With fans reeling at the announcement of a new Fable game, we want to look back at what made the original series so memorable.
It’s been 10 years since Fable 3 came out on Xbox 360, and finally, we’re seeing the return of the beloved fantasy RPG. The new game was announced towards the end of the Xbox Games Showcase back in July, and everyone is finally released from their anxious waiting.
Fable 4 is a shiny reboot of the series, news which has brought new life to its fandom and caused a rise in interest from other members of the gaming community.
These new fans are just beginning to delve into the Fable universe, which is full of charming world-building and so much to love. For fans new and old, here’s what creates the magic of the Fable games.
Lionhead Studios mastered the art of creating a defined fantasy world with its own quirks and charms. Fable is raunchy, grim, hilarious, and dark. It doesn’t rely on the usual pillars of fantasy games, and this contributes highly to its individuality.
The fictional world of Albion is bustling and full of character. Lands like Oakvale immerse players in a town full of lush nature and charming farm life, while Wraithmarsh fills them with dread and fear.
Villagers stumble through Bowerstone in the morning, the town crier screeches through the city streets, and people gather around to cheer while you do blacksmith work.
Every non-player character has some hilarious quip, and your actions have real effects on how people treat you. All these small factors combine to make Albion feel like a real place full of life.
Fable creates its own diverse enemies with their own legends and fighting styles. Werewolf-like Balverines will back you into a corner and beat you senseless with their quick blows. Dim-witted Hobbes ambush you in large numbers, howling as they run to their deaths. Hollow Men swarm you, groaning as they lazily swing at you from all angles.
There’s something memorable found in each enemy, Bandit or Banshee. The howl of a Balverine will make any veteran Fable player uneasy. The child-like giggle of a Nymph is unmistakable. Fable’s use of carefully created enemies brings an interesting element to cannon fodder in battle.
Fable doesn’t take the usual approach to leveling through a game. While you can unlock new spells and weapons the further into the story you progress, what matters most in the Fable experience is your choices and growth as a person within Albion. You start off as ‘Sparrow’ or ‘Chicken Chaser’ before you eventually become a ‘Hero’. The first two games see you begin as a child, ready to mould into whoever the player chooses. The game certainly doesn’t punish you for choosing a darker path either and gives you plenty of chances to do so. Fable’s world reflects the brutality of reality. At the start of the game, nobody really cares about you until you gain renown. By the end, it feels like a real emotional journey has unfolded.
Fable’s overall aura from each location owes itself largely to its magnificent score. The eerie feeling of Shadelight and the soothing music from Oakfield is composed by Russell Shaw, with Danny Elfman assisting in the main themes for the series. The magic of the orchestral music pulls you into Albion and brings character to its diverse world. The music is what makes the game feel like home to so many players, and entices major nostalgia.
Your Faithful Companion
Fable has a dog! Who doesn’t like dogs? Although your furry friend only appears in Fable 2 and 3, he makes a large impact on both your heart and play style. Your bond to Albion is strengthened through your dog, and he even helps you find chests and dig spots. In Fable 2, he plays a particularly large role with an impact on playstyle.
There are endless characters to mention. Jack of Blades, Reaver, Theresa, King Lucien, Logan, they’re all staples of the Fable games. These characters have become iconic to the series because they all have complex motives with so much lore available. They bring conflict to the game and moral ambiguity on who’s really good or bad. The characters all highlight that some evil characters have reason, and the good ones can be severely flawed.
The best example is Reaver. He’s extremely selfish and cruel, but begrudgingly assists the player in Fable 2. In Fable 3, he takes on a far more antagonistic role while still remaining a fan favourite.
These factors merely skim the surface of what makes Fable adored by fans. The reason the gaming world has been rocked by the confirmation of a reboot is that Fable is something near and dear to so many. A new Fable game means returning to a world fans already know and love. With so much speculation on how the Fable reboot will be done, there’s much buzz to come.
The new Fable has no set release date, but Playground Games, the new developer of the franchise, clearly has their work cut out for them. Hopefully, they are able to capture what makes Fable so special. If the reboot is anything like the previous games, it will be well worth the wait.