games follow a pretty strict convention: increase your power, become a better fighter and topple the bad guy. But, he says that when it came to Fable III, he wanted to do more. “We decided, why stop there.”
In Fable III you will be able to rule the Kingdom of Albion, and Molyneux wants gamers to have to balance promises with fulfillment. He says that gamers will be tempted to promise lots of things but will then learn that they can’t do everything. Passing laws and fulfilling promises will be key to building up a strong following amongst the members of the kingdom.
And no, Fable III won’t feature RTS elements. “I love the idea of the map in an RTS but I don’t want the mechanic of an RTS, all I want is its sense of power.”
Molyneux claimed last week that people would be “pissed off” about the changes to Fable III and that he was nervous about revealing the details, but they are sound excellent to us. Molyneux has a history of promising big things and delivering them on a small scale, but all seems good so far in Albion. Fable III looks like it’s shaping up to be an excellent RPG title and is geared to arrive in the Holiday season.
Check out the screens below and let us know what you think. Frankly, we aren’t pissed of at all and we’re just really, really glad that Fable III won’t be a Natal-only title. Phew.