Fable Previews

A whole flock of Fable previews have hit the web, now that the Game Developers Conference is over. The first is over at GameSpot:

We were also able to see these quests in action in the opening levels of Fable–basically, how the game begins. Since the game is intended to let you fully live out the life of a hero, you’ll actually start out as a small child. Your character’s father gives you the simple task of purchasing a birthday present for your younger sister. You can acquire these funds by running through your village and performing errands for your neighbors, and completing them the “good” way will often earn you a shiny gold piece from your approving father. However, you’ll also have the option to complete your quests in an “evil” fashion, and in these cases, you may end up getting the money through more-dubious means.

The second is at GameSpy:

Renown is one of the most important stats in Fable. Being well known will provide the hero with many bonuses, as NPCs will recognize him and be more likely to offer assistance. Players can expect to gain renown by completing quests. Just how much they earn will often be determined by the use of the “boasting stone.” While standing upon said rock, the player can make certain claims about the outcome of the upcoming quest. Is it possible to finish without using a single potion? Maybe the quest can be completed wearing nothing but underwear. If successful, extra experience will be rewarded. But if the mission is a failure, the hero may soon be known as, “the one who makes false promises.”

The third is at IGN Xbox:

The targeting system for Fable is as simple as walking around the environment and paying attention to which characters become highlighted as you come near them. They’ll be surrounded by a colored aura. Green means they have something of interest to tell you, purple means they’re neutral, while red means they’ll be hostile and most likely will want to fight. From what we can tell green characters usually have something to tell you related to the story or mission critical. Neutral character may not be important but they can also have interesting tidbits to give you, they just won’t necessarily help you along the way. While targeting characters is important, we also noticed some commands can be done in general directions and towards a group of characters. The famous scenario where your main character can drop his trousers in front of a group of schoolchildren is a reality in Fable and we even saw him flip the bird to the whole group of kids. Their reaction wasn’t as horrified as you might think but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying. You’ll use expressions to get townsfolk to follow you on adventures so you’ll have witnesses to your great or dastardly deeds. These people will then spread the word about you one way or another and you’ll then begin to see people reacting (or not reacting) to your mere presence.

The fourth is at 1Up:

The town Fable begins in serves to introduce the game’s character-interaction system, which is among the most complex seen in any action RPG. When you approach someone, he or she will be bordered by a sort of aura, the color of which reveals his or her current attitude towards your character — green for receptive, yellow for indifferent, and red for hostile. To start up a regular conversation, all you need to do is walk up and press the A button, the equivalent of a friendly hello. However, sometimes this isn’t quite enough — and that’s where Fable’s expression system comes in. Your character, as he grows, learns a vast set of facial expressions and body language, which you can assign to the Xbox controller’s digital pad freely. These run the gamut from waving and flirting (nice for attracting ladies) to farting and the old one-finger salute (useful for provoking enemies). These actions can help change an NPC’s attitude towards you, and that — along with the reputation you build by completing quests — could help open doors to new jobs and paths that would otherwise be locked away. (That’s how you find out about your lost family, although you’re actually free to ignore that plot point for over half of the game if you like.)

The fifth is at HomeLan Fed:

Evem though Fable’s premise is somewhat unique, a lot of the game is fairly standard RPG fare and that’s by the developer’s design. You still go on quests, collect money and items, fight monsters (we saw a large battle between our hero and a giant wasp for example) and so on, except that all of these events no longer happen in a vacuum but affect people and yourself as you play the game.

And the sixth can be found at Gamer-Talk.net:

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Albion is another typical fantasy game city. You’ll find no elves here, nor will you spot any orcs or hobbits. Albion is almost living, in fact, which seriously sets it apart from other ‘˜fantasy cities’. Every one of its environments varies from the other, and it holds many dark secrets that aren’t seen by the naked eye. It’s always changing, since the game occurs in real-time; shadows constantly move and lighting is always changing, due to the game’s continuous cycle of day and night. The city also houses some interesting, non-generic fantasy creatures, such as earth trolls, balverines (bi-pedal, clawed predators), giant scorpions, flying nymphs, and disfigured zombies, in company of hundreds of NPCs.

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