Tuesday 23 November 2010

Understone DLC Review

I went out especially to pick up some points for the DLC for Fable III last week. I have managed to avoid the urge to buy Live Arcade games, and other assorted goodies (although I did have a brief lack of patience when I bought the Priests Robes from Assassins Creed: Brotherhood)and now have downloaded the new Quest Pack, and the Dog Potion. Let's see how it goes...

First off I went straight to the Shooting Range to try that out, always up for challenge me. The introduction to the area is fairly comical and reminded me of the introduction that the town guard gave in Fable when you entered Bowerstone for the first time. After looking around to see if there was actually anything else to buy I popped up to the shooting range to try my luck.

Without much need for bluster I have to say that the Shooting Range was pretty damn fun. If you played Fable II then this won't be anything new too you but its fast paced and indeed rather challenging at times. It took me two tries to get my hands on the new guns on offer (The Money Maker and the Black Dragon)with a mighty 535 points...alas it wasn't enough to upgrade one of the guns but we shall give it time. The range is instantly replayable and with the other gifts you can get from setting good scores it's worth a few more tries at least.

Second up was Reaver's Wheel of Misfortune. Now, since this is in Reaver's Mansion it's exactly the same take as you had when you played the Masquerade Quest. You fight waves of enemies from the spinning wheel of death while Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry shout things at you for doing well, or awful. Again I managed to rack up a good enough score to get my hands on the two prize weapons, and I think as a piece of returnable DLC with the added ability to do so with Co-Op it's almost as much fun as going through the Crucible or the Arena in Fable II.

Last but certainly not least is the quest for Understone itself. Without wanting to put too much of a spoiler in your midsts you travel down under Bowerstone to find out the mysterious source of a mechanical voice haunting a factory above the surface. The way down is typically fable, with some rather interesting combat encounters and the sense of danger mounting as you reach the end. It doesn't last all that long, so if you were hoping for a massive expansion...this isn't it. And while its a pretty sweet quest, its a little bitter sweet as you realise it's all ended too quickly. Something I think most Fable fans would feel for all the games in the series. The decision at the end however is rather important so have a think before you make it.

Overall the pack is fairly well priced. It's not the longest, but its fairly interesting and gives some replay value for those who want to best their Live friends at even more Fable related content. For 400 Points you could do a lot worse, and if your a die hard Fable fan you might want to pick this up. With a fix coming soon as well, will be pretty good going.


Title Update Soon

For those of you out there with some game breaking bugs and other mishaps, there is a title update launching soon to hopefully fix some of those problems...

"Also coming soon, fans will see some positive changes to the “Fable III” gameplay via a Title Update. Lionhead Studios has been hard at work addressing gameplay issues in the massive world of Fable III. In addition, a new voice over pack will be released for some regions, adding even more polish to the adventure. Title update fixes will address the following and more:

- General gameplay progression and spawning issues
- Sanctuary map and audio functionality
- Isolated corrupted game saves
- General performance surrounding Orbs, audio, frame rates and other features"

This should be out soon enough, and was said to be up around the time of the DLC...so watch this space if you are having problems with your game.

Understone Out Today!

Title says it all. The Understone Quest Pack is out today for you all to buy and enjoy.

Jump back into the whimsical world of “Fable III” with the all new “Understone Quest Pack,” available starting today on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 400 Microsoft Points. The new Game Add-on grants fans access to three unique experiences, including a journey through the mysterious town called Understone, tucked beneath the bustling streets of Bowerstone.

Designed by the peculiar mind of inventor Montague Hummes following the uncertain events that unfolded in “Fable II,” Understone brings new houses and stalls to own, creatures to conquer and a mystery to solve. The “Understone Quest Pack” brings more action and adventure your way with the following quests:

“The Voice”: In the main quest, explore the mysterious underground land built by Montague Hummes in fear of the Spire in “Fable II”

Discover the origin of the voice that controls the people of Understone
Features a moral decision that will lead to two drastically different outcomes in Understone
“Shooting Range”: After defeating Saker during your quest to become Queen of King, the remaining Mercenaries have turned their camp into a tourist attraction. The main attraction being the replayable shooting range mode

Beat the high scores to win three prizes that can be used while playing the minigame: the Marksman 500 (gifted to players for downloading the pack), Money Shot (prize) and Black Dragon (prize)
The Wheel of Misfortune”: After Reaver vacated his home, he set up a venture for budding heroes to replay the thrilling arena-based challenges within his new dwellings

Beat the high scores to win three new weapons that can be used while playing in the minigame: The Full Monty (gifted to players upon downloading pack), Dirty Harriet (prize) and Dead Ned’s Revolver (prize)

From Lionhead.com

And some new fancy screenshot's to enjoy too...


