Peter Molyneux: Fable II was "rubbish"

Peter Molyneux, the creator of Fable, is famous for enthusiastically overhyping his games to the point that they cannot possibly live up to players' expectations. This is the man who made the simple addition of a dog in Fable II sound like an industry-changing revolution.

So imagine my surprise, when I meet Molyneux for a Fable III demo during E3 last week, and the first thing he says to me is: "Fable II's story was rubbish." He wasn't done. Before the end of our half-hour together, Molyneux had used that same word to trash the maps, menus, visuals, weapons and co-op in his last game as well.

Whether you agree or disagree – I work for a site that scored Fable II a 9 for "Awesome," after all – Peter Molyneux wants us to know that these things will be vastly improved for Fable III. Here are five of his examples…

Improving the story

Beyond the significant moral choices they made during the game, most players can't recall the plot of Fable II. When quizzed by Molyneux, I could describe only the broadest of details, and he wasn't insulted. He wasn't even surprised.

If you saw the E3 trailer for Fable III, you already know how this important issue is being addressed. Rather than go on a generic hero's quest, filled with generic fantasy moments, you will now live through two distinctive and dramatic narrative arcs. The first casts you as a people's revolutionary, attempting to overthrow a tyrant who happens to be your brother. After stepping in as ruler, you must then choose how to lead, and how to deal with the threat of a rival nation.

Improving the menus and maps

Albion is a bright and beautiful land… until you hit the start button. Then the entire screen is replaced by cluttered menus, leading to labyrinthine submenus, full of endless lists and pointless text descriptions. An accessible action-RPG suddenly transforms into a Microsoft Excel sheet.

In Fable III, the menus aren't menus at all, but a full 3D space called Sanctuary that you can wander at your leisure, taking as much time as needed to explore the map, browse your wardrobe, test out weapons and seek advice from your John Cleese-voiced butler. But if you're just looking for a quick health boost, stuff like potions can be mapped to the D-pad to save time.

Improving the weapons

Speaking of weapons, there sure were a bunch of them in Fable II. The franchise's fans, according to Molyneux, were clamoring for even more in Fable III. But quality was being sacrificed for quantity, and the various swords, guns, axes and crossbows were growing indistinguishable from one another.

In Fable III, your weapons will be completely unique to you, evolving the same way that your hero does. Enjoy killing innocents? Watch as your sword takes on a sinister curve. Finish off enemies with fancy flourishes? Notice how, as time passes, your gun's design becomes more and more ornate. Eventually, your weapons will be so special that the game will give them their own names, tied to your gamertag.

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  • Zeb364 - October 3, 2010 8:38 p.m.

    While I don't agree with how unneccesarily agressive he's being but thekeith82 is right, that is how it works in Fable II.
  • NobodyLikesPaul - October 3, 2010 2:38 p.m.

    nothing will be able to beat the original fable
  • Manguy17 - July 19, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    weapon names linked to gamertags, well i feel awful sorry for people like like XXXSuparsN1p3rXXX what would that end up like? that said they will most likly be somthing along the lines of [insert GT here]'s super sword of awesome justice, albeit a more sensible weapon, as for the rest of it. im not fussed about the hype, i know im gonna get it anyway, so why not allow myself to be suprised by whats good instead of fussing about what was meant to happen?
  • spawny0908 - July 19, 2010 8:57 p.m.

    Well color me interested! This went from a maybe to a definite purchase!!
  • GrandTheftSilly - July 19, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    finally i could join my friends game in fable 3 because i hate joining a game and not having any of my stuff or appearances thank you for fixing this problem
  • WBxRelentless - July 16, 2010 1:35 a.m.

