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.


  • initialreactionshow - June 24, 2010 1:38 a.m.

    Great article Charlie. It looks like Fable 3 is going to be a great game that improves on everything that was wrong with Fable 2. I loved Fable 2, despite it's obvious various problems, and the rest of the gaming community generally loves Fable 2 as well so it is bizarre to see how openly Molyneux says that it is a piece of trash. If Fable 2 is "a piece of trash", I can't wait to see how great Fable 3 is going to be.
  • Cyberninja - June 24, 2010 1:42 a.m.

    personal weponds seems like a good idea
  • thekeith82 - June 24, 2010 1:50 a.m.

    Arses. Seriously. Give him until Fable IV is due out and he will decrying everything in this as rubbish too. Don't forget, this is the guy who not so long ago was claiming that charging players real money for in-game fast travel was a reasonable source of future revenue for game companies. Not sure if hes pulled an about turn on that one yet, but if it does turn up on Xbox I would imagine he will be the mastermind behind it. getting really fed up the hype, Pete. Try delivering for a change.
  • thekeith82 - June 24, 2010 1:52 a.m.

    "Fable III's hero evolution can be planned to a certain degree. Use a lot of magic and your character's complexion will change. Use a lot of guns and your character will grow taller. Use a lot of swords and your character will grow stronger and bulkier. Mix and match as you see fit" Wasn't that EXACTLY how the character evolution worked in fable II, incidentally?
  • Lionsheadbeer - June 24, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    Can the bullshit molyneux, Ive enjoyed every fable game so far and I'm sure allot of gamers are with me. Just make a solid adventure give us what we want, get rid of what sucked and you'll be fine.
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - June 24, 2010 2:17 a.m.

    C'mon guys, lay off Peter for slamming his previous game everytime he is hyping up his upcoming one. After all, Miyamoto and Sid Meier do it all the time right? Oh wait.... Stay classy Molyneaux.
  • Lionsheadbeer - June 24, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    ps. why does using guns make you taller? it should make you faster..
  • Doctalen - June 24, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    You know, he got me with the hype about Fable 2, that was crap, played once and stopped, didn't bother reloading saves to get the three ending achievements. So I will now bask in the hype that is Fable and be fairly disappointed when it is released. I liked the first Fable, didn't find that much wrong with it, but I don't know about Peter's hype about it so that helped. Got really excited about Fable 2 then it turned to crap Maybe third time is the charm, maybe just maybe, it will live up to these exceptions Peter creates...doubt it.
  • Doctalen - June 24, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    @Lionsheadbeer: vantage points, you can see more but then again enemies can see you. Sorry for double post.
  • Vitoruss1 - June 24, 2010 2:25 a.m.

    I was just going to say what thekeith82 said (only the second comment). My biggest hope is that in this game there's a Mass Effect/Alpha Protocol-esque dialogue system rather than a hero who acknowledges everything with a grunt. I'd rather them give us, say, 3 or 4 different voices (per sex) to choose from for the game rather than just giving us one or nothing at all. That way it could seem MUCH more "role-playing"-y. Oh, more clothes/armor, too.
  • Lionsheadbeer - June 24, 2010 2:45 a.m.

    I believe I read somewhere this will be the first fable where the player character has speech instead of speaking simmish
  • EvanKHustle - June 24, 2010 3:19 a.m.

    Third time a charm. I guess.
  • Cleanser247 - June 24, 2010 3:25 a.m.

    I don't think its right for Peter to just bash the game that he praised so dearly, and say that it is garbage. I mean, I know that they have improved areas where Fable 2 wasn't strong, but he should try and think before he speaks. Sometimes, I get really annoyed at how he portrays the next Fable game, and feel he over exaggerates them a bit too much. I bought Fable 2 last year, and found it to be a unique game, and I will for sure try out Fable 3 when it's released. Good preview Charlie!
  • theemporer - June 24, 2010 4:18 a.m.

    My computer is putting eenters after every word :(
  • Phazon117 - June 24, 2010 4:23 a.m.

    I fail to see what "held him back" for Fable II, which, in all honesty, was alright. Maybe he REALLY wants it to be Kinect-able.
  • GamesRadarJuniorWildlifeEditor - June 24, 2010 4:37 a.m.

    I will believe this when i see it, and perhaps not even then. Fable 3 has a singularly inauspicious pedigree.
  • mgkyo666 - June 24, 2010 4:56 a.m.

    Molyneux better not be over-hyping his game again! I don't want to cry for the third time on how disappointing the actual game was
  • Spacegrass - June 24, 2010 6:18 a.m.

    Item names will be linked to your gamertag? I hope this doesn't mean the PC version will require Games for Windows Live, because Games for Windows Live is terrible. Having to log in to that almost made Dawn of War II not worth it.
  • Felixthecat - June 24, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    Oh Molyneux, how I <3 you.
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 24, 2010 8:08 a.m.

    And now the only thing left is to actually exectute these improvements. Isn't that right, MOLYNEUX?!

Showing 1-20 of 43 comments

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