Friday 19 November 2010

Fable III: DLC Idea No: 2

The Lost Boys

Set deep in the swampy marshland of Mourningwood search for a lost group of children taken from their beds by an evil spirit. However, as you look deeper into the mysterious disappearances you find that everything is not quite as it seems. Uncover the mystery of the Lost Boys and maybe you will be able to settle the minds of the parents of Albion once more.

The DLC would be a quest set into a new part of Mourningwood leading away from the eco-warrior village in the swamps. You would be tasked by the leader of the village (or his replacement if you killed the other) to find out what is happening to their children who have been going missing in the middle of the night. The DLC would open up a new region which would be around the size of Mistpeak. Would be a winding wood-like maze with the feel of the marsh part of Mourningwood, very dark and secluded. As you look deeper into the mystery and follow the trail of notes left by someone only known as 'P' you find clues to the children's plight. Piles of toys found under trees, caves filled with beds with no-one in them which eventually leaves you to put together a set of clues to solve a riddle in the woods...which in turn leads to a secret glade in the woods.

When you find it this fellow...(old Fable II Concept art)

Has seemingly been capturing the children to turn into a Hobbe army through the use of a magical artefact. This leads too you defeating him, or helping him in his task. Either asking you to bring him the last sacrifice to his den so he can turn the child into the final hobbe needed to overwhelm Mourningwood and turn it into a Hobbe village, or fighting him and freeing the souls of the children who have been captured by his magic dealings.

Would either gift you the legendary weapons...

Evil Choice: The Hobbeiests Hammer - A Hammer forged by....well, stuck together by hobbes.

The Hammer would be rather crude looking, made of bone etc and have 1) Kill 100 Villagers 2) Steal 50 items of food 3) Get Fat

Good Choice: The Charity Boom Stick - A pistol which rewards you for being rewarding.

A rather basic looking pistol with little flashiness and would have 1) Donate 1,000,000 gold to the treasury 2) Give 50 Gifts to villagers 3) Give your autograph to 30 children.

Fable III: DLC Idea No:1

"Hollows & Hobbes (3rd Edition, revision

Return back to the table top with the Orb of Magika once again and experience a new adventure in the world of Hollows & Hobbes. With the evil baron dead and the princess rescued this new module takes you deeper into the web of intrigue weaved by the awful baron and his teddy bear factory...of doom!

Explore the distant area of the Afterthought Lands and find the source of the barons power, and your ultimate enemy! With new weapons and new items from The Collected Treasury of Galdo Gygaxian you can vanquish your foes in fantastic new ways...and see if you can hold off against the dangerous Flaming Chickens of Doom!, a new creature for this edition of the game!"

Would basically be set up in Bowerstone where the table is and would have a set of adventures you could do with different ending rewards. Some could be joke rewards and others could be serious...but would be more funny to have joke ones. Maybe could bring back The Frying Pan +1 which would be upgraded from 1) Eating Food 2) Making Pies and 3) Beating up Hobbes who would steal your dinner!

Would also maybe have a similar set up to Reavers wheel of death where you could go back into the room where you pull the lever surrounded by arrows and would send random mobs of enemies at you, defeat them in the time limit etc and would get odd bonuses as you played.

Note: This is not DLC...this is purely an idea.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Ruled the World

A pretty impressive AMV for Fable III I found today. Watch it and like, good effort.

Link to the Youtube page.

Fable III Patch Update: 16th November

And so we wanted some news...

We haven’t forgotten about anyone yet, with yesterday’s announcement of the first add-on pack for Fable III, I just want to remind everyone that the title update is still coming and we’re currently aiming for this to be available approximately around the same time as the DLC.

I'd love to be able to give you the entire list of fixes, but I can't do that until we get a firmly fixed release date for it. So please stay tuned and enjoy Albion (and Aurora).


And Sam delivers. A fix soon.

Monday 15 November 2010

GT Accolades Trailer

Enjoy the GT Accolades trailer for Fable III.

...now get back to chasing the maids and making gold from fetch quests!

Info on new DLC: 23rd November for Understone!