    Fable 2 was good enough, im just tired of franchises improving on little things, NCAA Football 11, Madden 10, Gears of War, I mean some of these franchises could be absolutely perfect if they took the infinity ward or bungie approach and make big improvements each time. I hope this lives up to the hype. :/
  • Nikiicha11 - July 3, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    OMG this looks so epic. Cant wait :3
  • revolver69 - June 28, 2010 4:25 p.m.

    this fable is going to be mental! the best ever. cant wait to explore albion once again...
  • chewiesinnerwookie - June 27, 2010 4:50 p.m.

    I can't waitfor this game. THe one thing I could never figure out was how to NOT make my character blue!!
  • soren7550 - June 27, 2010 1:03 a.m.

    I wouldn't say that the 2nd was rubbish. It received larges amounts of praise and a few Game of the Year awards, and hell I liked it enough (even though recently the game hasn't let me start any new files & has corrupted my awesome female file that I was 2/3 or so done with).
  • JosefMotley - June 25, 2010 8 a.m.

    so isn't this whole article just an apology for giving a bad game 9/10... but without the apology???? another good review gets retconned with retrospect. i really wish you guys would get like three months with a game to really decide if it's good rather than the presumed three weeks (maybe not even that?) in which it seems most reviewers get completely fooled by smoke-and-mirrors attempts like the fable series. seriously guys, you're expecting us to believe and / or trust you AT ALL when you come out with a fable 3 review saying it's utterly amazing then a year or so later come out with an article saying "fable 3 was rubbish, we just realised. but 4 is going to actually have the stuff in it that molyneux (inventor of the dog) promised in 2!" i'm not stupid enough to fall for that, chaps. sorry.
  • TheTalkRadarWiimote - June 24, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    I'm excited about the improved co-op. I was worried they would scrap it altogether rather than improving it. I predict the ultimate future of fable is an awesome mmo.
  • Dabenguin - June 24, 2010 5:29 p.m.

    Imagine if the game does utilize Kinect, that means that you would have to do the vulgar thrust or middle finger instead of pressing a button. Now that would make me buy Nata-- er Kinect.
  • VenomVip7 - June 24, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    @thekeith82 Then why dont they apply that toward Sony or Nintendo or MS? They've all made plenty of promises that they couldnt keep. But this game looks good. just keep it so I cant get bored while playing it and I'll be fine.
  • JohnnyMaverik - June 24, 2010 2:30 p.m.

    Fable 1 was also rubbish, so it'll take a lot of convincing...
  • FearlessRaven - June 24, 2010 2:02 p.m.

    I'll take it. Molyneux has a track record of making over hyping promises, but in this case he doesn't seem to be making grand statements for once. He seems a little more down to earth in his development of Fable 3. Plus apparently they've been working on this game for three years now so yeah I am optimistic about it
  • thekeith82 - June 24, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    @Tronto13- I really don't think hating on Molyneux is a matter of people not thinking for themselves. The man has a long track record of promising the world and not delivering it, and the fact he is now saying that the last game he claimed would be the greatest thing ever was actually crap isn't really helping his case. As soon as he actually delivers on a promise, I will eat my hat. You claim that Fable III will feature ideas that will"change gaming for everyone". I would love to hear you tell me a single feature of Fable II that changed anything at all, so I'm not sure on what basis you are making that claim, except for the you just following whatever Molyneux says in exactly the same way you are claiming everyone else is following people that hate on him...
  • Zanthis - June 24, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    Well I'm excited, yet still apprehensive. I think this will be one I will wait until after reviews have hit.
  • rafoca - June 24, 2010 12:23 p.m.

    Co-op seems to be the real deal now. I hope that, in co-op, when a player pauses the other player can move freely (in Fable 2 that wasn´t possible). The weapon system seems to be a fail, cause I doubt weapons will be so unique as he is saying. I bet there will be a lot of similar weapons in the end.
  • drewbian - June 24, 2010 12:08 p.m.

    definitely think if the co-op is as good as you say it is, both me and my girlfriend will be picking up a copy for sure, sounds awesome. played fable 2 the other day and was shocked at just how bad the graphics actually were after playing games like rdr and the like recently. thanks for the article

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