Review: Fable III Understone Quest Is No Mystery

Illustration for article titled Review: Fable III Understone Quest Is No Mystery

You've staged a revolution, you've saved the day. Now journey below Fable III's Bowerstone to discover the source of an enigmatic voice. Shame there isn't much to solve, other than why this Fable add-on is so half-baked.

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Fable III is an action role-playing game in which players must not only gather forces to come to power, but rule a kingdom. As with the previous Fable games, players can be good or bad. What separates Fable III from the other titles are decision points that affect the world. We've already reviewed the original game, but the Understone Quest Pack adds a new quest that takes players below Bowerstone as well as two mini-games, the arena challenge "Wheel of Misfortune" and the prize-packed "Shooting Range."

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Ideal Player

Fable fans desperate for more quests and weapons.

Why You Should Care

The Understone Quest Pack is Fable III's first downloadable quest pack. Unfortunately, that's all it really has to offer, because it's sadly short on bite.


Oh dear. It's short? Unfortunately, it is. It's shockingly short, with not much to do. For those who have finished the game, the main quest isn't a challenge, which isn't something I mind per se. Even it's short on substance, I actually like the main quest, "The Voice." The story was kind of neat, and there's a pay-off. It's the other two mini-games that are a disappointment.

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What's so disappointing about them? One of the mini-games, Wheel of Misfortune, is a rehash of the trials at Reaver's mansion. Why charge players for an experience they've already had?

Wait, it's the same? Not exactly the same, but more or less, it's a variation on something players already do in the game. Though, the dialogue in The Wheel of Misfortune is crackerjack and does help ease the retread disappointment.

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Oh come on, it's only 400 Microsoft Points. That's $5! That is true. But a hamburger and fries is about five dollars and will probably take you longer to eat than finishing this downloadable content. Also, burgers are filling. Mmm burgers.

How's the other mini game? Skimpy. The Shooting Range takes players back to the Mercenary Camp and could have been far meatier if the developers focused on it, instead of spreading themselves thin. It's fertile ground for a great story that largely goes unploughed.

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This DLC sounds really easy. It is. Fable III is easy. That's in step with the series, and that's fine. In fact, I've finished the game, so I should be a bad ass king at this point, right? A little more challenge or a few more moral decisions, however, would've been appreciated. But I assume the developers created this DLC with a wide-range of players in mind — from those who completed the game to those who did not. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Fable III: Understone Quest Pack In Action

The Bottom Line

The Fable series has always had lofty goals, which is one reason why I enjoy them. The games might never live up to those expectations, and the failures might be spectacular, but they are trying to achieve something different with each incarnation, whether that be changing the way games are played or what games mean. The Understone Quest Pack doesn't feel like a similar effort. It's one decent enough quest with two disappointing mini-games tacked on, likely leaving players thinking, "That's it?" Yep, that's it.

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Fable III: Understone Quest Pack was developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360, released on November 23, 2010. Retails for 400 Microsoft Points. A copy of the game was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Completed single-player campaign.

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DISCUSSION

Fable 3 was a real disappointment to me. I could get by and still enjoy the game given some of its merits, but the unfixed glitches I, and alot of others, are experiencing make the game almost unplayable.

I thought this DLC would smooth out some of the wrinkles of Short, almost-too-easy story, or the lack of side quests, or the side quests that have little to no reward, but it didn't. The DLC did nothing to address any of these, or make the game seem worth playing further.

I expected a whole Quest chain with some story and funny dialogue, only to get 15 minutes worth of running and killing with a yawns worth of a moral choice and a reward of real estate that you can't even manage from the sanctuary map.

The mini-games really don't help its cause either, once again being more than easily cleared in five to ten minutes a piece, and not even having any depth to make them re-playable after you've gotten the weapons.

Overall, I was disappointed with Lionshead on this one. They seemed to have put all their time and energy into making the game pretty, while taking away so much of what made the previous games Fun, re-playable, and worth the money spent on it.