GamesCom: Microsoft Round-Up

Microsoft’s presentation is over and we’ve got all the juicy details right here. Whilst only three games were mentioned it wasn’t really Microsoft’s presentation, more like Lionhead’s, as Peter Molyneux took the stage to reveal some rather tasty treats.

Fable II – Fable II is being re-released in the downloadable form of 5 ‘Episodes,’ all of which will be released together on September 29th. The first will be free, just to get you hooked, but when you get to the end of one you can opt to buy the next Episode or all of them at once. Nice for the those who missewd it the first time around but not exactly huge. Sorry Peter, whats that? 3?

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Fable III – This is why he’s really here. For the second time this year Petey has been the main focus of Microsoft’s big events. Fable III seems to be yet another step up form the detail and scope taking you to the seat of ruling as Albion’s King. As with the previous games The third will continue the trend of letting you play it your way. Whether you want to run it as a greedy tyrant or a generous and kind ruler, it’s your call. But as with every decision in the Fable universe, it will have a consequence.

This was beautifully illustrated by two slides shown in the presentation with a King with a nagging wife and a hoard of grubby kids and another shot of a King with his Queen sat on a gold throne with her feet up on a human footstool. Rule with greed, keep the wife happy, or keep the people happy and have to put up with the nagger from hell. And you will have a family too. You don’t see any bachelors running for President, do you?

As you can see, the choice of this high profile position brings with it a lot of responsibilities, and, of course, a bunch of new features. ‘Judgment’ is a way of casting your authority over your people and as a ruler, responsibility is always on your shoulders. The example given was of a girl brought before you in your throne room, accused of stealing. You can judge her right away but you can also investigate, find out why and either punish of reward and sort out the root problems in your kingdom. Judgments will range from bread thiefs to treason all the way to whether or not to go to war.

The game starts with you as the son or daughter of the Hero from Fable II. For the first half of the game you have to lead a revolution against the evil King with support from the various factions and clans of the land. On your way to the thrown, much like it is in real politics, you have to make some promises. This part of the game is call ‘The Journey to Rule.’ It will see you making many bonds that will vastly affect your time as ruler. Very interesting stuff.

Another thing Lionhead have been looking at has been the way they tell the story in the Fable games. Before you were never really aware of what was going on story wise until the big reveal towards the end. With Fable III this will change. Using a method of storytelling called ‘Stages’ they hope to keep you more in the loop and engaged with the progression of the tale as opposed to rushing to find out what the hell’s really going on.

The last feature mentioned was a touchy subject. That’s because of the new mechanic called ‘Touch.’ This will involve more physical interaction between your character and the people around him. Taking the strength of relationships in to account you will be able to shake hands, hug, embrace and so on. This will provide a bigger emotional attachment to the NPCs and your family.

So, Fable III in a rather large nutshell. A nut that will be cracking late 2010. Good stuff.

Milo and Kate – The last game mentioned was that darling of E3, the kids that are going to get more abuse than any of us would like to think of, Milo and Kate. The only thing said about this potentially great idea is that they’re still working on it. Yup, that’s it.

And with that, Peter exited stage right and left us all wondering ‘where’s the rest of the presentation gone?’

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