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Lionhead Announces Prequel ‘Fable Legends’; Says ‘Fable 4’ Not In Development
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Fable Legends Image

First came Fable: The Journey. Then came that mysterious cinematic teaser trailer. Now comes a brand new game in the Fable universe titled Fable Legends. None of these became what fans really wanted one of them to become, and that is of course Fable IV. The Journey ended up being a separate disappointing Kinect title. The mysterious trailer was for the HD anniversary re-release of the original Fable with The Lost Chapters (which, to be perfectly fair, is very much exciting in its own right).

Fable Legends is…well, something else. It sounds like it’s somewhere in between Dragon Age and The Elder Scrolls Online. Continue below to find out what we do know so far, and to see the game’s first trailer.

Basically the game gives you the opportunity to play a Fable game with friends cooperatively. It’s not an MMO or anything like that, it’s a brand new prequel story that you can play with others if you choose. The Dragon Age side is that, if you’d prefer, you can play the game by yourself with three AI companions, all of whom you can control as you see fit.

While the game certainly sounds like it has potential, there’s also a bit of bad news as well. For those who have been desperately awaiting the announcement of Fable IV, it appears that it’s not even in development. Lionhead answered a bunch of questions about this new announcement, and stated that this is almost exclusively what they have been and will continue to be working on, and that no sequel to Fable III is in their current plans.

Here’s all the information you need to know straight from Lionhead:

What is Fable Legends?

Fable Legends is the new game from Lionhead Studios, developer of the Fable series. Happily, we can reveal what we’ve been working on and share some details about what’s been happening in the land of Fable. In Fable Legends you will:

Rediscover Fable: Return to a well-loved world of magic, humour and high adventure. Find thrilling stories, exciting combat, and exceptional characters.

New Ways to Play: In Fable Legends, your Hero will never be alone. You can play the game single player, with a party of three AI companions that follow your lead. Or, you can play cooperatively with up to three of your friends to discover the game’s quests and content.

Hero or Villain? Whether your inclination is noble or wicked, we have entirely new characters and possibilities for you to choose from. Fable has always allowed players with an evil streak to express themselves, and Fable Legends presents new opportunities for villainy (cackling included). Instead of controlling a single character, you command the many creatures, traps, and environmental challenges that the Heroes must struggle to overcome. But make no mistake: You aren’t crafting a thrilling narrative at the end of which the Heroes prove victorious. Your goal is to defeat the Heroes by any means possible. The most direct way to do that? Relieve them of their lives. After all, what is the point of a bold beginning without a Heroic end?

What is the setting for Fable Legends?

Fable Legends welcomes you back to the fantastic land of Albion, home to the previous Fable games. Lived out in an eternal “once upon a time,” Albion is a fairy tale world where history, legend, and folklore are practically the same thing. So it’s no surprise that millions of players have visited and adored its welcoming countryside.

Albion is a place full of action, humour, and opportunity. Of course you’ll find monsters, villains, and even the occasional disaster, but you shouldn’t take any of it too seriously. This is a land of fun and light-hearted adventure for you to lose yourself in. Enjoy the shining green fields, the silly accents and the occasional proposition from an “attractive” villager.

When is the game set in history of Albion?

Fable Legends takes us to a time when the land is younger and magic was still rife. Fey, otherworldly creatures lurk just outside the walls of huddling and nervous villages, and these days few in Albion dare to venture into the dark woods at night. After all, it’s dark out there and dinner’s nearly ready.

Heroes represent those brave, dinner-missing few. They prevail over breath-taking dangers. Foul magicks. Hairy spiders. All sorts of scary things. The average townsperson would need a change of underwear! Yet rescuing damsels – and lads – in distress isn’t easy. In this Fable, those who take the Heroes path must depend on each other to match the challenges that await. There’s no Guild, at least not yet, and so the Heroes of Albion must learn in the midst of their adventures, making their names one step at a time.

Can I play Fable Legends single player?

Yes. In Fable Legends, you can enjoy all of the game’s content in a single player experience.

Can I play Fable Legends multiplayer?

Yes. You can play with other people in a four-player cooperative experience. Your party could be all human players, or a mix of players and AI-controlled Heroes. You can switch easily between single player and multiplayer styles of play whenever you decide, or when a friend signs on. During a quest, you can elect to battle a human or an AI Villain.

As a Villain, you can challenge parties of human players, AI opponents, or mixed groups. After all, as a mastermind of evil, you’re ready to swat aside any adversaries.

Who is the Hero in Fable Legends?

That’s for you to choose. Fable Legends takes you back to a time when Albion is teeming with Heroes, so there’s bound to be one for you. Fearless warriors. Cunning tricksters. Masters of Will. Paragons of virtue. Heartless mercenaries. Intoxicated brawlers. Chicken chasers. They’re all here, and many more besides.

