It seems as though Fable fans may finally be set to receive an all-new entry into the series in Fable 4. The last mainline game in the series, Fable 3, came out in 2010 and fans have been left to their own devices ever since. Exactly when Fable 4 will launch is a mystery, as well as its actual title. However, it is known that the game is in development, and a reveal trailer was dropped at last year's Xbox games showcase. With E3 returning this June, fans could be set to learn more information about the eagerly awaited return of an Xbox classic.
While details about the newest entry into the Fable series are sparse, it has been revealed that Fable 4 will be open-world. The Fable series' open-world elements were certainly present in previous games, but they did not in and of themselves make Fable an open-world game. The original Fable trilogy contained large open sections that the player could explore, but they are just different areas as opposed to an actual singular world. In this sense, Fable 4 will be bringing something entirely new to the series with Playground Games, developer of the Forza Horizon games, taking the reins in this return of a classic property.
While Fable 4's release date is as yet unknown, it's likely to be a few years away. This means that Playground Games likely has the time its needs to get this right, as it's vial to nail this new direction for the franchise. In previous Fable games, the player can at times be railroaded down paths, which removes a sense of discovery and reduces the overall replayability. A great many details differ from playthrough to playthrough, but the journey remains largely the same. In contrast, there's something so rewarding about stumbling across hidden secrets in open-world games, and wondering whether the developer intended for them to be found with such ease. This is an element of open-world games that could transition seamlessly into the Fable series, with much of what makes the series so special being its hidden secrets.
Forza Horizon 4's dynamic weather stands as a testament to what Playground Games could bring to the Fable franchise. Some of the more memorable parts of the original Fable games are the dynamic elements. The player could have a real impact on the world around them, even affecting individual towns' economies with their buying and selling habits. These dynamic features are something that can be further explored in an open-world entry. In particular, adding dynamic weather and seasons to the game, as Playground has with the Forza franchise, would contribute an astounding amount towards the game feeling like a living and breathing world. Certainly, it would be a missed opportunity to not expand upon some of the series dynamic mechanics of old, considering the freedom an open world provides.
The new game may be open-world, but that shouldn't mean Fable 4 will be like Skyrim. The Latter's open world can be overwhelming, and at times, this distracts from the main story. NPCs often appear unbothered by both the presence of the Dragonborn and, indeed, the end of the world as they know it. There's so much going on in the world of Skyrim that it would be strange if the NPCs opened every interaction by acknowledging the status of the player as Dovahkiin, but this is where the two games should differ. Fable fans take great interest in the game's NPC interactions, and especially in how they vary depending on the player's choices. It's crucial that this aspect of the game remain intact.
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