The Fable series has had its ups and downs in recent years, as the role-playing franchise made by Lionhead brought forth an interesting story and many impressive concepts, but failed to deliver on some of them, while bugs and issues plagued recent iterations.
Until it releases Fable: The Journey
later this year, the studio has now launched Fable Heroes
, a more lighthearted take on the franchise, emphasizing cooperative action and fun-filled sequences, but also featuring several RPG mechanics.
Is this downloadable game worthy of the Fable name or has Lionhead once again sullied this once great franchise? Let’s have a quick look.
Right from the beginning, you notice that, while the stylized visuals seen in actual Fable games are still present, you’re dealing with a much more cartoonish world, starting right with the protagonists who are four different puppets that each has their skills, weapons and abilities.
The game emphasizes cooperative action, whether locally or online, so if you decide to play alone, you’ll be paired up with three AI-controlled companions.
While they’re not that bad at first, you’ll soon become annoyed with them, as they easily steal gold coins that fall from enemies and even precious hearts that cure your hero.
In combat against regular foes your teammates are quite decent but, when you face off against more powerful bosses, they’re pretty useless and will soon die. Thankfully, they can still provide a bit of help, as their ghosts linger on.
Combat in general is simple enough, as you have light and heavy attacks, although the latter take a bit too long to charge, as well as combat rolls that are much faster than just running around the battlefield.
The game also throws in special power-up chests that can give you an array of temporary powers, from extra speed, to increasing or decreasing your size, and other such boosts. During certain moments you can also pick between good or bad chests, each with different kinds of surprises.
Sadly, while the game emphasizes combat, you’ll mostly want to run around and collect coins that drop from enemies or interactive objects. Seeing as how the result at the end of the round rewards players based on their gold cache, it’s better to leave combat to others and just run around them collecting the gold dropped by vanquished enemies, even if you didn’t actually slay them.
The upgrade mechanic for Fable Heroes is a bit too random, as you move around a sort of monopoly board and can only enhance the powers on which your pawn has landed. If you want to improve your attack skills and fell on the defensive square, then roll the die again and hope that you fall into the right section.
You can check out Fable Heroes in action thanks to the video above.
Worth a full Softpedia review: No