The Microsoft E3 media briefing earlier this week brought more details for the latest Lionhead Studios project, Fable Legends, including a gameplay demonstration. Fable Legends is a prequel of sorts, set 400 years prior to the first title in the series in a time before the Heroes Guild came into existence. The Heroes Guild was a key focus for the previous three Fable games and their protagonists. It is unknown to what degree, if at all, that Fable Legends will directly play into the storylines of the Fable trilogy.
Fable Legends marks a move away from the more traditional Fable experience (and its focus on solo gameplay) to a much more multiplayer-centric one. Multiplayer co-op may not be a requirement as it is entirely possible to opt for single player only, with AI taking over the companion roles as needed. However the attraction of Fable Legends is built heavily around the co-op multiplayer aspect.
The game sees four players, either human or AI, taking on the roles of four heroes of Albion with a fifth player then taking on the role of the Villain of the piece. The E3 demonstration saw a villain player deploying enemy units, traps and spells through an RTS style top down view in an effort to thwart the heroes from accomplishing their mission. From the heroes' perspective on the ground, the game appears very much like a traditional Fable game with numerous enemies to be defeated before moving on; it’s hard to tell that the entire thing is in fact being masterminded from on high by the player taking on the villain role.
So far Fable Legends seems to have retained the humor and character that made the previous Fable titles so enjoyable, making a return to Albion an exciting prospect once more.
A multiplayer beta for Fable Legends is scheduled for fall 2014 on Xbox One