Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fable 3 and Civilization 5

My two favourite franchises, Civilization and Fable, are both receiving sequels this year! Fable 3 we already knew about, however the Civilization announcement is new. Please note, Civilization 5 is different from the previously announced Civilization Facebook, which should also be coming out this year.

Fable 3

I mentioned that Peter Molyneux would be demoing and talking about Fable 3 at this years X10. The key things to take away from it are:

  • Traditional RPG levelling and health systems have been cut
  • Like your character, your weapons will now change according to how you use them
  • There are two continents
  • The expressions wheel has been replaced by something called touch, though the details are still hazy as to how it actually works
  • The game will support but not require Natal. How the game will use Natal has not been announced
One thing that Molyneux did say is that they are still not talking about the second half of the game, where you have to rule a country (beyond a few hazy details like you will have a treasury and you will have to decided how to spend the countries money). Judging by the inclusion of a second continent, I would imagine there will be some kind of diplomacy/military conquest.

The weapon development is quite interesting. Basically, as you use your weapon, it will become more powerful and specialised. If you kill innocents, it will constantly drip blood, killing certain types of creatures will cause it to develop a certain appearance. The cool thing is, you can name your sword and then trade it online. Which means you will have actual legendary swords that you have to try and track down. The problem with this is of course the fact the game exists in sub-perfect world; optimal swords will be found and mass produced, flooding the market and near-breaking the system.

The other good thing is they are doing co-operative properly. You can use your actual character. Naturally, it being Fable, I am now super excited for this game.

Civilization 5

Details are still very vague at this point. Probably the most significant change is the move from squares to hexagons. They also said that there would be indirect attacks from units like archers. This all suggest, along with the screen shots, more tactical combat (placing your archers behind swordsmen type of thing) and less stacks of doom.

They also commented on improved diplomacy, which is good. For me, I found the biggest problem with Civilization 4 is that there is little reason the interact with the other nations, particularly in the end game when military victory is far too much of a grind to be seriously considered. Which is a shame as I have always liked the idea of combined military arms.

On that note, one thing I would like to see is a more inter-nation interaction during the end game - taking the UN idea to the next level. For example, maybe requiring nations to work together to overcome an flu epidemic or global warming. Something to force nations to consider each other, rather than just becoming isolationist and pushing for the space victory.

The only other thing specified was improved online, which is good, particularly if they introduce things like clans, leagues and experience points. Civilization 4 had a very robust multi-player, but little incentives to keep you playing which made it feel a bit dry.

Two very exciting announcements for my two most anticipated games of the year. Keep an eye of this site for updates as we approach their release (Civ 5: Fall 2010, Fable 3: Before Christmas)

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