The storied Fable series has been one of the role-playing genre’s staples since the release of the original game for the Xbox in 2004. The next entry in the franchise, Fable Legends, looks to take the beloved series in a whole new direction. Developed by Lionshead Studios, Fable Legends marks a new chapter in the Fable Saga, one that after seeing in action at E3 2014 is something worth being very excited about.
Fable Legends, a title that will release exclusively for the Xbox One, places the entirety of its emphasis on multiplayer gameplay. In a unique take on the world of Fable, Legends pits four hero players against a single villain, who controls enemies and quest structure.
Set four hundred years before the events of the original Fable, Legends presents the land of Albion in a time before the Heroes’ Guild has been established. In Fable Legends, a group of four heroes rises above all others in order to rid evil from the land.
In many ways, Fable Legends is structured more like a dungeon crawler than the previous RPG entries in the series. The four players who make up the heroes are tasked with completing various quests, which are created and shaped by the villain.
Villains are given a top-down view of the quest’s map, of which they control the general layout as well as the enemies that appear, boss creatures and even traps about the level. In many ways, the villain character feels like a wonderful mix between a tower defense game and traditional RPG, thanks to the game’s ability to earn points which can be used to create and unlock more units.
The hero players must tackle the challenges and enemies that the villains place throughout the quest. The four playable heroes are Winter and Rook, the melee-based characters as well as Sterling and Inga who focus on ranged attacks. Similar to how the villain can earn points, so too can the heroes, which can later be used to upgrade various skills and abilities.
Despite being designed around a five player experience, Fable Legends can also be played alone or with smaller groups. In the case that a full five players has not been met for a quest, the game’s AI jumps in and fills the slot, ensuring that a full party is always available. This design is a nice touch, especially when considering the importance of keeping balanced teams when the action begins. Those who do plan to play alone will be happy to hear that, from what was shown, the AI-controlled characters are more than capable of handling themselves.
Outside of questing, Fable Legends features a hub-city known as Brightlodge. In classic Fable fashion, Brightlodge is a bustling city full of diversions and mini games in which players can partake. Once a quest has been set, however, they characters are immediately sent out on their journey.
In order to keep things fresh, Fable Legends will launch with a full season of quests. After release, a series of DLC packs will be available, containing additional quests to partake in.
At its core, Fable Legends presents a truly interesting and unique video game experience. Equal parts a game out foxing your opponents through bluffs, and double blinds as well as a traditional action/RPG title, Fable Legends is sure to be one of the Xbox One’s most enjoyable exclusives.
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