Good and evil is barely the start of it, frankly. Fable is one of those rare, fascinating game series upon which nobody can really seem to agree about anything for very long. It's a shallow RPG, or maybe it's a canny and satirical examination of RPGs in general. It's hilarious - oh, the burping! Or maybe it's just juvenile. Let's face it: Fable's easy to the point of being obsequious, isn't it? Or maybe it's choosing to measure itself in ways that go beyond mere difficulty? It's no surprise, then, that with all this discussion churning around it, the world of Albion is so often defined by a mechanic that it doesn't even contain.
The best games create stories as well as telling them, and when you ask people about a Lionhead game there's usually a good one. A friend told me how, when playing Black & White, he'd found his inscrutable cow-god familiar taking a dump in the village's food supply. He went to punish it, mis-clicked, and instead petted the beast. From then on the cow went out of its way to poo on food, and no amount of beatings would dissuade it. My friend persevered with his save for days before, finally, admitting defeat and starting over - left only with the memory of handing out monotonous beatings to a bewildered, unhappy, constantly-befouled creature.
Microsoft has registered Fablethejourney.org as a domain name, along with three other phrases which seem to suggest a bunch of Kinect titles is on the way.
The creator of a 2D Fable "de-make" has popped up a video of his progress and explained how he's incorporating systems from the first two Fable games - including some that were mentioned during their development but never made it in.
Fable II. We're fans, you may remember. Well, those of you who haven't tried it yet can play a decent chunk of it for free today with the launch of Fable II: Game Episodes on Xbox Live's Games on Demand channel.
(Please beware that the following is a spoiler for the end of Fable II, so if you still plan to play it, do not read on!)
Fable II is to be released as episodic downloads on Xbox Live, Peter Molyneux revealed at his press conference this morning.
Retailers including our old friends ShopTo and Play.com are both listing a Fable II Game of the Year edition for release on 18th September.
The world and its dog may be jabbering about Fable III in all sorts of places, but what about you and your dog? Perhaps you fancy running around Fable II's Knothole Island, in which case you'll be pleased to hear it's the subject of a weeklong price-cut.
Peter Molyneux is a familiar face at the Game Developers Conference. He often uses it as a platform to unveil new features in Lionhead games - remember 2007's infamous dog revelation?
One of the disadvantages of using pretend virtual money to buy downloadable content is that we're still fumbling towards a consensus on the relative value of the things we buy. This uncertainty is muddled even further when you consider something like Fable II. You can complete the Knothole Island quest in just a few hours, and apart from a smattering of collectables and a fetch-quest there's not a lot more to it, but then Fable II was always about how you play, not for how long.
What is immediately clear is that, benefits of the recent patch aside, this DLC bundle contains all the delights and frustrations of the full game. Context-sensitive selections are still a fiddle, with button prompts appearing but not responding, while characters (and dogs) get snagged or lost as you stamp about. Precise navigation is still a fuss when you're not following the sparkling golden trail (why can't we place waypoints for the actual spot we want to reach?) and this is compounded on Knothole Island, since there's not even a mini-map in the pause screen.
The main component of the package is a quest to solve the weird weather problems plaguing the island. This involves talking to the self-appointed chief of the village, finding three keys and exploring three elemental shrines. It's all very linear, and you have to leave the island and come back between each section in order to trigger the next - something the game doesn't make clear. It's a shame that due to the glitchy nature of the core experience, many people seem to automatically assume that this crude interruption means that the quest is broken.
Snow! Headwear! Stairs! Cave!
Lionhead Studios has announced a finalised date of the 13th of January for the global release of the first nugget of Fable II DLC.
Lionhead has confirmed to Eurogamer that the Fable II: Knothole Island downloadable expansion pack has been delayed until January 2009.
An announcement on Xbox.com yesterday said the pack had been pushed back from 22nd December until "late January", which the developer confirmed this morning.
Xbox.com cited "unexpected technical difficulties".
Lionhead has told Eurogamer that the Knothole Island DLC for Fable II will definitely arrive on 22nd December, and not 12th December as was first thought.
You may think you know everything about Peter Molyneux by now, but did you know he once chatted up a ghost's girlfriend and then killed her in front of him? You may think you've heard everything about Fable II, but do you really know why it only has one save slot? Or which two simple things could have improved the co-op?
Knothole Island DLC.
Lionhead plans to expand the world of Fable II with a new area, Knothole Island, on 12th December.