Without much introduction here's the new information...

The Action-Adventure Journey in “Fable III” Continues With Fresh Game Add-ons and a New Gameplay Trailer

On the heels of the triumphant Oct. 26 launch of “Fable III,” fans who crave even more action and adventure will revel in the all new “Fable III” Understone Quest Pack. Available on Nov. 23 on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 400 Microsoft Points, the new Game Add-on introduces three unique quests to continue expanding the world of Albion. In celebration of the global launch of “Fable III,” Lionhead Studios also released the latest gameplay trailer, which captures the magic of revolution as you decide whether it’ll be happily ever after (or not) in the world of “Fable III.” Hailed as “a must-play for fans of adventure” and an “enormously rich experience,” “Fable III” is a must-have game this holiday season. View the trailer at xbox.com/fable3.

With the “Fable III” Understone Quest Pack, your hero will discover a mysterious town built beneath the streets of Bowerstone, crafted by eccentric inventor Montague Hummes. This full scale town is bustling with new houses and stalls to own, novel creatures to battle and a major mystery to solve. As added bonuses, you’re invited to explore the Mercenary Shooting Range and the Wheel of Misfortune, for chances to win in-game prizes. The “Fable III” Understone Quest Pack comes filled to the brim with the following:

“The Voice”: In the main quest, explore the mysterious underground land built by Montague Hummes in fear of the Spire in “Fable II” -

Discover the origin of the voice that controls the people of Understone
Features a moral decision that will lead to two drastically different outcomes in Understone.

“Shooting Range”: After defeating Saker during your quest to become King, the remaining Mercenaries have turned their camp into a tourist attraction. The main attraction being the replayable shooting range mode -

Beat the high scores to win three prizes that can be used while playing the minigame: the Marksman 500 (gifted to players for downloading the the pack), Money Shot (prize) and Black Dragon (prize)

“The Wheel of Misfortune”: After Reaver vacated his home, he set up a venture for budding heroes to replay the thrilling arena-based challenges within his new dwellings -

Beat the high scores to win three new weapons that can be used while playing in the minigame: The Full Monty (gifted to player upon downloading pack), Dirty Harriet (prize) and Dead Ned’s Revolver (prize)
Also available for purchase on Nov. 23 are the Exclusive Hair Pack (160 Microsoft Points) with corn rows, afro and asymmetrical bob styles and the 5 Star Dog Potion (80 Microsoft Points) that gives your canine companion the full 5-star ability for digging, diving and tracking down hidden chests right from the start.

Fans in search of more creative and immediate ways to customize their heroes are in luck! Available starting tomorrow, on Nov. 9 exclusively on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, you’ll be able to tailor your righteous or wicked ruler with the Reaver Industries Hero Outfit (160 Microsoft Points) and a colorful Dye Pack (80 Microsoft Points) that icludes black, cream, hot pink and turquoise that will make your hero the talk of Albion.

And also Sam has shown us a new launch trailer...

Pretty ace eh?

Saturday 13 November 2010

Concept Art = Lovely

Concept art is fantastic, and even more so for Fable it seems. Just can't get enough of the inspiring artwork for the game series, and I know a lot of other people can't either. So here is a nice big chunk of artwork I found from off the internet for you all to enjoy.

Enjoy, and click to get bigger sizes of course.

Friday 12 November 2010

More Comics!

Rooster Teeth are sure loving their Fable playing if these comics are anything to go by! Check them out below and don't forget to look at their homepage linked at the bottom for some awesome videos. They have a very funny 'Fails of the Week' coming every Friday from Halo: Reach submitted videos...very cool.

For when the life of a hero takes its toll...

Gnomes in reality eh?

And finally...

They do love the Fable-ness...and dogs...

Home Page...check it out, or Sarge will get you.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Multiplayer...Nope, Sorry.

My mistake guys...seems like it was all a bit of a misunderstanding when posting the information on Lionhead.com.

From Sam on the forum...

"Yeah it's a mistake, sorry guys and gals. When Woody posted the information he got from the guide people he didn't check it completely...hence the mistake. Should be updated shortly. Our apologiez."

So no versus mode it seems...quick little update to clear that up.

Multiplayer, Fable III??

Well we know there is Co-Op in Fable III...but this was on the last blogpost I put up, and it has me intrigued.

"Multiplayer coverage provides expert tactics for cooperative and competitive game modes, including Versus, Arena, Command Board, and Rumble Racing."

