Fable Legends: Heroes vs. Villains, E3 and MoreJune 21, 2014
When Fable series creator Peter Molyneux left Lionhead Studios in 2012, it didn’t bode too well for the company. Released in the same year, the “sequel” Fable: The Journey was a short game that utilized the Xbox Kinect and the corresponding Fable Heroes was their first true foray into a multiplayer Fable game. Neither game was really lauded by Fable fans and Lionhead‘s claim that Fable: The Journey was the sequel to the third installment in the series was soon dropped and forgotten. But with the newest title’s Beta due for release in the Fall, they have, quite literally, changed the game. Set 400 years before the first Fable, when Heroes were much more common, the story centers around an ancient artifact that is sought after by many.
It looks like players will still have the opportunity for some NPC interaction in the main (and only) village of Brightlodge but not as much as with previous games since this one is centred around the multiplayer aspect. Players can still buy their necessities from traders and pick up information and quests by talking to NPCs. The adjoining Rosewood forest is where the vast majority of gameplay will take place and where Heroes will duke it out against the Villain. So far, there are no other villages, forests or regions and considering the nature of the game, they probably won’t be necessary.
Players can assume the role of one of four heroes so far, the first of which is the swordsman Sterling who, in Fable terms, is a corrupt and wealthy individual, reminiscent of a sword-wielding Reaver, Fable II & Fable III‘s Hero of Skill. Then there is Rook, a modest but hardened Hero of Skill looking to protect his homeland, reminiscent of a crossbow-wielding Hammer, Fable II‘s Hero of Strength. Inga, a female Hero of Strength, boasting qualities of Fable‘s first Hero of Oakvale and Winter, a female Hero of Will with similarities to Fable II‘s Hero of Bowerstone (and Queen Elsa of Frozen) round out the last two. A second Hero of Skill, the longbow-wielding Shroud, may be a playable character along with two more characters named Leech (second potential Hero of Will) and Jeramiah (second potential Hero of Strength).
On August 20, 2013, the first trailer for Fable Legends hit the web and informed audiences of the ability to be the Hero or Villain of the story. Those who follow Fable on Facebook saw the Villain introduced a day later with the caption, “What I want to talk about is the evil things you’ve done in Fable. Tell me all about them in the comments below – The Villain”. It was followed by pictures of the Heroes of the game with captions like, “Comment below, particularly with any interesting ideas for deaths” until the followers got the page another 3000 likes. (All of this, of course, lead people to believe that it was simply a marketing move on their part but reading between the lines, we can now tell that they wanted followers to get their evil sides thinking.)
At the media briefing at E3 this year, David Eckelberry, Game Director on Fable Legends, revealed that players can now choose to take up the role of the Villain. In previous Fable games, one’s choices dictate how they shape the world around them: how NPC’s respond to their character (and how NPC’s treat your canine companion!), their character’s sexuality and personality, what quests will be available, all the way down to how much items or houses will cost. A Hero could be Good or Evil but there was always an external villain. In Fable Legends, a player now has the ability to be the Villain. The Villain will be able to control the map of Rosewood from above in a third-person view as an omniscient being, setting traps for the Heroes, using magic against them and commanding the forest’s creatures to do their bidding.
New creatures grace the land of Albion with three having been revealed so far. The first are Redcaps, with similar abilities (and sounds) to Hobbes, being able to catapult projectiles and utilize will (Fable‘s term for magic). Ogres, similar to Trolls, now wield clubs in addition to their massive height and size, extending the reach of their brute strength. Lastly there are Goodfellows that bring a new take on Albion’s creatures entirely, resembling a faun or satyr, and possess magical abilities. They do, however, seem to be comparable to the Sand Furies of Fable III, though forest-dwelling rather than desert-dwelling, but still extremely intelligent and capable of human speech, “Stab and bleed! It’s death they need.”.
As with Fable Anniversary, Lionhead will likely utilize SmartGlass features again with Fable Legends. So far they have considered the ability for the Villain to control the map via touchscreen device (such as a tablet) and for the Heroes to be able to strategize together via SmartGlass before entering a quest.
We finally got to see some gameplay of the anticipated title at E3 with the four main Heroes on the Rosewood map and the Villain in full swing. Check out the video below, head over to their Youtube channel to see the rest of the coverage and some bonus material and follow Fable on Facebook for all of the updates you Chicken Chasers need.
“All for one or one takes us all.” ~Rook