Come with us, into a world of magic, sword play and intricate narrative. Such a world is Fable 4. In the midst of the hundreds of games released each year, there stands among them several one-of-a-kind masterpieces, such as GTA: San Andreas, Resident Evil 4 and of course, Fable. Fable has always stood alone when it came to player immersion, enjoyment and gameplay. The Fable franchise has always been a highly imaginative game which quickly whisked players off into a world of fantastic escapism. Here, your actions determine your fate, as your character grows along with the journey. By blending the gorgeous graphics, superb musical score and finely tuned British humor, Fable became a world unto itself. So, now there comes a fourth installment into the franchise. Currently, we know very little of this upcoming game, but what we do know, we present to you here.
A Brief Overview of the Fable Franchise: 2004 to Present
Fable is an action orientated, RPG video game franchise made for Xbox, which takes place in the country of Albion. Created for the Xbox 360 by Big Blue Box in 2004, a division of Lionhead Studios, Fable soon became known as one of the best RPG’s on the market. The 2004 release was quickly followed up by the 2005 release called Fable: The Lost Chapters.The original Fable was inspired by a variety of unique sources. First, According to Dene and Simon Carter, the original creators of the game, Fable was inspired in part by Jim Henson’s story of “The Luck Child”. But that’s not all. As The Gamer reports, other inspirations for the game included Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mad Max 2, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and Tarantino’s Kill Bill. That’s quite a mixed bag of ideas to draw inspiration from! Fable puts the fate of the main protagonist in your hands, as the outcome depends on the decisions you make during gameplay. Whether good or bad, the conclusion will reflect your journey. While the combat is basic, make no mistake that this is a great game. It’s immersive, and intuitive, the type of game you find difficult walking away from.
When gameplay begins, you’ll play as a small, orphaned boy who fantasizes about becoming more than he is. Right from the start, when you make a choice, you realize that the choice made affects the narrative, including how other characters react to you. As you go you’ll encounter mandatory quests, as well as voluntary side quests, all while your character ages and develops in complexity due to the choices made. Since that initial release, there have been additional Fable adventures added to the franchise. Fable II was released for Xbox 360 on October 24, 2008, and was a great success with fans. In October of 2010, Fable III was released for Xbox 360. Finally, on May 2, 2012, Fable Heroes was released. Indeed, the Fable narrative is the result of the foresight and determination of the original developers, Peter Molyneux, Dene and Simon Carter. To hear Dene and Simon tell it, “We wanted to create a role playing game like no other. The world would be a breathtakingly beautiful place filled with waterfalls, mountains, dense forests, populated with compelling and convincing characters with real personality, people who actually reacted to what you did. We wanted to give the player control of a hero who would adapt to the way they played, who would age, become scarred in battle, who could get tattoos, wear dreadlocks and a dress if the player was so inclined. We wanted each and every person who played our game to have a unique experience, to have their own stories to tell. And we called it ‘Thingy.‘
Fable 4 Trailer
“The world is filled with stories of legendary heroes and treacherous villains. Of fantastical creatures and wondrous places. Where nature and magic live in perfect harmony. Not all stories have happy endings! But yours has yet to be written.” — Fable Trailer One thing we can get from the reveal trailer, is that this reboot will still retain the comedic flavor of its predecessors. According to Microsoft gaming executive Aaron Greenberg, “We’re letting them get a fresh start with the franchise and really you can see it’s still got the classic British humor that’s really true to the franchise, it’s obviously going to be a role-playing game, we’ve got the best folks in the industry working on it. Today was just the reveal of the game, and we’re excited to officially say Fable’s coming, and we’ll share more when we’re ready.”
