Five Things The New ‘Fable’ Has To Do To Keep Old Fans Happy


Xbox has finally revealed, officially, that a new Fable is in development at Playground Games. And judging by the lack of a number four in the game's title, Playground may be heading towards a reboot with Fable rather than continuing the series' chronological progression.

Naturally, that doesn't mean the game won't take place after the events of Fable 3. But going back 550 years to Fable: The Lost Chapters - or even further - sounds like the perfect, hero-filled setting to start afresh to me. The new Fable may even spin-off from the timeline all together - we just don't know right now.

But that won't stop us from thinking about what we'd like to see in the new Fable, by taking a look back at what's made the series great, to date. And while new features and tales are crucially important, replaying The Lost Chapters, and then Fable 2 and 3, has made it perfectly clear that there are numerous aspects from the older games that Fable fans like myself need to see in the new one.

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A Bigger, Better, and More Open Albion

I think this first one is bound to happen, but that doesn't mean we should skip it. A major drawback from the original Fable games is the fact you can't openly explore their vast worlds without interruption. Travelling normally required you to sit through tons of loading screens - but for the new release we want to roam freely, and get lost in all of Albion's glory. The power of the Xbox Series X should really help with that, right?

It's worth noting that bigger doesn't mean: chuck in a load of new islands to make the map huge. We want to see each part of Albion in a fuller, more detailed state. Catching a ship to places like Aurora would be a nice touch, yes, but I'd much rather cascade through bigger and better versions of the cities, forests and caves we were first shown glimpses of in 2004. A prime Hero's Guild and Arena would be the ideal places to visit.

AdvertFive Things The New ‘Fable’ Has To Do To Keep Old Fans Happy subscribe 第2张Fable Anniversary / Credit: Xbox Game Studios

Character Progression, Personality and Choices

Ah yes: farting in people's faces, eating crispy baby chicks, deciding how to rule your Kingdom and hand-picking which characters to save. The choices and traits you had throughout previous Fables were both fun and eccentric, with most of them resulting in consequences to your story, appearance, and light or dark alignment. They even offered some sort of replay value for those going around a second time. So if you played the perfect, angelic hero on your first go, you can be sure that a devil-horned arse will be coming up next.

And all of this would be welcome back in the upcoming Fable, for sure - but maybe with a little more freedom on appearance and the whole good or bad thing, because it's never that black and white. The reintroduction of boasting, morphing, armour alignments and choosing how to approach quests (for example, attack the village or save the village) would be a treat, too. As would the ability to, simply, be a person: deciding which house to buy, finding your first (and second, third and fourth) love, working as a pie maker or wood chopper, you name it. Acting as your ordinary Joe was great in prior visits to Albion.

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Demon Doors and Classic Enemies

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It wouldn't be a Fable list without mentioning Demon Doors - and it wouldn't be a Fable game without them, either. The sometimes friendly, sometimes barbaric giant talking stone heads act as a gateway between Albion and its secret areas, which usually house some sort of special item. They're unique. They're more interesting than just stumbling upon a new weapon. And the tasks they set break up the story pretty nicely. Keepsies!

The same can be said for hobbes, balverines, trolls and all your other favourite enemies - it just wouldn't be Fable without these guys. It's highly likely that we'll be introduced to new foes once Playground gets to work (which is probably for the best, too), but keeping a few familiar faces around hasn't hurt Fable in the past, and doing so could really help tie things together once the new game launches.

AdvertFive Things The New ‘Fable’ Has To Do To Keep Old Fans Happy subscribe 第12张Fable III / Credit: Xbox Game Studios

Memorable Music and Voice Actors

Even if Fable wasn't your thing as a game experience, you simply can't knock the series' brilliant, almost iconic music. Original developers Lionhead did a splendid job finding the right composers to produce the games' various soundtracks; as soon as you hear them, you just want to jump into Albion again. If you've never had the chance to listen, have a quick search on YouTube. They're all there.

The now-defunct Lionhead didn't perform so bad in the casting department, either. Hiring the likes of Ben Kingsley, Stephen Fry, Naomie Harris and Zoë Wanamaker (among many other big names from the world of British film and theatre) to voice key characters in the very-British-feeling RPG was a stroke of genius. Wanamaker and Hugo Myatt, in particular, were superb as not only Theresa and the Guildmaster, respectively, but they also shared the burden of being Fable's narrators, a feature I'd love to see (or hear) in the upcoming release. As for tunes? Well, I'm just hoping there's some sort of revamped version of The Lost Chapters' Bowerstone and Oakvale themes, at the very least.

AdvertFive Things The New ‘Fable’ Has To Do To Keep Old Fans Happy subscribe 第13张Fable II / Credit: Xbox Game Studios

Some Good Old British Humour

As mentioned, Fable is and always has been very much British, so it's rather fitting for the games to be packed full of very-British humour. Most of it was subtle, such as the tombstones you could read in places like Mourningwood cemetery. But other times, not so much, like the posters shown during loading screens, Reaver's gas-powered peasant poker as a prime example. Fable 3 even featured voice work from John Cleese, star and co-creator of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the classic comedy show that Fable's devs almost definitely used as inspiration.

Aside from the main story, pretty much all the quests you complete, or people you meet, have something humorous about them - Fable games just aren't that 'serious' in comparison to most RPGs. And while this type of humour may not be everyone's cup of tea, and could possibly come across as a little dated, I can't imagine the new Fable being any other way. In short: it'd better have chickens, and lots of them. These boots ain't chased (or kicked) one in a long time.

Five Things The New ‘Fable’ Has To Do To Keep Old Fans Happy subscribe 第14张Fable II / Credit: Xbox Game Studios

And Finally... Doggo Companions, Obviously

Of course, there's tons of things from previous Fable games that we want to see in this new one. There's also a fair share of things that we don't. But this list wouldn't be complete without highlighting one of the better features of Fable 2 and 3: the goodest boys there ever were and ever will be.

The canine companions we had throughout both games were an absolute treat; as well as being cute as hell, they'd help you look for treasure and would attack enemies on sight. In Fable 3 you could even change your furry friend's breed and pet it whenever you liked, which is really why we played the damn thing in the first place, right?

But who's to say it has to stop with dogs next time around? The Fable universe is rife with animals, creatures and monsters that would make suitable, lovable pets. I'm talking to you, balverines. Albion is, quite literally, Playground's playground, and I can't wait to see the final result in the new Fable.


Featured Image Credit: Xbox Game Studios