With each new Fable release comes a new wave of promises and expectations. Since the first Fable was announced for the original Xbox in 2004, creator Peter Molyneux has often stated how groundbreaking and unique the titles would be, how they would define the genre and each time you played you would get a different experience depending on the decisions you made while playing.
And yes, while the Fable series has always received acclaim, it has never been seen as genre leading. The promises haven’t always been realized, and this awesome, deep, unique, customizable, interchangeable world we’re told we’re going to be exploring actually turns out just to be a very good one with SOME of those features.
This may seem like I’m being overly critical, but let me just set the record straight: I am a big fan of Fable. I especially sunk a lot of time in to Fable 3 as we are given more of the things we’ve been promised since the very first title was released 10 years ago.
The promise is always ‘you make the game your own’, whereas in reality it is closer to ‘you complete the same missions whether you’re good or bad’. Yes characters can act differently around you and your look can alter, but the story is still mostly the same. Rather than ‘hero’ and ‘villain’ the setup of Fable is more ‘hero’ and ‘anti-hero’.
So what promises have we been given relating to Fable Legends, the next gen installment of Peter Molyneux’s fantasy series?
At this stage… very little. There have been no grandiose announcements, no unreachable goals, no unachievable heights of amazeballsness.
What do we know? We know it’s called Fable Legends and will be on Xbox One. Lionhead Studios are once again leading the project, but rumors are emerging that the title will not focus as heavily on being an all-encompassing ‘life’ experience. There won’t be as much career building (so no monotonous blacksmithing here – thank goodness), there won’t be a countless number of houses to buy, and hopefully the ever frustrating task of snagging yourself a wife and child won’t be as prominent (especially considering 9 times out of 10 she gets fed up with you and wants a divorce soon after marriage anyway).
Taking 400 years after the original Fable title, and once again set in the faux-English-tudor land of Albion, Fable Legends is set to be more of a dungeon crawler. Focusing on 5 main characters (4 heroes and 1 villain) you get to choose which path you go down and the AI takes care of the remainder (or friends in co-op mode – which sounds AWESOME). Will this mean we may finally get the chance to be an actual villain, and not just the semi-sinister anti-hero I mentioned earlier?
There are certain aspects which we can expect to return for the latest installment – magic, combat, a lot of humor and a large cast of recognizable voices. After all, I won’t think it would ‘feel’ like a Fable game to not have Stephen Fry’s voice in there at some point.
The addition of a co-op mode is something the series previously lacked, and to duke it out with friends against a human-controlled villain is something which has me drooling at the pure thought. But, as I’ve mentioned before, the Fable team like to hype up their product, and I’ve experienced this kind of drooling before. I’ll remain cautiously optimistic that co-op in Fable Legends will be something which finally sets the game apart from others in the genre.
Also, and most interestingly, Lionhead Studios have stated the game will evolve over time. Via the Cloud, the game will be constantly updating, which offers the possibility of massive amounts of replay ability. This includes the addition of locations, the changing of locations, new quests, stories, characters etc. Imagine logging in one day and everything is fine, and then logging in the next and an entire village has been pillaged. That makes for some very exciting variations in gameplay and story.
For now, I’m going to try and not get too excited over what Fable Legends may bring us. What we’ve seen so far is impressive, but some of us have been a little let down before. All I’ll say is I’m definitely looking forward to returning to Albion.
Do you think Fable Legends will finally meet our expectations? Let us know in the comments!
Article by - Mike Jeavons
Insert Date: 3/31/2014