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Talking with Peter Molyneux, part 4

Talking with Peter Molyneux, part 4 (photo)

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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.


The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…