There was a storyteller in the world who was very fond of telling children fables about what miracles he could do. And trees growing in real time, and heavy consequences from your choice and thousands of interesting quests. The name of that storyteller is Peter Molyneux. He has a dual reputation in the gaming world, on the one hand he is an excellent game designer, but on the other hand he is a pathological liar.
All this resulted in the fact that if he promised us very cool things in his future game - they were not there, but somehow the game still came out cool. Such was the Fable series - an amazing tale about foggy Albion, which, alas, will never continue. Today we are analyzing why the Fable series went into oblivion? Let's take a closer look at her rise and fall from the Olympus of the gaming industry.
A life-long fairy tale
The start of the series has been extremely promising. In 2004 the audience was more gullible, and when Peter Molyneux [who had a hand in creating Populous, Syndicate, Dungeon Keeper, Black & White, The Movies], gave us noodles about trees growing in real time, about NPCs who will be our competitors and can take tasks away from us - we believed in that. And when the game came out, and there was nothing of the kind, we were not upset, but simply said: "Oh, Uncle Petya [this is his popular nickname], he deceived us again, you old wretch."
The first one and a half hours of the game were very dynamic. At first, we just run around and earn money to buy a gift for our sister, making simple choices. For example, hand over the cheating husband to his wife or keep silent for money, help a little girl find her teddy bear or not, fight with bullies or join them. And then suddenly a raid of robbers happens, our village is destroyed, our parents are killed, our sister is kidnapped, and we ourselves get into the guild of heroes and begin to go through all the stages of growing up.
It's fair to say that before Fable, there were a bunch of games in the game world that implemented the mechanics of choice and its consequences much better, but the fact that our hero grows before our eyes made the whole story more personal. Small details like instant karma and hero reputation help it. You may be judged and feared for doing bad things, or idolized for being heroic. And depending on our actions, the appearance of the hero changes. This affects immersion, and things like scars from missed kicks or obesity from overeating can multiply it.
For all its fabulousness, Fable was not child's play. Often we were pulled out of a cozy fairy-tale world and thrown into a dark reality, where brutal bandits kill people, having mocked before that, and werewolves wander in the dark thickets and exterminate all the lost. This was the beauty of the first game - you commit heroic deeds, and then, out of a desire to save a loved one, you are thrown into prison, where they torture and torment for years.
I am still keeping quiet about a good combat system and pumping, interesting side quests, a simulation of life in cities and a really soulful story. Yes, we did not receive much of what Muligno promised, for example, instead of competing heroes, we have one Whisper, which we even meet only in the plot points. The map was many times smaller, and the locations were shamefully small. Curved auto-aiming for magic and bow is also distinguished from the minuses.
In 2005, an expanded version of the game Fable The Lost Chapters was released, which continued the original story by a quarter, added a new location, items, weapons and armor, as well as a more epic and large-scale ending. The sequel came out so great that now The Lost Chapters is considered the official and full-fledged first Fable.
I paid so much attention to the first part that you realize the scale of how important this game became and what potential it had. This is a long story in life, which from time to time did not forget to be harsh, gloomy, moderately depraved, but beautiful.
Sequel without lies
After criticizing the first part for not fulfilling promises, Peter was apparently reassured, and he did not make loud statements about game features in the sequel. The second part continued the story of the original, but after 500 years. The Middle Ages changed the stage of modern times, where the imprint of the past centuries still weighs, and legends have been formed about our past exploits. This time we play as a street child on the streets of a big city.
The degree of gloom has increased and after 20 minutes of the game, one gentleman will offer your sister to provide him with absolutely non-childish services in order to earn money. The game itself was able to maintain a balance between the fairy tale and the harsh reality of the beginning of modern times, which significantly distinguishes it from the first game, where the presence of a guild of heroes nevertheless made it more fantasy. The guild has been closed here for a long time.