We get a glimpse of this humor from the opening of the trailer, when a youthful, pert little fairy takes flight and alights near a blue flower–which leads to its fateful meeting with a nearby frog. This is highly reminiscent of the opening to Fable II, where a lithe sparrow flies toward the town, lands on a rooftop, and just happens to make a bird bloop from on high, where it lands upon our characters head. From the trailer, we know that magic will be impeccably woven into the Fable world. Case in point is the flittering fairy, and large fish which rapidly separates into a school of fish as the fairy flies over. One thing Fable enthusiasts have noticed, is the this is the first time a fairy has been seen in the land of fable. Granted, she gets gobbled up by a lipsmacking toad, but still, what does she represent? Will she be a new character who’ll assist our hero, or perhaps a metaphor for the magic in the game? Since she was fluttering delight, it’s doubtful she represented those little terrors, the Nymphs. There’s also the Hero’s Guild symbol on the old, rusted sword, which raises much contemplation, such as: Who wielded the sword? Who do the decaying skeletons at the base of the sword represent? Will our character need to deal with the owner of the sword, or perhaps it belongs to Nostro, the founder of the Heros guild…and so on. As for the final scene, is that Bower Stone and Castle Fairfax? They’re so far in the distance, can we be sure?
What We Know About Fable 4 So Far
As you’ve probably guessed so far, not much is known about Fable 4. What we do know, is that it’s an Xbox Series X exclusive. This means that you’ll need an Xbox account to be able to play it. Since the Fable game series has been around for such a long time, it’s garnered itself many fans. As such, it’s pretty clear that Fable 4 is one of the most anticipated video game releases, with fans gobbling up any morsel of information possible. Microsoft Studio Head, Matt Booty explains the importance of being able to blend the old and new when it comes to the Fable franchise, ” With any kind of franchise like that, where you’ve had existing versions, there’s always that balance between what you’re going to bring forward, what still stands up, and what you want to add that’s new. It’s like the challenge of making a new Star Wars movie – there’s stuff that everyone wants you to bring along, but then you’ve got a responsibility to take that to new places and I trust Playground has a good vision for that. In other words, one needs to take great care here, as they are taking a beloved franchise with fans who expect certain elements from previous entries to be present in the fourth, while at the same time adding newer elements to the Fable world. As to whether this game is a reboot or a fourth installment of the franchise, it depends on what site you visit. While many of the articles refer to it as “Fable 4”, calling it a yet untitled game, sources such as Eurogamer confidently state that it’s not a continuation in the story, but a reboot. Sound confusing? Well, so far you’re not the only one, as no one is letting any secrets leak from their lips. For the sake of brevity, we’ll be referring to the untitled game as ‘Fable 4’ in this article. We can tell from the trailer, that this isn’t a hoax, and was announced in 2020. The game is set to be developed by Playground Games. Playground Games is a studio currently owned and operated by Microsoft,and previously developed the Forza Horizon games for the Xbox system. Once Lionhead studio closed down, it was Playground Games which took over Fable’s development. Since it’s an Xbox exclusive it will also be available as a Game Pass Release.
The Infamous 2019 Leak
So far, the infamous Fable 4 leak of 2019 has gotten the most traction from fans of the franchise. Whether or not you ascribe to these rumors is up to you, whether or not they are solid, remains to be seen. First of all, There is no Albion. The 2019 leak stated that Albion is no more as it got clobbered by a giant asteroid. For you see, the Mad King gained control of The Tattered Spire tower. This tower gives anyone who controls it any one wish they request, regardless of its ethics or morality. The rumor here, is that you must go back in time to save Albion from destruction. But time travel isn’t the only big thing. We also learn that both the Guild and Theresa are existing on another world for the time being. In order to find this world, you’ll have to go through the Demon Door. This is rumored to be a side quest only, so if it doesn’t thrill you, it can be set aside. A Reddit post by LagSwag1 outlined the infamous Fable 2019 leak, giving us a brief rundown:
- First/third person
- In depth character creator
- Open world
- No guns
- Can ignore main quest and never become a hero
- Players can build towns, ties into main quest heavily if you get the ending and fail
As this is an open world game, you’ll also have the opportunity to construct your own communities. As for available weaponry, there will be no guns according to the 2019 leak. So, as you can see via the rumors, Fable 4 will have a detailed character creator, an immersive narrative, and plenty of action.
