In the last few weeks I’ve been obsessively overusing my newly acquired Xbox Game Pass! Of course it was originally intended just to get easy access to The Outer Worlds (which yes I have played and yes it is fantastic!), it’s now been turned into a window to my past; flicking through the list of available games I came across the Fable series, and the nostalgia hit me like a truck!
In 2 weeks I’ve managed to play my way through all 3 games like I have some kind of addiction to twee ye olde English nonsense. With an endless sea of British comic voice actors, silly yet wonderful missions, and from 2 onwards A GOD DAMN DOG! Fable is a series full of simple joys and easy fun. There isn’t all that much to tax your wee little brain throughout any of the games but sometimes that’s just what you need!
It’s safe to say that the popularity of the series waned in its later years; Fable 1 is phenomenal, 2 is a fair bit of fun, 3 is average and weak at some points… After 3 though the series fell apart, and we got nothing but spin-offs and gimmick-filled party games essentially. A sad end to a series that opened with so much promise and a near perfect opening gambit. However, looking back on it all now and looking at how the world sits right now… It’s about time for the people of Albion to make a comeback; we need that sense of purity and simple joys of fighting tiny goblin creatures with your dog at your side!
What made me come to this realisation? Probably the point in Fable 2 where I walked into a room and was met by Hero of Skill, Reaver, an unrepentant asshole who also happens to be voiced by legendary British actor Stephen Fry! Sure, games have famous voices fairly often, and actors can now do their thing properly in games thanks to evolution of motion capture. I can’t honestly think of a game since Fable though that contains just so much talent! Playing through the series and hearing even more people voices that I recognised like Zoe Wanamaker, John Cleese and Jonathan Ross took me away from the various stresses of my grown-up life so significantly that it’s lasted even outside of my gameplay sessions! Everyone needs to get back to this series ASAP if you can. If you have Xbox Game Pass, there is quite simply no excuse. It’s a charming series that will bring such simple joys.
Because of this revelation, I think its about time that we all started talking about a Fable IV; sure, rumours have been flying around since Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that the series had places to go… This was in 2017, and since then any news has been spotty at best. Some sources though claim that the fourth mainline entry in the series has been in development since 2018, being helmed by Playground Games after the closure of original developers Lionhead Studios. There hasn’t been anything truly concrete, but maybe 2020 will bring some real news. Perhaps the developers are just waiting for the tenth anniversary of the last main game since the mediocre Fable III, but I guess only time will tell.
Where could the story go in this next instalment? I’d personally be fighting to see a prequel game, take it back to the earliest days of Albion’s Heroes Guild. Since each mainline game features some massive time jumps, both between games and even within the game, it’s safe to say there is plenty of time to explore before the series began or between the events of each game… Though seeing as the original Fable was the best received it’s probably best to return to that kind of timeline, rather than the medieval setting of 2 or the bustling industrial era of 3.
Obviously this is all just the simple wishes of a simple man who likes to explore a pretty but not massive world with a dog at my side and a sword in my hand, doing quests with ridiculous outcomes and maybe banging a villager or 7. All these rumours and ideas may come to nothing but as far as I’m concerned this is an IP that needs to be revived in a big way! No more spin offs or book tie-ins. Let’s get back to Albion properly! I want to be a Hero some more!