Combat’s the topic of this chunk of my long talk with Sir Peter Molyneux. (Incidentally it was the French who knighted him, not the British.) Carry on, informed readers.
You’re talking about followers and the themes of how you gain and wield political power, but how’s the combat in “Fable III?”
Right, let’s have a quick look. By the way, this is our living map in “Fable III.” We’ve done a lot of work on this. If you have unlocked the right chests, you can play a complete economic simulator here. I can buy and sell houses, I can run shops, I can spot my wife having an affair with people. I can see co-op players in here, all of that functionality exists on this map. We’re really improved it in “Fable II” from “Fable II.” And Albion is a really vast place; there’s another whole continent down at the bottom. Right, let’s go and do some combat.
This is still in the first part of the game’s story, right? The revolution part?
Yes. At this stage of the story, we’ve got to infiltrate this camp and the reason we’ve got to do that is we’ve been set on this task by a character called Sabine, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. Sabine’s said that if I go kill this renegade character in here, his people will follow me. I’ve got to get into disguise and break into this camp. They think I’m somebody called Jimmy. OK, so we are part of this band of renegades and I’m fine at the moment. Uh-oh, this guy says I’ve been spotted. Here we go. Again, with “Fable III,” you are free to follow the bread crumbs now or ignore it. You can try for stealth in a mission like this or go in guns blazing. You know there’s lots of life in these towns that wind up as battlegrounds. I can become better friends with these people. All of these people have little stories…actually, the people behind this mission were really funny… Now, let’s talk you through the combat bit. The problem with combat is that it has to be both immediately, ultimately simple so that I can pass this controller to any of you, and it has to be deep, too.
Firstly, in each one of the three disciplines–swords and hammers, guns and rifles, and magic–have their own button. Those buttons work in a very similar way. You can tap the button, and you can have a very fast attack or you can hold the button down and you can charge after them to get a more powerful attack. It’s very simple. I know that a lot of people will just tap the button, but hopefully they’ll discover they can hold the button as well. That methodology applies to guns and to magic. So, for example, if I switch to the guns and hold the button down, that focuses the target on people and it’s more like sniping. And, because you’ve built up a charge, you’re able to let off a more powerful, more accurate shot. It’s exactly the same for the magic discipline. You can focus the magic by holding the button down or tap the button to perform a quick spell. Why don’t we just let you play for a while? Yes…That fluidity that you are getting, that ability to mix everything together is what I love. You can move from casting a spell, swinging a sword and shooting your gun very seamlessy andI feel we’ve gotten that down pretty good. But, ah, you died. And there’s is our fail state: you die and then you get up, but you lose followers. No kicking you back to a save point.
Now, remember, as you do this, all of these weapons are changing, very slightly. If you execute a lot of combo attacks, they’ll change one way. If you do a press and hold down a lot, they’ll change into a completely different form. So that’s the combat. You can see that it too feeds into the idea that you can pick your own what your “Fable III” is, and that you’re effectively crafting your own game. We’ve worked hard so that the combat now is accessible enough that anybody can just pick it up and play it, but deep enough so that you really can craft your own weapons. And it happens in this huge world of Albion, under the framework of a dramatic story.