How’s the Weather in Albion?
Fans of Forza Horizon 5 know that the weather systems in the game can be pretty wicked. Since Playground Games was behind that system, we can only wonder what they’ll do in the vast, open world of Fable 4. There is the possibility that various areas of the map can have their very own weather patterns, much like Earth does. Since there’s the possibility that Fable 4 will be built using the ForzaTech engine (while some rumors state it will be Unreal, we’ve yet to find out), we can only speculate of all the exciting developments that can come from such an engine, where weather patterns can make the game that much more enjoyable and immersive.
Fable 4 is Not an MMO
For quite a while there’s been speculation that the next installment in the Fable franchise would be a MMO. Naturally, this upset quite a few fans of the franchise, as Fable has always been an action-orientated RPG. However, that was just speculation. In reality Fable will retain its status as a role playing game, making fans of the franchise quite happy. According to Xbox insider, Klobrille, “Fable is an open-world action-RPG. People really need to stop with this MMO nonsense. Even if there potentially will be online interactions similar to FH4, it’s not an MMO.” Quite possibly the cause for this confusion is the fact that there’s a good chance that Fable 4 will have some online interactions, What those are, we’ve no idea. But rest assured it’s not an MMO
The Return of Jack of Blades
Jack of Blades may be an ancient adversary, but he’s far from being a weak and timeworn fossil. Jack of Blades is an antagonist who is dangerous and fearless. He makes his appearance in both Fable: The Lost Chapters and Fable Anniversary. Like the parasite that he is, this master of will, skill and strength stays eternal by using the bodies of others as hosts. However, despite his villainous nature, there are many fans of the Fable franchise who are fond of him, so the news of his possible return is good news for them.
There Will Never Be a Playstation Release
For those of you who own Playstation 4 or 5 consoles, and would really like to add the next Fable installment to your video game library, don’t hold your breath. Microsoft owns this IP hook, line and sinker and they’re not going to lend it out to their competition. This will be an Xbox exclusive for their console, as well as for Windows 10.
There is No Formal Release Date
Despite any rumors you might have heard, there is still no formal announcement from Playground Games regarding a release date. What we do know, is that Fable 4 has been in development for at least 4 years. We know this is legit as it came from a developers tweet: “4 years of working on Fable at @WeArePlayground. So excited for this game. pic.twitter.com/KO099HnYSdNovember 5, 2021”. The individuals name is Tom Gaulton, an engineer on the game. He also posted a congratulatory certificate citing him for his excellent work on the game.
Combat System Similar to Witcher?
According to cyberianstech.com, a member of Fable 4’s team is a developer from CD Projekt Red. If you remember, CD Projekt Red helmed the Witcher gaming franchise. His name is Pawel Kapala and he’s currently leading the team in charge of developing Fable 4’s combat mechanics. Since Fable is in a fantasy environment where spells work along side standard combat equipment such as swords, this is very encouraging news for fans of the Fable franchise.
Final Thoughts: Fans Should Have Confidence in Playground Games
There you have it, the grand total of any and all knowledge regarding the next Fable game. So far, we’re gleaning everything from cryptic tweets of those involved, to the brief teaser trailer. Suffice it to say, we may just need to take Phil Spencer’s advice for the time being. Spencer is a boss at Xbox who stated, “The only thing I can really say about Fable is, seeing the pedigree of the team and Playground, and where they set the bar for themselves in building a game—I think that showed with the Forza Horizon 5 preview that they had—I think people should just take confidence 0in that [studio director] Gavin [Raeburn] and the team there have that same level of focus on doing something amazing with an IP that we know is really important to a lot of Xbox fans, so we can’t wait to get to show more, but the team is just amazing.” Though we really know very little about Fable 4, after learning of the high quality staff, beautifully done reveal trailer, past performances seen by Playground Games, and the gobs of cash a company like Microsoft has to dole out to the project, Fable 4 is definitely in good hands.