reviews\ Jun 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Fable III DLC Quest Packs


Not long after the game itself made the transition to the PC, Fable III's DLC Quest Packs were released. The full game is not the strongest in the series, but it's biggest flaw is the glaring lack of quests. Will these Quest Packs give the game some much needed extra life, or are they a waste of money?

Understone Quest Pack (400MSP)

The first and cheapest pack is also, not surprisingly, the shortest. The premise is simple: a factory owner in Bowerstone Industrial is hearing voices in his factory, and he enlists you, the King (or Queen), to investigate. The search immediately leads underground to a hidden city called Understone.

Understone is governed by one very paranoid man, however, so getting in will be tough. Gaining entrance is more tedious than challenging. Endless groups of Hobbes attack, providing lengthy and repetitive combat scenarios. You'll be funneled through various small arenas, forced to defeat all the Hobbes to progress.

For a game with an incredibly limited combat system, this is probably the worst approach to quests there is. While it's good to have more quests to undertake as ruler of Albion, this particular questline has virtually no redeeming qualities beyond the usual Fable polish and humor.

The quest will take little more than half an hour to complete, though it has a few extras. The Wheel of Misfortune in Reaver's Mansion makes a return but is as boring as it was before. Plus, the Mercenary Camp now has a shooting gallery, which also offers little in the way of excitement.

Traitor's Keep Quest Pack (560MSP)

This second Quest Pack is significantly longer than the first but is just as dull. It begins with an assassination on your life, which leads you to Ravenscar, a Prison Island where Logan banished his most threatening political adversaries. There's been a major escape, and rumors tell of a revolutionary inmate who will stop at nothing to overthrow the crown. This questline teams you up with Commander Milton and sends you on a journey to several exciting new areas to hunt down the threat to your domain.

In terms of scope, Traitor's Keep is much more impressive. One new area in particular, Clockwork Island, has some nice visuals. Unfortunately, the gameplay here is identical to the previous quest pack: frequent, repetitive encounters with various creatures. Commander Milton opines at one point, “I'm not sure how many more of these encounters I can take.” After a couple, I agreed with him. Too bad there are dozens here.

The quest has a neat story and a good twist. The effectiveness of your revolution is put into question--interesting, but there's little depth to it. Ultimately, anything good here is suffocated by the overwhelming inanity of it all. The level design demonstrates virtually no creativity: as Milton himself puts it, “I'm noticing a pattern: we walk in, and things try to kill us.”

Despite one of the criticisms of Fable III (the rinse-and-repeat bosses), the bosses here are again identikit fights. The designs are good, particularly for the boss who distinctly resembles Iron Man, but there's no gameplay innovation or creativity at all. A few side quests have been added, but these are little more than fetch or seek-and-destroy quests to use up a little more time.

The two questlines both show promise, but neither maximizes on its potential. Fable III wasn't great, but it deserves far better than this. Unless you think you'll enjoy several hours of extremely repetitive combat, these are two DLCs to avoid.


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