There was a time when Fable was viewed as one of Microsoft's big name series alongside Forza and Halo. "Xbox's own Zelda" people called it, and without a trace of irony. Sadly, a fundamental misunderstanding of what fans saw in the game and an insistence on using the latest gimmicks led to mismanagement of the series and a general decline in the quality of the games. Fable, once a shining star in Microsoft's portfolio, was cancelled midway through production of Fable Legends, and Lionhead Studios was shut down.
Now, after years of whispered rumours, Fable is finally returning with Playground Games at the helm. Billed as a reboot of the series, nobody truly knows what to expect from the game. Will it be an expansive open world, ala The Witcher 3, or a more considered sandbox filled with minigames like the Yakuza series? Which features will it pull from the Blackadder style comedies of the original games and which will fall by the wayside?
Here are fifteen features, some new and some stolen from past games, that we think the new Fable needs to survive and thrive.
One of the more original hallmarks of the Fable series is that the games begin with you playing a younger and more innocent version of your character. While Fable III showed us a prince who had no idea about the world, the first two games in the series had players cast in the role of children to begin with. Part tutorial to get players used to the controls before the stakes were real, these sections were also used to set the story up.
The childhood section would be a great way to create unique characters, with both a set mission that will lead to adulthood and a series of side activities that further define the Hero before they've even dreamed of that title. Those getting into a lot of fights may start with a long-standing scar. Those who join a gang may have criminal contacts in the future. Those who are good and go to school will be able to read books that are beyond other characters. Those who work an apprenticeship may start with higher skill levels in that job and perhaps a little more money saved up.
Give players a meaningful childhood where they can invest in their future.