Fable (video game series)

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Fable franchise
Fable logo.png
The official logo of the series since Fable II
Genres Action RPG, sandbox
Developers Lionhead Studios, Big Blue Box, Robosoft Technologies (Mac)
Publishers Microsoft Studios, Feral Interactive (Mac)
Creators Peter Molyneux
Composers Danny Elfman, Russell Shaw
Platforms Xbox, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox One
Platform of origin Xbox
First release Fable
8 October 2004
Latest release Fable Anniversary
4 February 2014

Fable is a series of action role-playing video games for Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, and Mac OS X platforms. The series is developed by Lionhead Studios and is published by Microsoft Studios.

Setting[edit]

The Fable series takes place in the fictional nation of Albion, a state that, at the time of the first game, is composed of numerous autonomous city-states with vast areas of countryside or wilderness in between. The setting originally resembles Medieval England ("Albion" being the oldest name for the island of Great Britain), or traditional fantasy settings like that of The Elder Scrolls. However, the period of time progresses with each game; in Fable II, Albion has advanced to an era similar to that of the Age of Enlightenment, and by Fable III the nation has been unified under a monarchy and is undergoing an "Age of Industry" similar to the real-world 18th-19th-century Industrial Revolution.

In the first Fable, players assume the role of an orphaned boy who is forced into a life of heroism when bandits attack his village, and kidnap his sister. The choices players make in the game affect the perception and reaction to their Hero by the characters of Albion and change the Hero's appearance to mirror what good or evil deeds he has performed. In addition to undertaking quests to learn what happened to the Hero's family, players can engage in optional quests and pursuits such as trading, romance and married life, pub gaming, boxing, and theft. Even so, set quests are the motor of the story development. It is an era in the 1100s.[1]

Fable II takes place 500 years after the events of the first game.[2] The world resembles England/Britain between the late 1600s and early 1700s, the time of highwaymen and the Enlightenment. Science and more modern ideas have suppressed the religion and magic of old Albion. Its towns have developed into cities, weaponry is slowly taking advantage of gunpowder, and social, family and economic life present more possibilities - as well as challenges. The sequel basically expands most or all parts of the gaming experience from the previous game, without changing the elementary modes of playing. The continent of Albion is larger as a game world, but contains fewer locations, and the locations that remain are more developed and detailed. In contrast to Fable, the solving of set quests is not the basis of the story; rather, the story develops from the player's situation in time and place. This gives the game a sense of more interactivity than the first title in the series.

In Fable III the setting is 50 years after that of Fable II.[3] The historical development is further advanced since the last version: Albion is experiencing the Industrial Revolution resembling the mid-late 1700s. In all of the versions, the moral development (in a negative or a positive way) is at the core of the gameplay. In this latest version, this moral development is expanded to include not only the personal or psychological but also a more political aspect, as the goal of the game is to overthrow the oppressive king of Albion, as well as defend the continent from attacks from abroad.

Gameplay[edit]

As a role-playing game (RPG), the Fable series constructs the development of a protagonist controlled by the player, and the development is related to the same character's interaction with the game world. A major part of this interaction is for the Fable series related to interaction with people, be it conversation, story-telling, education, trading, gaming, courting and relationships, or fighting.

The player is able to develop the protagonist following several parameters, such as magic, strength and social skills. The player may also direct the moral quality of the protagonist, so that skills may be developed in equal terms and conditions both in the negative and positive field.

In addition to this basis of the gameplay, some of the version focus on set quest that together give the protagonist the opportunity to develop, as well as unveiling strands of the story of the game.

Fable II and III also include cooperative gameplay, where two players with their own character can join forces in their different tasks.

The series[edit]

The first game, Fable, was released for Xbox on 14 September 2004. An extended version, Fable: The Lost Chapters, was released for Windows and Xbox in September 2005; Feral Interactive ported the game to the Mac platform on 31 March 2008.

The first sequel of the series, Fable II, was released for Xbox 360 on 24 October 2008. It also featured a tie-in game called Fable II Pub Games that was released on the XBLA.

A third game, Fable III, was released for Xbox 360 on 29 October 2010, and a Microsoft Windows release on 17 March 2011. This game also featured a tie-in phone game called Fable Coin Golf.

According to Peter Molyneux, Lionhead Studios currently has plans for the fourth and fifth main series installments.[4]

In April 2012, Lionhead Studios announced Fable Heroes, an Xbox Live Arcade game. It was released on 2 May 2012.

At E3 2011, Fable: The Journey was announced. Fable: The Journey is a spin-off within the series and differentiates from the first three games, with the protagonist not having come from the Hero bloodline. It was released in North America on 9 October 2012 and in Europe on 12 October 2012.

On 4 June 2013, Lionhead Studios posted a teaser trailer to YouTube and updated their Fable display picture on Facebook with Jack of Blades, the antagonist from Fable, arousing speculation that he would return in the next Fable release. This was later confirmed on their official website as a teaser to their upcoming Xbox 360 remake of the original game, "Fable Anniversary."[5] The game was released on 4 February 2014 in North America and 7 February 2014 in Europe.

On 20 August 2013, Lionhead Studios released a teaser trailer for Fable Legends, an Xbox One title set during the "Age of Heroes," long before the events of the first game. The trailer emphasizes that in the game you will play alongside four other players and may choose to be the Hero of the story or the Villain.

