What did everyone make of the Fable series?


Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2021
I've never played the first game in the series, or it's remake, but I have played and enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd, despite their flaws.

What I've loved about them is the quirky, out of this world kind musical score you got in the menus in the 2nd game, which I think was missing from the 3rd but it too had some rather nice music. And I loved the humour and the pop culture references, it kind of felt a bit Monty Python in tone in many cases, which I'm all for, and I hope the 4th game retains. The ability to switch between melee, ranged and magic attacks was good, and the use and options for emotions in the 2nd was interesting, and horribly limited in the 3rd. Both have a lot of charm that kind of draws you in.

The flaws stand out more and more as time has not been kind on the flaws these games have. Laggy controls in certain situations, stiff animations, slow loading, and the fact that each game seems to strip down fun features and game mechanics from the previous game to a more bare minimum, can be irksome and leave you feeling robbed. The massive amount of menus that you had to keep wading through in the 2nd made me wonder what they were thinking, while the 3D menu system in the 3rd does work, it does make you wonder why they didn't go with a more traditional menu system used in numerous other games even before the OG Fable was made.

I've enjoyed the stories in both, even though you can see certain plots points are just the same, I'm pretty sure that is intentional, but some story line elements are a bit bizarre and even nonsensical. If the arena competitors are all physically strong but mentally weak, how are they supposed to stand a chance of winning? Why does Lucian have such weak slaves when he has such strong guards? Why does he starve the slaves/prisoners? I'm putting it down to Lucian being an idiot, but the story line never makes it clear that he is stupid.

Then there's your dog in Fable 2. By the end of the game, the dog is maybe twenty years old? Possibly older? How? Again, I'm thinking the dog is magical, possibly even sent by Theresa to help you as a child, but again, that's me making assumptions.
I played 1 and 3, and enjoyed them both. I tried to play 1 again recently, but found it very clunky. I suspect that it was rather different when it came out. 3 is an odd game, especially once you've finished the main story and are trying to shore up the kingdom against the invading horde. As to the details of the stories, I just thought "It's fantasy computer game stuff" and didn't note it as particularly good or bad.

I think the real strength of the Fable games is that they have charm, which a lot of fantasy games don't. They tend to come in a few flavours these days: tough-guys slitting throats in mud; anime child-women doing OTT magic; just plain Tolkien rip-offs and so on, and none of those tend to be especially fun (at least in my book). I liked the slightly cartoony feel of Fable, the silly humour, and the art style. It could be darker when it wanted, but it never felt the need to get angsty. It never felt by-the-numbers.

I think it's a great shame that Fable Legends was cancelled. It looked like a lot of fun. I bought the art book and it did look very cool indeed.