Each location has acquired its own face and was made with special trepidation. But the main thing is that they have changed. According to the plot, we are captured for many years, and when we return, the world becomes different. Somewhere in the wasteland a new settlement appeared, and some cities were dilapidated, a small sect became a cult, and somewhere slums grew and fell into the power of criminals. And in many ways, how much the locations change will depend on our decisions before captivity. It will take you many hours to visit familiar places and spot the differences. And it all made the story personal.
What can I say, the game came out as a real perfect sequel, which expanded the ideas of the original, added more gear, side quests [their quality also increased] and a mechanic. No wonder the game once became the best-selling RPG on the Xbox 360. The only thing that the sequel lost to the first part was the main plot and DLC. They were weaker in Fable 2.
In 2010, the third part of the game was released. It had a lot of morally difficult choices, a good and effective combat system, but the game lost its fairytale charm. A new industrial era with all the "charms" of England of that time appeared before us. Trikvel began to lose ground significantly. The combat system, in spite of the showiness, has become very light in comparison with the previous games, from which the battles did not cause tension and were boring. The plot about overthrowing his brother from the throne was just normal, but no more. But branded humor, cool side quests, a bunch of references and music were in place.
The problem was in the third act of the game [forgot to say, there are no spoilers in the material, so don't be afraid]. In it we have to make a lot of choices, which will obviously have big consequences - everything is pumping up around you, and you are waiting for the climax, but in the end, the inflated expectations play a cruel joke and the ending is indistinct and boring, like the last bosite.
Fable 3 was not a bad game, but it still seems that the developers are a little tired of it, relying on humor and selection system. The problem is that between participation in different conflicts and elections, it was not interesting to play.
It would be a complete wrap up, but not for Microsoft.
Exhumation of a corpse
After the third part, two incomprehensible projects came out, the first of which was Fable Heroes - Beat 'em up for the whole family for four people. In it we traveled to familiar locations, but it is not clear why. It didn't make sense, and it wasn't the Fable game we deserved.
Then, in 2012, Fable: The Journey was released - an exclusive for kinect. At the presentation of the game, it was already clear that the series was going down the drain - Molyneux was rather quiet, not inspired and told only dry facts about the game, without even promising us something grandiose. Our hero is a young man who must save the world. We ride a horse around this world, and in between we clean out caves or camps. This is the whole gameplay. There was a plot, but it's not even worth our attention. What was the game? In fact, only a good project for kinect from a technological point of view, but not more.
After the release of this game, Peter Molyneux left the studio, and this was already a verdict. In just a couple of years, the work on the original trilogy was flushed down the toilet with two strange games. But that was the beginning of the end.
That's the end of the fairy tale, and whoever listened - you can cry
In 2013, they announced a sequel to the game called Fable Legends, showing us colorful trailers, telling us how big the project is, and that Microsoft is personally following it. Everything looked strange, and we did not doubt it in vain. After seeing the gameplay trailer, we realized that they were trying to sell us a game that had nothing to do with the original except for the setting. She offered a kind of team battle, where on the one hand there are four heroes, who, on the other, are opposed by a villain who sets traps and enemies.
Soon after many concept changes - the game was canceled and the studio was closed. And so came the end of the Fable series, as well as Lionhead Studios.
Yes, in 2014 a remake of the first part of Fable Anniversary was released, which delighted the fans and gave them a reason to return to their beloved world, but this was not a new Fable.
The first part of the game was great and gave us everything from a great story and quests to mechanics and music. The second movement expanded on the ideas of the original and took on a more serious tone without losing its charm. The third game, although it was weaker than its predecessors, could become a good end to the series, and then I probably would not have written such material. The publisher did not want to let go of the franchise, which generally gave the result that we have. Instead of a possible spiritual successor from the original creators, we got mediocre, bizarre designs that killed the Fable franchise and fizzled out.
Before our eyes, an example of how a franchise rolls down due to the fact that it is not allowed to temporarily end. This is a rather sad end to this tale, which had an amazing start.
The Topic of Article: Why did the Fable series go into oblivion?.