An online-centric prequel in which four adventurers can choose to fight against a player-controlled villain, Fable Legends is obviously a bit of a departure for the franchise. There's still plenty of DNA in common with earlier Fable games, however - for one thing, there will be character-defining moral choices of a sort despite the presence of partly fixed classes.
"Different characters have their own different moralities, and there will be options you have along the way in your quest of doing something that's good or not so good, but most of your character's personality is established when you choose which character you want to play," game director David Eckelberry told OXM at Gamescom, as part of a preview you'll find in issue 104, on sale now.
"Some of our characters are dashing and brave and they're practically Superman - they're trying to do everything right all the time," he continued. "Some of our characters are in it for the money. Some of our characters are a little bit too violent, but they can kill these creatures and the rest of the world doesn't really mind - nobody wants to arrest them. So they like violence, but because they're on the side of good, they can get away with it.
"And we have another character who's just doing this because he's run up a really big bar tab, and if he doesn't pay it off he's in trouble."
Besides levelling and customising your own hero, you'll be able to form "relationships" with other hero classes, perhaps via side quests that sound redolent of Mass Effect's "loyalty" missions. "There are stories that are part of the main quest, there are side stories you can go on, that are part of that main story arch, and there are stories that matter more to your individual character, so your character can grow and develop as time goes on. You'll see your character's interaction with other heroes. They'll get better at it. They can develop relationships."
Four character classes have been unveiled so far, but Eckelberry says there are many more in the works. "As time goes on and we reveal more and more about the game, we're going to show you things like: which hero do you want to make next? And we'll show you concepts, and get the fans involved with that project."
Lionhead is designing Fable Legends to last five to ten years. One of the bigger mysteries right now is whether the new Fable will be always-online - Eckelberry feels there are advantages to the idea, but was unable to confirm anything during our chat. Read more in issue 104, along with new thoughts on Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct and Titanfall.