Preview: Fable Heroes
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Monday 26 March 2012
What’s it all about? Put simply: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if..?’ The mantra of the 20-strong team working on Fable Heroes, a game being built alongside that other Albion-based title Fable: The Journey, and one instantly added to our ‘games to watch’ radar.
A cooperative four-player top-down adventure might not be the most obvious choice for the continued expansion of Lionhead’s fantasy franchise, but nevertheless, our time with the game left us excited for more – Heroes promising to deliver stacks of that most important of commodities: fun.
Set within a facsimile of Albion – imagine Bowerstone, Mistpeak, etc. but built out of papier-mâché and populated by rag doll effigies of Fable’s most famous characters and foes – Heroes is a refreshing departure for a series Microsoft clearly feels has generated sufficient brand strength to allow for a bit of experimentation.
At its heart a loot-em-up, Heroes is all about currency, with players competing with each other in a bid to collect treasure. The felling of foes almost an accidental aside to the gathering of cash (or ‘golden shower’ as Lionhead’s developers refer to the torrents of treasure dropped by dispatched foes).
In fact, this being a Fable game after all, you can expect a fair share of ‘humour’ throughout. The build we witnessed featuring a mini-game in which exploding chickens must be kicked at your fellow adventurers for example. Elsewhere an evil treasure chest lurks, waiting to take a bite out of you, while further down the line an impromptu game of tag erupts as cursed treasure manifests a coin-sapping cloud upon one unlucky player.
The more treasure collected, the more expandable the game becomes with special moves, costumes and even extra characters all readily available via an upgrade system more akin to a dice-rolling boardgame than an expansion tree. In fact the boardgame motif is repeated throughout, the level select map a combination of that and Super Mario World stage select map.
The lengths Lionhead have gone to in order to keep replayability high is apparent throughout, from the divergent range of weapons and spells yielded by characters, to the forked paths through levels and ultimately via the addition of ‘Dark World’: a whole new challenge unlocked upon completion of the game which cranks up to the difficulty – the developer’s response to those who would have it that Fable has, until now, been a little on the easy side.
Worth the wait? Given that we can’t wait for another go, then yes, and that’s after us having queued repeatedly for a chance to go through the same few stages over and over; a fine endorsement of the addictive and fun stylings of Lionhead’s latest baby. Indeed, and whisper it, perhaps Heroes might out Fable even The Journey when push comes to shove.
For: Xbox 360
Developer: Lionhead Studios
When: 2 May 2012
Life & Style blogs
Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study
Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...