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E3 2014: Fable Legends

By
Posted on June 12, 2014 AT 10:00am

Publisher Microsoft Studios
Developer Lionhead Studios
Platform XB1
Release Date TBD.2015
You can read the rest of our Opinionated Guide to E3 2014 or head to our E3 hub for even more coverage.

The Rundown

After the events of Fable: The Journey, anyone can be a hero now. You no longer need to be of a certain lineage to wield the powers of strength, skill, or will. The downside? Unlike the heroes of old, this new breed of do-gooders can only specialize in one of the three hero abilities and will need to work closely with others of varying power sets if they hope to protect Albion from all the new villainy that’s been cropping up lately.

The Verdict

While Fable Legends plays well and is entirely inoffensive in every way as a game, it’s so decidedly un-Fable-like that there wasn’t anything for me to get excited for whatsoever.

I played as Rook, a Skill user who expertly wielded a crossbow and was one of the primary damage dealers of my assigned group. I grew worried, however, when he was described as a character that fans of shooters would enjoy. Now, I love shooters. But when I played the Fable series in the past, the last thing I wanted to do was spend my entire experience with my view focused down some crosshairs. And that’s exactly what happened here. I wasn’t able to enjoy the lush green gardens that I stomped through as I mowed down trolls of varying difficulties. I wasn’t worried about looking for loot. I didn’t care about protecting my allies or saving villagers. The world of Albion that I’d grown to love was focused into a very tiny corridor with a singular goal in mind, taking away the fun choices I used to have in combat as I slipped between the three power sets.

Of course, had I played as a character specializing in Will or Strength, my experience may have proven more enjoyable. But I can’t help but get the sense that Fable is a series that has lost its way. It’s trying too hard to fit into this suddenly popular 4-on-1 trend cropping up everywhere in games. And while the demo was light on story for the sake of showing off the combat, I still couldn’t help my distaste, since the story was one of the most critical elements to my past adventures. Not to mention, no story made the appeal of playing the villain pointless aside from being the ultimate troll. Although I’m sure some would find that appealing, it’s not for me. While I still hold out hope that the final product will turn me into one of the Fable faithful once more, this E3 demo left me disappointed.

Ray Carsillo, Reviews Editor
Ray Carsillo has extensive roots in geek culture, as he’s written about videogames, comics, and movies for such outlets as Newsday.com, ESPNNewYork.com, Classic Game Room on YouTube, Collider.com, and Comicvine.com before finally settling into his role as EGM’s reviews editor. His main goal in life? To become king of all geek media, of course! Follow Ray’s exploits on Twitter: @RayCarsillo. Meet the rest of the crew.

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