Fable Legends is the next adventure in the genre-defining Fable series developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One.

To be honest, I had not really given this title a lot of thought as I’ve been enthralled with the Witcher III and eagerly await the release of Far Cry : Primal. As fate would have it, I was handed a Beta key and thought “I’ll try it out, why not, a free game is usually a fun game after all”.

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Not really knowing what to expect from the title I decided to go hands-on with it right away with an assault class character named “Sterling”. Playing as a damage role, I was able to get a pretty good overview of the game play and found the feel was similar to previous Fable titles with its traditional “Hack and Slash and Spells” style of combat. Potions and abilities at the ready, I decided it was best to play through the tutorial and remind myself that I was not Geralt of Rivia and aquatint myself further with the key mapping. Combat felt fun, and over all it was a nice introduction to the game and to some of the initial “Heroes” that comprise your team.


 

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Upon completing the tutorial you arrive at Brightlodge, a beautifully crafted town in the heart of Albion that allows you to interact with villagers, visit shopkeepers, upgrade your chosen hero’s appearance, and engage in the mini games. I myself spent quite a bit of time fishing from the docks and caught a LEGENDARY fish named “Kevin the Tiddler” who is really a “prince cursed by an evil witch and may now only be awoken by true love’s kiss. But who wants to kiss fishy lips?” And of course the return of chicken-kicking for which Fable is well-known.

At this point in the game the real adventure begins as you set forth into the Rosewood to save the King from a most horrid demise. One of the most delightful elements of the game appeared at this time and was the “Prologue” to the quest itself, it was simply gorgeous. It had a whimsical pop-up book feel with moving cutouts and theatrical props and was reminiscent of childhood stories. It’s during this time that the arena is set, your character load outs are finalized and you prepare to embark on your quest for glory!

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Truth be told, my team failed its first attempt and it became apparent early on that cooperative play was key to everyone’s survival. With my Pride hurt and my ego slightly bruised I decided to go and do a bit more fishing and check out some of the other sights and sounds of Albion.

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At its core Fable Legends is a five player cooperative title. The 5th person plays the role of the Villain adding a new element to this style of team based game play and overall I very much enjoyed my brief adventures in Albion with a few notable exceptions.

Character customization is extremely limited to looks and styles that you unlock and purchase through out the game and to date there are only a handful for each character. Hopefully this will be addressed down the road with further inclusion of more unique and distinct looks and styles for each of our heroes. While I do enjoy being able to change the color of my hair I also prefer to change its style. Facial hair customization and tattoos would be a welcomed addition as well and I hope to see them introduced at a later date and time.

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Fable Legends is a FREE-TO-PLAY title and as such it has a hefty amount of “Real world currency” transactions ($59.99 for 10000 Gold pieces)and while I can understand the game’s developer, Lionhead, trying to recoup costs associated with the title and its continued improvements it’s a little frustrating with these types of titles to be restricted or limited in-game play or to be surpassed by other players who are willing to shell out large amounts of money to obtain higher level equipment vs players who work to quest and earn their merits/rewards.

Is this my favorite Fable game? Absolutely Not! I would have rather seen a new Fable title true to its roots and origins, filled with magic, intrigue and rich Albion lore. Is this a bad game? Absolutely not! This is a great game filled with stunning visuals, solid game play and its FREE-TO-PLAY

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