Fable Trilogy, a compilation for Xbox 360 that includes Fable Anniversary, Fable II and Fable III was released on 7 February 2014.[6]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Game
Fable: The Lost Chapters Fable II Fable III Fable: The Journey
Hero of Oakvale John Silke  
Sparrow/Hero of Bowerstone   Nolan North  
Hero of Brightwall     Louis Tamone/Rachel Atkins  
Theresa  ? Zoë Wanamaker
Weaver/The Guildmaster Hugo Myatt  
Jack of Blades Keith Wickham  
Reaver   Stephen Fry  
Hannah/Hammer   Julia Sawalha  
Garth   Ron Glass  
Rose   Gemma Boyle  
Lucien Fairfax   Oliver Cotton  
Walter Beck   Bernard Hill  
Jasper   John Cleese  
Elliot   Nicholas Hoult  
Sabine   Ben Kingsley  
Ben Finn   Simon Pegg  
Page   Naomie Harris  
Logan   Michael Fassbender  
Gabriel   Geoff Breton
Katlan   Max Brown
Benny   Jason Baughan
Betty   Caitlin Mottram

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of July 6, 2014.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Fable 85.28%[7] 85[8]
Fable: The Lost Chapters 83.48%[9] 83[10]
Fable II 88.50%[11] 89[12]
Fable III 80.23%[13] 80[14]
Fable Heroes 55.29%[15] 55[16]
Fable: The Journey 63.69%[17] 61[18]
Fable Anniversary 68.31%[19] 68[20]

The Fable series has been met with generally positive reviews, although spin-offs have not been received as well. The first game in series Fable, received positive reviews, reviewers praised it's combat, story, graphics and musical score. The game was praised for having a unique charm and style for a role-playing game. But reviewers felt the game was too short and the choices the player makes throughout the game did not impact the overall story enough. The game received a total of 85.28% on GameRankings and 85/100 on Metacritic.

An expanded version of the original Fable, titled Fable: The Lost Chapters received positive reviews. It was praised for increasing the length of the game and the amount of content, as well as fixing some of the bugs the original release had. On the other hand, reviewers felt that the extra content was more of the same that Fable offered in its original release. Fable: The Lost Chapters has a total of 83.48% on GameRankings and 83/100 on Metacritic

Fable II received more positive reviews than it's predecessor. Reviewers praised it once again for its combat, graphics and musical score and felt the game once again had a unique charm and style. The story received somewhat mixed reviews with some praising it's length as an improvement on criticism that the first game was too short, but other reviewers felt that the story was not very interesting. The game was praised for its inclusion of the Dog companion that accompanies you throughout the story. The consensus among reviewers was that Fable II was an improvement on the original with a total of 88.50% on GameRankings and 89/100 on Metacritic.

Fable III was not as well received at previous entries in the franchise. Reviewers felt that it was more of the same in both good and bad ways. The game was praised for its accessibility, however some felt that the game was far too easy and never presented any challenge which made the combat feel less interesting than in previous iterations. The unique charm, style and musical score was once again praised. The story of the game was generally well received but reviewers felt that the second half of the game was not as interesting as the first half. Criticism was also placed on the game having a lack of polish and problems with game bugs. The consensus among reviewers was that whilst Fable III was not a bad game, It lacked the depth and difficulty as a consequence of making the game more accessible. The game has a total of 80.23% on GameRankings and 80/100 on Metacritic.

Fable Heroes received average or mixed reviews. Some reviewers praised it as a fun beat'em up if you have friends to play with. But mostly reviewers felt that the game felt dated and had boring or mundane action. The game has a total of 55.29% on GameRankings and 55/100 on Metacritic.

Fable: The Journey for Kinect received mixed to average reviews. Reviewers praised the game for its graphics, charming style and storytelling. It was generally felt that whilst spells used in the game felt powerful, the poor Kinect controls could not manage the precision required for the combat. The game was also criticized for being repetitive. Reviewers tended to agree that the game would have been much better just using a normal controller since the game itself was decent but was held back by Kinect controls. The game has a total of 63.69% on GameRankings and 61/100 on Metacritic.

A remastered version of the original Fable, including The Lost Chapters content, titled Fable Anniversary received fairly average reviews. Reviewers praised the improved graphics, menus and auto-save function not included in the original release, but criticized the game for frame rate issues and bugs. Reviewers tended to agree that the remaster lacked polish and that the game had some dated mechanics, but was still worth playing if you never played it or just wanted to play it again with improved graphics. The remaster has a total of 68.31% on GameRankings and 68/100 on Metacritic.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fable". Lionhead.com. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Fable II". Lionhead. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Fable III". Lionhead. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Bramwell, Tom (29 July 2008). "Bramwell, Tom (29 July 2008). "Lionhead has three more Fables planned". EuroGamer". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Fable Anniversary". Lionhead. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (18 January 2014). "Fable Trilogy confirmed for February". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Fable Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Fable Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Fable: The Lost Chapters Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Fable: The Lost Chapters Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Fable II Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Fable II Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Fable III Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Fable III Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Fable Heroes Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Fable Heroes Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Fable: The Journey Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Fable: The Journey Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Fable Anniversary Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Fable Anniversary Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]