5 Essential Things We Want From Fable 4
When a new Fable got announced last week, many fans, including myself, cheered and rejoiced at the prospect of a new entry finally being delivered. After the wave of excitement faded, however, then settled in the feeling of trepidation: would the game we’ve waited a decade live up to our hopes and dreams?
Since the reveal, numerous rumors have emerged about the game being an MMO and not being the Fable 4 we all prayed for. According to a report by Windows Central, inside sources have confirmed this is not the case and the game will follow a more traditional Fable experience.
But what will that "traditional" experience contain? Or more importantly: what do fans want to see from a new Fable installment?
It may be easy to think that a simple fantasy setting and a ton of quests can appease the series' thousands of fans, but Fable is more than that. There’s a special formula running through the series and one that developer Playground Games will hopefully use to infuse their own ideas into the classic brew.
Here's what we hope that looks like.
5. Side Quests
While any open-world RPG can stuff a world with quests and NPCs taskmasters, there's an undeniably beautiful charm to the world of Fable. The series has very rarely delivered objectives such as "go here and kill X number of enemies". Instead, the Fable has evolved in each installment, adding more in-depth and carefully curated quest design to each subsequent entry.
I'm not talking about the main quest, which often expands in wonderful and strange new ways. Instead, I'm referring to the side quests that are often the star of the show, and the series has been home to some elaborate stories to delve into.
Fable 2 involved reanimating a corpse because a scientist wished to bring his dead girlfriend to life; it ended with hilarious results. On the other hand, Fable 3 involved stumbling across a Dungeons & Dragons-esque board game, where players were shrunk to jump into the adventure.
Each game has been home to engaging excursions such as these, and we can only hope that Playground Games can dream up more memorable stories in which players can get lost.
One thing most players recognize off the bat is that the Fable series is VERY British. It features a cast of characters with voice work from many British legends, such as Stephen Fry, Ben Kingsley, and James Corden. Each has made the world of Albion brim with life and personality.
Outside of the requisite accents, each game is incredibly funny, maintaining a tongue-in-cheek approach in each and every quest, side quest, and plot point. Sure, the narrative knows when to maintain its quintessential approach and jump into darker territory, but the rest of the game remains charming nonetheless.
Having that humor carry the player throughout enriches the overarching plot with many surprises, twists, and turns, something the lack of a serious narrative for, giving the developer freedom to go in any direction they want.
Maintaining that feeling will be a key component for the upcoming Fable — and one that the trailer confidently showcases.
3. Deeper Decisions
Each entry in the Fable series has played with the idea of making decisions; Fable 3 even placed players in the shoes of a king and allowed them to make impactful decisions on the kingdom at large. However, for the most part, these choices have felt shallow, detouring to the same ending.
With a new entry in the series and games in the past decade truly embracing split narrative threads throughout their stories, it's a concept that needs to be fully fleshed out in this new entry.
Fable has always revolved around morality and how players' decisions determine whether they're bad or good, but there's never been much of a grey area. Having a sense of moral ambiguity will ensure that decisions are more impactful and resonate with players more throughout their adventure.
Also, having all those decisions lead to a dynamic conclusion will go a long way in making "Fable 4" stand out.
2. A Natural Open-World
Areas in previous have been highly detailed and carefully crafted, meaning that each is segmented, rather than playing as part of a larger open-world. Technical limitations have no doubt prevented crafting a world with the same scale of Skyrim, but now technology has caught up to those concepts and is ready to be implemented.
Playground Games have prided themselves on creating a beautiful open-world in the Forza Horizon series. Despite being primarily a world filled with cars, each entry feels alive, begging for exploration. Implementing that same feeling into the new Fable will be a key element for its success.
Fable 2 introduced the orb mechanic, which meant you could see other online players in the world as a small floating orb. Forza Horizon adopts something similar with its Drivatar mechanic. Merging the two could bring a deeper connection between the player and the world.
Fable doesn't need a massive open-world filled with question marks to investigate or hundreds of mediocre quests and side quests. In fact, the world doesn't need to be massive at all. What it does need, however, is to be detailed and filled with the fairy-tale charm the series is known for, creating a world that is begging for exploration.
1. The Dog
Honestly, the dog in Fable 2 was pure genius, and it created a spectacular bond between the world and the player. Not only was it used in heartfelt situations, the dog was also a useful mechanic throughout the game.
They would sniff out treasure, dig spots, attack enemies, and assist in puzzles. It could have been easy to make each game feel like one giant escort mission, but the dog was smart enough to hold its own and was brimming with personality.
A new entry without a canine companion would feel like blasphemy at this point and completely eradicate a fan-favorite element from past entries. Implementing the dog in the newest Fable could make for dozens of brand new interactions and develop a more intense bond as graphics have evolved over the past 10 years. Honestly, Playground Games, make it happen!
What do you want to see in the new Fable? Let us know over on Twitter!