When Albion is only just learning what a Hero can be, no would-be adventurer can stand alone. It is important to consider the mix of Heroes you take with you on your next quest. Do you recruit the dashing swordsman? If you like your swordplay elegant and lightly powdered, you’ll have no trouble finding your prince charming. But if you’re more man-o-war than manicure, you’ll find grizzled archers and lone wolves forced to adapt to life with the pack. Of course, in this period of Albion’s history there is an abundance of magic. Some Heroes manipulate the world using the power of Will to make Albion a better place (or just fancy setting part of it on fire). Or you could round off your group with a stalwart defender, ready to lead from the front and batter things into the ground. Heroes like these represent a small sample of what Albion has to offer you. Whichever Heroes you choose to bring along on your adventurer, you’ll need to work together and fight hard if you want to create a Legend.

Can I customize my Hero in Fable Legends?

Yes. There are many you can make Heroes in Fable Legends your own. You’ll be able to customize Hero abilities, and make decisions about what they should specialise in as they grow in experience and power. Visually, you’ll be able to change several details of your Hero’s appearance by calling on the local hairdresser or magical make-up artist. Finally, your Hero may find new armours, weapons, and other treasures.

How do I play as a Villain?

Playing as a Villain in Fable Legends combines elements of strategic decision making and tactical control. When those pitiful Heroes enter an area, you’ll get to choose which minions will be sent into battle and where to place these creatures to maximise their effectiveness. Once the fight begins, you can issue orders for your creatures to execute: telling them where to go, which Hero to attack, and which abilities to use to ensure your evil plans come to fruition.

Will characters from previous Fable games appear in Fable Legends?

Because Fable Legends returns to Albion at a time period that’s different from previous titles, most of the characters from previous games will not be present. Of course, Albion is a magical place, and who knows what lurks out there amongst its forests, villages, and caverns…

Is Fable Legends an MMORPG?

No. While Fable Legends embraces multiplayer, it’s not an MMO.

Does Fable Legends use Kinect?

Fable Legends does not use the Kinect’s motion controls for main gameplay. In the tradition of previous Fable games, we will support mini-games, pub games, and similar activities in our central city area. Some of these may use Kinect’s motion controls where it’s fun and appropriate.

Can I control the Villain gameplay using the Kinect?

The Villain player can optionally use voice commands to help to control his creatures via the Kinect, but the player does not control minions using motion controls.

Do I need to be familiar with Fable I, II, or III in order to play Fable Legends?

No. Fable Legends welcomes those visiting Albion for the first time. Those who have explored the land before will find with new stories, secrets, and adventures, but a land that’s familiar and fun.

Is this Fable 4? If not, why not?

Fable Legends is being made with the Fable spirit firmly in mind. However, this is not a continuation of the previous Fable games, especially when it comes to the chronology. It’s a brand new series of adventures at the dawn of an age of Heroes. We hope you’ll enjoy the mix of new and old.

Is Lionhead making Fable 4? Will Lionhead do so in the future?

Fable Legends is the only Fable core game in development, and we have no plans to make a sequel to Fable III. However, in Fable Legends you’ll find many of the great features of Fable I, II, and III have been carried forward in our game’s design. That means the world of Albion, exciting stories, quests, humour, light-hearted action, and memorable characters.

What else is Lionhead working on?

Lionhead always has additional projects in incubation and experimentation, but Fable Legends is the near-exclusive focus of our studio and its development staff.

What platforms will Fable Legends be available on?

Fable Legends will be available on Xbox One.

When is Fable Legends going to be released?

We are happy to be able to announce that the game is in development, but we aren’t yet able to announce when Fable Legends will be available. The development team is hard at work building characters, creatures, quests, and everything we need to bring Albion back to life.

We will release new and more information about the game on our website, including opportunities for beta testing the game in 2014. Make sure to sign up to be kept in the loop as we will release more information throughout the coming weeks and months.

Personally, I’ve anxiously been awaiting Fable IV like many others, and finding out that it’s not even being worked on is a little depressing. However, the first game in the series is the best by far, and adding guns and all of that never quite sat well with me—the latter games felt increasingly more like pirate fantasies than pure fantasy—so the thought of a return to its roots is exciting.

This is also the first new Fable game since Peter Molyneaux left Lionhead, as well, and we’re already seeing big changes with co-op gameplay being a major focus. It will be very interesting to see how this one looks going forward.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited by a Fable prequel you can play with friends, or are you bummed that Fable IV is nowhere in sight?

Trailer

[Source: Lionhead]

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