With the passage of time comes change. Time makes the car run slower, the children bigger, and allows technology to advance and grow. The same is true for the gaming industry. Series have been created and scrapped, consoles have come and gone. Within the coming year, the next generation of gaming stations will make their debut. Let’s see how time has affected certain parts of the industry, focusing on a series that players both know and love: ‘Fable‘.
When released in 2004 for both PC and the Xbox, it surprised and delighted players with its beautiful execution, story, and combat. A new world called Albion lays before the main character, dotted with towns and people to fill them. The young Hero of Oakvale was a lad from a humble beginning who’s life was thrust into turmoil and leads to the discovery of his lineage. The player could interact and speak to others as well as complete certain quests that would progress the game. It appeared to be the perfect fit for the first gen-console, the controls easy to easy and memorize. The story was fulfilling and ever lead to multiple endings to encourage different files and alignment orientated play.
When it’s sequel, ‘Fable 2‘, launched in October 2008, the advance system of the Xbox 360 really took the series to its next step. The graphics alone received an overhaul, allowing leaves to blow in trees and spotting single snowflakes on the ground. Like its technological step, the plot of the game steps forward as well by five centuries. Albion is in its time of Enlightenment, with sciences and new discoveries setting a proper back drop for the new Hero. Menus and areas of rest were also significantly different, using a port area instead of scrawling lists. A second player could even come to the aid of the hero, thought the preset limits on class was a bit of a disappointment.
In 2010, the third installment hit shelves. Albion was now in its industrial revolution, the main protagonist now the royal children of ‘Fable 2’s hero. This time around, players could venture with other players. A certain room in the Hero’s sanctuary allowed another player to enter as their true self and quest with the Hero. Certain portions of the game even encouraged this, one particular demon door only opening for a dancing pair of Heroes. The duo could fight side by side which was said to add the explorative fun where the main plot fell a bit flat.
Here is where time could help and hinder this series. With the invention and incorporation of the new motion censor ‘Kinect’, Lionhead Studios decided it was time to jump on that band-wagon. So, ‘Fable: The Journey’ was conceptualized. The problem seems to be that this Industrial leap may hurt the series. Kinect has yet to successfully integrate the amount of motion it would take for a player to not only drive the new main character’s wagon but be able to match for magic use and the swinging of weapons.
Players are apprehensive about the new spin-off game. Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean that it fits into the universe of Albion. A series built on the success of console-controller play, may just want to stay that way. Will motion-based play be the next step in Albion’s creation? Only time will tell if this new supplemental addition will revive some of Fable’s lost love or break its heart.