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Fable III by Russell Shaw (Review)

posted Nov 17, 2010, 10:04 PM by Kaya Savas

Fable's open world gaming has always been the draw to the series, and while the game has a sense of humor about itself the scores have always been very impressive. Russell Shaw has indeed created another world with his music, and while the music may be paying homage to other composers at times it definitely stand on its own as being a unique experience.

Fable has a classic feel to it. The game is fantasy adventure for anyone unfamiliar with it. It has potions and spells and RPG elements with creatures and demons and such. The game draws from many sources. The fantasy genre has established an expected sound to it. We expect whimsical orchestral scores that transport us into a world we have never been to. A lot of music for the fantasy genre plays off the renaissance since the atmospheres are similar minus the fictional stuff. With Fable III Shaw develops the world as each town has its unique sound. The game has linear and non-linear qualities to it. So there are definitely suites that were composed with looping in mind, and then certain quests become more of a journey with a developing sound that builds. The score album released represents mostly suites.

Some of the tracks here are just wonderful. "Brightwall" is a favorite of mine. For some reason it reminds me of Jerry Goldsmith. A lot of the other tracks really incorporate terrific instrumentation that feels timeless. There is no big grand sounds here. Don't be expecting Lord Of The Rings or anything of that nature. While the score may borrow aspects of those scores it definitely never gets that big. There is some use of modern synth and strange arrangements that feel out of place but that only detracts from the experience slightly. I wish the soundscape stayed more consistent and that's something you notice feels out of place more in the game than it does in the CD. Overall though there are some really great tracks here if you're looking for a dose of fantasy score that doesn't involve a boy wizard named Harry.