Could we be seeing some proper Fable III multiplayer on the horizon?

My new Signature by the way for the Lionhead forums.

Need A Guiding Hand?

So we love Fable here, well I do anyway! And I picked up the Fable II Guide a few weeks after I had completed the game to try and help me through some of the rough spots I had experienced as I was playing, as well as to find all the secrets. So here is some awesome news about the Fable III guides!

Above is the normal edition of the guide with...

"The Fable III Limited Edition Signature Series Guide" picks up the story of life in Albion over half a century after the events of Fable II. Your quest is to overthrow a megalomaniac sibling and save a continent on its knees. This limited edition guide tracks the decisions you make, determining the type of ruler you become. Exclusive quest guides and maps provide an unprecedented knowledge of the games dig spots, gnomes and secrets. Included is a stand alone art section, with a limited edition dust cover and multiplayer tactics for co-op and competitive modes.

Fable III and The Kingdom of Albion have never been explored in such detail, but how will you gain and control the wealth and power you crave?

Signature Series Guide:
Complete Quest and Promise Guide
All Main and Option Quests Are Covered
Learn what can befall Your Hero with Each Promise Made and Discover What happens if you Keep it ... or not.
Albion Atlas
Area Information – Shot Listings, Job Sites and Location of Demon Doors
Beautifully Illustrated Maps – Gnomes, Books, Keys, Dig Spots, Dive Spots, Chests - Find Every Secret Spot in the Game.
Real Estate Guide
Prices, Rent, repairs and Decorating Tips
Strategies for Wealth Accumulation

But if you are more of a hardcore fan of the series maybe you want this?

This version is very special and...

This special hardbound Edition includes everything in our Signature Series guide, plus exclusive content not available anywhere else!
Exclusive 80-Page Art Gallery! Packed with breathtaking concept art and fascinating commentary from the developer.
Get One of four Deluxe, Collectible Covers! Beneath the striking dust jacket (which is a beautiful piece of art in and of itself), each volume features one of four limited-edition covers. Deluxe print treatments highlight these dramatic cover images. These are randomly assorted so you wont know what cover you get until you open the package at home!
Additionally, the Limited Edition guide contains a virtual IN-GAME TATOO for your character available only with purchase of this guide!
Also Included:
Complete walk-through which leads the player through the entire game with ease.
Comprehensive statistical breakdown of every weapon and item.
Locations of every hidden item in the game..
Exclusive maps illustrate the game's multiple worlds and pinpoint critical locations.
Multiplayer coverage provides expert tactics for cooperative and competitive game modes, including Versus, Arena, Command Board, and Rumble Racing.

What takes your fancy? Go here and see what you think, maybe buy a copy?

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Fable IV: Looking Forwards

In Fable: TLC we had the foundations of the Heroes Guild and the story of a hero coming to power to rule over Albion (some would say with an iron fist if what he did to the Guildmaster is to be believed). In Fable II we jumped forwards many years to a time where the old ways were pushed to the fringes and industry and progression took over from fantasy and the wild. Fable III took this a step further with the world being plunged into a full on industrial struggle. Despite the end game options (which I won't spoil) there were plenty of factories still open, and the progress of the world and invention will not be stopped.

Seeing as progression is inevitable in any world, it seems wrong for the game to suddenly take a step backwards and look towards the beginning like a few people want. This also goes against the design philosophy of Lionhead Studios with them not wanting to make another swords & sorcery style game. The logical next step would either be a large leap forwards towards maybe the modern day (think in the same way that Assassins Creed puts the mechanics of the historical gameplay into the modern world) or a small leap to a proper, full on steampunk period in Albions history.

Now, how would this work I hear you say? Well, like the Industrial Knight armour showed this would be entirely possible if technology has got to that point already with Reaver Industries. Fantasy & the Modern History feeling can always overlap and could easily sit quite well next too each other. Lionhead have always looked to films for inspiration it seems with their games, especially the second two in the franchise. Fable II drew heavily from the look and feel of films like Brotherhood of the Wolf (very good french film) and Sleepy Hollow. Fable III seems to draw from the very classic Sharpe series and so it would seem right to look at what media offerings could inspire a full on steampunk Fable IV.

