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.
Microsoft has declined to clarify the outcome to Fable II's See the Future downloadable content pack, which seemed to imply that we'll be returning to Albion in a few years' time...
1,539,100 gold coins. That's the amount of money my Albion property portfolio accrued in rent from the moment I last switched off Fable II, having completed its first DLC release, Knothole Island, to the moment I sat down to play this, its second. It was deposited as a lump sum, having accumulated in even amounts every hour for the past four months while I was away. I mention this fact not as a boast (although you should check the hell out of these kickass solid gold trainers) but rather as evidence that innovative systems designed to draw players back into a game in the short term can present unforeseen problems over the long term. In See the Future, every bag of gold coins in a hidden treasure chest and every ruby gemstone my trusty dog sniffs out is worthless: time and distance already made me a millionaire.
While Knothole Island was pieced together in a matter of weeks by a team weary from the crunch of delivering the main game, the time leading up to this second add-on has evidently been used to regroup, refocus and decide where Fable II's future lies. Unlike the first add-on, See the Future presents three distinct, small mini-adventures as oppose to a single medium-sized one, each one tied to a different mysterious trinket on sale from a newly-installed Bowerstone market trader, Murgo.
The first object Murgo sells you is a cursed snowglobe that whisks you away to a black and white village drained of all colour and inhabited only by ghosts and the ghosts of ghosts. Just as your job was to restore balance and order to Knothole Island by solving its small-town politics-cum-weather problems, so you must restore colour and life to this more esoteric community. However, in contrast to Knothole Island's yarn, the story surrounding the snowglobe village's misfortune is told in whispers of dialogue, and half-clues scrawled in dusty diaries: it is mystery piled upon mystery and the resolution, when it comes, is both fleeting and unsatisfactory.
Lionhead has announced that Fable II: See the Future will be released on 12th May on Xbox Live Marketplace and cost 560 Microsoft Points (GBP 4.76 / EUR 6.72).
Microsoft and Lionhead have revealed the second batch of Fable II downloadable content, which will be arrive in May for 560 Microsoft Points (GBP 4.76 / EUR 6.72).
Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux has said that more Fable II downloadable content will be released within weeks.