Fable 4 is purportedly in development, but the creator of the series, Peter Molyneux, is not involved. That hasn’t stopped him from stating what he would love to see in the game.
Fable is one of the most divisive gaming franchises ever devised, thanks to Molyneux. The man is ambitious if nothing else, as he loves to promise features in games all willy-nilly or exaggerate the capabilities of his games. This habit has resulted in a numerous broken promises (the most infamous being the “you can plant an acorn in Fable and watch it sprout into a tree” claim), followed by apologizing for breaking those promises, then making even more outlandish promises for future games, and finally breaking those promises. Over and over again. This cycle had seemingly been broken when Lionhead Studios closed its doors, which resulted in the cancellation of Fable Legends. But, now that production of a new Fable game is supposedly under way by Forza Horizon studio Playground Games, Molyneux has emerged from the woodwork to lay out his vision for the rumored game were he at the helm.
According to IGN, Molyneux wants Fable 4 to take a step back from the mechanized industrial revolution Albion of Fable 3 and go back before the events of the first game when Albion was a primative land and “the magic [was] much more attuned to nature.” Ideally, Molyneux wants the game to tell the story of the first days of The Guild, the organization that acted not unlike a medieval Justice League. But that’s just a rough draft of the story; the meat of Molyneux’s ideas come from game features.
According to Molyneux, if he were in charge, he would revamp the combat system (again) to include new weapons such as short swords, daggers, spears, and crossbows, each with its own combat system and features. He also would change the magic system (again) so players could “‘craft’ [their] own unique system,” whatever that means. Furthermore, instead of a trusty dog to aid you in combat, Molyneux would like Fable 4 to give players a choice magical animal familiars, including birds, cats, goldfish (yes, seriously), and, of course, dogs. Oh, and he still wants a dynamic combat system that can give players permanent scars, as well as new monsters to flesh out Fable‘s bestiary with more than just trolls, hobbes, beetles, and balverines. Some of these new creatures could include “god sized giants” (the planet-sized Gongen Wyzen from Asura’s Wrath comes to mind) and rideable dragons, which admittedly sounds cool.
The Fable franchise’s most iconic feature is its dynamic morphing system that alters the character model, weapons, and even the game world, and Molyneux’s ideal Fable 4 game would expand on that system with what sounds like character classes that are determined by player actions rather than stats. Players who like to sneak around and steal everything that isn’t nailed down would become thieves, while those who “adhere to a code of honour” would become knights, and so on. This is only the tip of the iceberg of what Molyneux would like in Fable 4, though. “I could go on forever about the beloved world of Fable,” stated Molyneux, and I believe him.
Here’s the odd thing about Molyneux’s past promises: most of them were limited by the technology available at the time, but we have made leaps and bounds since Fable 3. Much of what Molyneux wants in Fable 4 is actually feasible with modern game engines. Maybe the developers working on the game will actually implement some of his ideas, because who wouldn’t want to fight off a mountain-sized giant while launching fireballs with the help of a goldfish familiar while riding on a dragon? That’s the kind of glorious stupidity I love in video games.