Those looking for a return to the realm of Albion won’t have to wait much longer. Lionhead Studios was excited to showcase the first gameplay footage of the upcoming Fable Legends during the Microsoft E3 2014 press conference. Not only that, but there is a multiplayer beta for the Xbox One exclusive coming this fall, as well.
The gameplay itself certainly looks enticing, with players being given the chance to team up in a gang of four heroes. The Fable series has always been about the single-player story campaign, although Lionhead Studios toyed with the idea of multiplayer with the co-op modes of Fable 2 and Fable 3. Fable Legends is the studio’s first true foray into a larger multiplayer experience in the franchise.
Gamers after a heroism fix can choose between four classes from the traditional RPG fare, taking on the role of a long-range shooter, a close-combat tank, a combo-obsessed swordsman or powerful magic-user. After starting out in a hub town, adventurers then make their way through a series of arena-like areas, fighting a variety of beasties — as shown by a fight with goblins in the gameplay trailer.
However, the most interesting thing about the footage isn’t this co-operative combat. Instead, it’s the possibility of being on the other end of the fantasy action. Fable Legends allows a fifth player to join in the fun as the antagonist. The “villain”, as the role is called by Lionhead Studios in the footage, takes on the task of stopping the heroes in their tracks by commanding vicious creatures and placing deadly traps.
Old fans of former Lionhead Studios head Peter Molyneux might find something very nostalgic about the look of the villain mode. The top-down RTS style visuals and role as devious trap-setter are definitely reminiscent of the old Peter Molyneux-developed title Dungeon Keeper. It’s an interesting variation on the third person role-playing of the heroic quartet.
This four-on-one multiplayer format certainly has a lot of scope for exciting gaming dynamics. “You decide who and how to target your enemies,” said Lionhead Studios game designer David Eckelberry. “Play as the main characters or as the villain — the choice is yours.”
Not only does it look like a lot of fun to play, but thanks to the replication of that ever-so-eyecatching visual style of the Fable series, Fable Legends still has the look of being part of the Fable family.
What do you make of Fable Legends? Does the multiplayer spin-off of the RPG series look interesting to you, or do you think that it will become less immersive than the story-driven main series?
There is no official release date for Fable Legends, but a multiplayer beta release is set for Fall of this year. Fable Legends will be exclusive to Xbox One.