Since there has been so much discussion about the non-secret Fable reboot under development by Playground Games, I thought I would share my thoughts on what a new Fable game needs to do in order to be a success. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll be referring to this game simply as Fable.
The Setting, World and Lore
First of all, the developers will need to double down on improving how player actions affect the world. With recent RPGs like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt completely raising the bar, it’s critical that every decision feels like it has weight. This doesn’t mean the game can’t take on a lighthearted tone; it is just crucial that players feel like their actions matter. Trivial decisions aren’t going to be well received in light of the advancements in the RPG genre as a whole. One example of player decisions can be reflected in the character’s weapons and armor. Obviously there can be different types of armor but if their appearances and effectiveness can vary depending on whether the player chooses “good” or “evil” actions – that could encourage players to be careful with their decisions.
Secondly, we have the villain – the main antagonist – a centerpiece for any good story. Jack of Blades in the original game worked well as an antagonist, as opposed to the lingering darkness in the third title. Having the antagonist established early on is critical to give the player motivation for moving forward and eliciting an emotional response. If you hate the main villain then you have a strong mativation to keep going in order to see them fall.
Multiplayer and Difficulty
I’d also like to briefly touch on the multiplayer. It’s likely there will be some form of co-op and if that’s the case, your personal character should transfer over and be usable in your friend’s world. Picking from a list of pre-determined characters is not going to make players feel invested in the game nor will it be very fun overall.
I’m not a fan of the phrase, “it’s like Dark Souls“. With that said, Fable needs to appeal to both the hardcore fans and the more casual gamers. The best solution I can recommend is having a wide variety of difficulty options, so players seeking challenge will be satisfied without excluding those who simply wish to explore the world.
The Art Style
Finally, we have to consider the game’s the art style. While Fable should retain some of the lighthearted aspects of the series and have lots of humor, a cartoonish art style just feels outdated. I’d personally prefer a semi-realistic (if not fully realistic) approach. A realistic aesthetic would add a sense of reality to the world. Fantastical, wondrous elements should definitely be present but the environment should feel like the world of Albion is capable of truly existing somewhere in the universe.
All in all, these are just my thoughts on what I’d like to see out of the next Fable game. If you agree or disagree, feel free to comment below.