The Fable franchise played such an important role in the early days of both the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles, where it stood as a pillar with the likes of the other grand Microsoft series such as Halo, Gears of War and Forza, but since that time, we haven’t seen all too much of the entrancing experience of the company’s childhood like story-driven adventures. We have had some titles, in between from the mainline games such as Fable: The Journey, and Fable: Fortune, but none of these entries truly delivered to what we want in a Fable experience. This has also led Microsoft unsure as to what to do with this classic franchise and even though there are countless rumors that potentially hint at a new title in development, we aren’t all too sure as to what to expect as it might be another forgettable spin-off that wavers from the mainline entries.
While we are certain that Microsoft is listening to fans and the demand for a new Fable title, what would this new entry need to be a return to form as well as bringing the franchise back as one of the company’s main pillars? There are certainly many ways as to how Microsoft could go about with this and we don’t expect them to try to bring out another unfamiliar experience unless it is a complimentary title(s) that goes hand in hand with a new, full console game just like how the Halo and Gears of War series’ have been able to branch off with new entries and spin-offs that are loosely based (or completely non-canon) off the main franchises, but still deliver a valuable new product to play.
Focusing on what the “next” Fable game would be, it would certainly have to look back as to what made the original Fable and its sequels such terrific experiences. Prioritising on a story-driven experience that allows the player to have much say in the decisions and actions of the character would be crucial for a new Fable entry as it did play as the major selling point in all mainline titles. With the idea of players choosing their own paths, to craft their own story and to either be the hero or the villain would make every experience vastly different from one person to the next. It is something that has been present in many past titles outside of the Fable franchise but has slowly been cast aside for a more structured story-driven approach, but if done right, Microsoft could bring back this classic take and modernize it so that it can stand on its own to deliver a unique experience that isn’t delivered on any current platform.
Much has changed in the way that video games go about telling a story and while the players do have much control over the outcome of how they progress through each tale, it isn’t done in the same way as to how the Fable games used to do it with the impact of every choice vastly changing the course of the entire title. In most recent titles, even a drastic choice may not lead to a different outcome when completing the game, even if that game has an abundance of endings, they mostly stay the same without much variance between them. Being able to go back and evolve the core concept of past Fable entries and having meaningful and vastly different endings would surely be a costly, but also a beneficial way to reintroduce the franchise.
Upon exploring the idea of a focused narrative, a new Fable game would also need the luxury of a vast, and an intricate world to explore and to have those core elements to truly flourish. Looking at titles such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt was able to introduce players to a vastly interconnected fantasy world to explore and to make their mark with its fictional denizens. This proposed title would need to have a world similar to those experiences that the impact of each choice can be felt not only with one individual quest giver but also their families, friends and neighboring cities. Imagine completing a quest, where you are forced to either take a life of a thief and later on in the game, that individual’s son comes back to exact his revenge which may bar you from completing a tree of other side-quests.
With all of this said, this most likely be a next-generation Xbox title as there would be much to be worked upon to deliver such an experience, but it also allows Microsoft to maximize the potential of a new Fable entry. To have this game in the early stages of the next Xbox console would allow returning fans as well as introducing new ones to the Fable franchise which may bring forth a demand to see newer experiences or even depending on the success of this, could also bring forth an entirely modern trilogy. It may be high aspirations at this point, but the idea of a new Fable trilogy with a modern twist would be something that any Xbox owner could get behind.
Microsoft has done well to reinvigorate their brand and there is much hope in the future when it comes to their platforms, devices and properties and we hope to see these ideas exercised even more when it comes to their newest entries, specifically when revisiting past franchises. The Fable series has been one that truly changed the idea of story-driven experiences and we hope that we may have a new mainline title in the works to help redefine the franchise and bring it back to its former glory as well as to have it set aside with the likes of Halo and Gear of War. It will be an interesting few years to see what Microsoft has planned and we are hoping that this also involves bringing back the Fable franchise and make it part of the next generation of Xbox.