1) Van Helsing

Now, this seems a pretty obvious one but its a good mix of Fantasy and the progression of the world around the darkness. It fits into the theme of the Fable games, with the wild and the unknown being terrible and dangerous, small oasis' of calm being the villages that pucker the landscape. With the weapon from Fable III crafted by the militant monks around, would it be such a leap of the imagination to see the Temple of Good hiring the next hero as a bounty hunter against the dark forces that threaten the progressive world of Albion? This example comes from the Pope and the Catholic Church providing Van Helsing with his weapons (steampunk of course) in the film. There is also the perfect mixture of creepy, sleepy hamlets tucked into the wilds of Europe (much like the towns of Brightwall etc?) and the bustling cities plagued by unseen human influences using the darkness of the wilds (London and Mr Hyde = Bowerstone and some crazy scientists?)

2) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Here again is another good mixture of the fantasy and steampunk for us to look at for justification on our onward journey. Again it has the powerful dark and fantasy influence from beasties but also, and more importantly the human influence which could be a big thing in coming games. With the growth of technology, there will be those that try and use this for evil as well as good. In this its Moriarty/Fantom who is trying to create an army like Mr Hyde. Could this be something Lionhead could use? Maybe with the advent of the Gauntlet to channel Will everyone could have access too this powerful source of energy and some humans in Albion have been bending it too their nefarious will causing all kinds of horrible mutations and odd powers amongst the populace (or their experiments). Vehicles have never been something implemented in Fable games, and again this kind of setting would need none, but like Fable III they could still have a presence. Maybe, like Fantom the crackpot trying to bring down the world has an army of blimps at his command? Maybe an Auroran scientist has come up with a perfect way to travel over and under water like Captain Nemo?

3) Hellboy

Now this is a big leap in time, but bear with me. Now, this isn't technically steampunk but its a very good way of showing the power of the fantasy world mixing with the urban and the modern. Maybe as Albion has become more technologically advanced the fantasy world has been pushed underground? Like in Hellboy a whole world of fantasy exists along side the human world, just out of sight in the fringes. Maybe this is where the balverines and hobbes have gone? The people of Albion could see the stories of Balverine attacks, Hobbes stealing children and such as old wives tales told to scare the children at night, or the symptoms of madness in the old. Hobbes could rule the shadowy sewers of the steampunked world, balverines skulking in the dark forests no one enters anymore, or in plain sight like the guests of Reavers party...something to think about there.

But now onto the powers the heroes in Hellboy possess. Just like Fable there is Will there, uncontrollable at first with the young woman in the films but then later channelled for good. Hellboy himself is a being of strength, and there are even firearms wielded by the group as well. Maybe like in the previous example Will has become something uncontrollable and prone to violence and that's why Gauntlets are needed. Either way, this film shows a brilliant way of the fantastical being put alongside the modern progressive world. There's even an 'Old Kingdom' beneath the world with Prince Nuada and the Golden Army...which could almost be the mechanical constructs of the sandy dunes of Aurora.

Now too the story itself, and here might be some spoilers...

At the end of the game we now know what the real threat to Albion was all along. We hear why Logan did what he did, and why Teresa needed you to make the ending possible, to save Albion. It seemed as if this 'evil' was powered and given strength by fear and sadness which means maybe it will never fully go away. With your hero 'finishing' off the threat in the end of Fable III the future could be very interesting for the world of Albion. It seemed as if the power was locked away within the continent of Aurora but now is free...and the continent itself is also a lot bigger than the areas we have discovered in the game. Whatever it was, is possibly biding its time until it can once more return to bring Albion, and Aurora down to its knees....and make servants of all its people.

In Fable IV then, if we go down the steampunked route, what could the possible story be? Maybe we will find out that Teresa has not been totally forward with the truth once more and the darkness is returning? Maybe the Spire still has a part to play? Maybe she is waiting for the right time, and the right technology to harness the power of the Spire for some other purpose? Maybe the story won't be focused on Teresa at all? What if the main story focused on someone else, a hero amongst the people who was subject to the experiments of the villain of the piece and has to find out who he/she is and channel their power, for good or evil...in defeating the man who had tormented them. Could the hero find solace in the dark corners of the world of Albion and unleash the dark creatures of the woods and caves back on the people of the cities? The need to 'not save the world' would be a good opportunity to play on the opposing moralities and let the player truly be good or evil.

This is just a few ideas...maybe it could give a few people a bit of hope that a forward looking and technological/steampunked Albion could be a good idea. I hope to carry this on in another post at some time to keep you updated with my ideas.

Images taken from Steamlords.