A Review of Fable III for Windows PC

Fable III is without doubt one of the best Xbox 360 games of 2010 (Review of Fable III), and now this epic role playing game is finally available for Windows users. Fable III can be downloaded from the Games for Windows Marketplace, Steam, or purchased in retail stores for $49.99. However is Fable III for PC worth the price?

Despite its late entry to the market, the new PC version of Fable III brings several additional features that make the game stand apart from its Xbox 360 counterpart. Your experience with the Windows PC version will depend largely on your hardware.

Fable III for Windows PC supports full 3-D functionaity. This feature is fantastic for those who have all the necessary components. In order to play Fable III for Windows PC in 3-D you’ll need an NVIDIA 3D vision kit ($149), 120Hz+ 3D Vision ready display ($274 from Viewsonic), and a compatible NVICIA graphics card in your PC running Windows Vista or Windows 7. View the full list of supported displays, computers, and graphics cards needed to play Fable III in 3-D here.

Fable III for Windows PC also comes with all of the content and quests that were provided in the Xbox 360 Limited Collector’s Edition and “access” to both Fable III game add-ons Traitor’s Keep (Review of Traitors Keep) and Understone Quest Pack (Review of Understone Quest Pack).

Originally Fable III for PC was supposed to launch alongside its Xbox 360 counterpart, however it was forced back with numerous delays. While the content from the Limited Collector’s Edition is a nice touch, the lack of additional content from the newer DLC is a real lost opportunity to make it an immediate “must have” and way of thanking customers for the wait.

Although Fable III for PC can be played with a traditional keyboard and mouse like other popular PC games, the controls during battle are a little unforgiving. Trying to run around an enemy in circles while casting spells and changing the camera angle at the same time just isn’t as easy with a keyboard and mouse as it is with a controller’s dual analogue sticks. If you plan on not being knocked out in every major fight then I personally recommend an Xbox 360 controller for your computer ($59.95 from Microsoft). Doing so is essential to experience the way combat in Fable III is meant to be: intuitive and highly addictive.

Another factor in your decision to purchase Fable III for PC is your computer’s performance. Because Xbox 360 is my personal gaming device of choice my computer isn’t exactly top of the line, however it is more powerful than an Xbox 360 . My computer boasts a Windows Experience Index of 5.2, which is high enough to run other Games for Windows titles perfectly well even if they aren’t on the highest video settings.

The graphics in Fable III for Windows PC are stunning, however they come with a big drawback of being a resource hog. Even with every other application turned off, I wasn’t able to play Fable III under the default graphic setting without experiencing major lag anytime my hero encountered more than a few enemies at a time. After clicking “auto detect” in the details of the video options, all of the settings were reduced to “very low”. Even on “very low” I still encountered lag from time to time on screen (generally in large fights and in heavily populated towns), and it wasn’t as visually appealing when compared to the Xbox 360 version. Being interrupted while playing kept the new PC version from being the same magical experience that I remembered when playing through the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Let me be clear here: Fable III for Xbox 360 was an amazing game and story. If you own the 3D gaming equipment necessary to play Fable III for PC in all its 3D glory, then it is absolutely a must have purchase. If you own an Xbox 360 and a mid grade computer, I recommend that you buy the Xbox 360 version instead. If you don’t own an Xbox 360 then Fable III for PC is still a great game even if you have to sacrifice a bit on the graphics. The story alone makes this game worth it.

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