The always ambitious Lionhead boss, Peter Molyneux, sat down with reporters during GDC08 to outline the Fable 2 co-op experience in greater detail. Peter discusses the differences between men and women, family life and values and the dangers of giving gamers this much control in a universe while strolling through the beautifully lit world around him. It's an interesting video and gets us ludicrously excited for the game that can't ship fast enough. Fable 2 is set for a 2008 release, but specifics about a release have yet to be revealed.
Take this with a giant retailer wants preorders grain of salt, but it could make sense. If Gears of War 2 was to hit in fall of 2008 (Read: naw son!) then Fable 2 could be the game that leads into the fourth quarter push much like Crackdown did in 2007. However, Fable 2 is a big franchise for Microsoft and would most likely ship during the busy holiday season. Also, retailers are sort of keen on picking release dates out of hats.
[Thanks, Rob K]
You've got to love Hobbes, the little gremlin sword-fodder that littered the landscape of the original Fable. As you might expect, the Hobbes are making a return appearance in Fable 2, and Lionhead has released some official renders of how the creatures will appear in the game. Put simply, they look great. The models are super smooth, delectably ugly, and definitely a step ahead of those found in the original Fable. They just make you want to slice their little bellies open, don't they? Yes, they look like the perfect test for one button combat. We've added them to our Fable 2 gallery, along with some screenshots that we seemed to miss during the madness of E3. Check all the shots in the gallery below.
Next Generation has put together its own list of the best upcoming games of 2008, a popular thing to do at this time of year. Their list has an interesting twist though: estimated sales numbers. Each game is given a three month sales projection derived by taking sales of previous entries in a franchise (or similar games in the case of new franchises) and tacking on expected sales increases for 2008. Most titles are nestled somewhere in the 300,000 - 900,000 sales range. Undoubtedly though, the one game predicted to blow the competition away is none other than Grand Theft Auto IV, projected to sell between 3.5 and 4 million copies. The only titles close to this number are Fable 2 which could go as high as 1.3 million and Fallout 3 and Halo Wars, both of which could break 1 million. Granted, these are all merely predictions, but we'd say it's a pretty safe bet that Grand Theft Auto IV will be the game to beat in 2008.
[Via Evil Avatar]
Okay, we might as well face it, we're not going to make it into Fable 2 as an NPC. That honor will go to exceedingly generous and wealthier people than us. How about this then: how would you like your very own title of dishonor to make it into Fable 2? See, in the first game, if you got enough people to hate you, you could "earn" the title of Arseface. Apparently Lionhead finds this title a little boring and wants something more distinctive the second time around. That's where you, the loyal fans, come in. Lionhead has sent out a call on the Fable 2 development blog asking for gamers to submit their insults. The best one, in theory, will make it into Fable 2. We've seen some good ones already -- we're particularly fond of "Phlegmpot" -- but we know you can come up with better. Head on over to the blog and do your
Peter Molyneux says it all the time. When you play Fable 2, he wants you to really feel something. As Eurogamer reports, Lionhead's staging director Georg Backer, who spoke in Molyneux's stead at GCDC in Europe, wants Fable 2 to be on par with movies and television as an entertainment choice. In order to achieve this end, Lionhead has been employing several techniques used in the movies and television to craft Fable 2. For instance, the company hired a sword master who worked on movies like Gladiator and Troy to help them design the combat. Lionhead has also worked with a film editor to better understand the best way to present the action to the player. Backer noted that realism isn't necessarily what's important. What's important, Backer said, is "that the drama is conveyed on-screen." Achieving such goals in the movies, says Backer, often involves distorting realism in favor of what conveys the proper meaning. "For us," said Backer, "this is a really new thing and we really desperately want to make sure that this drama and emotion gets pushed in games."
A noble goal indeed. Might we suggest the gang at Lionhead take some time to research BioShock while they're at it?
The latest episode of the Fable 2 video diary is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace (we also have it embedded at the top of this post, courtesy of Gamersyde). The latest episode, as you might expect, focuses on the combat of Fable 2. As you may have read right here on X3F, Fable 2's combat is all pulled from single button presses. Every action performed is based on the context in which it is performed. So, having an enemy up against a wall will produce a different action than, say, sneaking up from behind. The episode also tells us a little bit about how the animators created the combat animations (hint: they played with swords). Fable 2 fans should definitely give the video a look.
Another of the more bizarre moments of the interview occurred during the discussion on Microsoft's performance in Japan. According to Kim, Resident Evil 5 for the Xbox 360 was supposed to be "the big announcement." We're a little puzzled by this -- as was Game Informer -- considering the game was announced for PS3 and 360 just over two years ago. Read the full interview after the jump.
You may or may not know this, but Peter Molyneux has something of a silver tongue. Having witnessed its power at GDC when he revealed "the dog," we weren't sure what to expect at the E3 Fable 2 presentation. Of course, Peter employed that same silver tongue to describe the original Fable, which, while being a good game in its own right, wasn't exactly what he promised. So, when he told us that Fable 2's combat is controlled with one button, we were a bit skeptical.
After sampling the delights of Fable 2 (more on that soon) we had a little chat with Peter Molyneux about death. Specifically, we talked about how death would be treated in Fable 2. Typically, death in video games means loading the previous checkpoint or restarting a given level. According to Molyneux, such will not be the case in Fable 2. Instead, when overpowered and bested by an enemy, players will be left with a permanent reminder of their defeat: a scar. Granted, the scars are cosmetic, but they do affect how NPCs perceive the main character. The idea apparently came to Molyneux after watching Casino Royale, in which James Bond undergoes particularly brutal torture during one scene and finds himself in the arms of a woman during the next. According to Molyneux, "In Hollywood, heroes always win the day." That's all well and good, but what if you don't like the idea of being disfigured? Players will have two choices it seems: don't lose, or you can pay a hefty fee to keep your attackers from scarring you. Molyneux revealed that testers are willing to lay down hefty sums of gold -- 1000, which is enough to buy a hut -- in order to avoid scarring. So there you have it, you won't die in Fable 2 -- even bosses can't kill you, but they leave deeper scars -- but you'll pay a price (one way or another) for failing in combat.
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, Fable fans of all ages, the first Lionhead Video Diary is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace. You can also grab it from Lionhead's website. Of course, if you're not too picky about fancy res-molutions, you can watch it right here in this post. If you kept track of Fable 2 during GDC, then you won't find too much new information here, although you will get a few cursory glances at the game in development and a high resolution fly-through of some of the environments. Give it a watch and tell us what you think.
Note to Lionhead: let's put more gameplay into the next video diary, hmm?
Check out more of Molyneux's candid discussion in Loinhead's complete video interview posted after the break.
A new community update for Fable 2 has been deployed, with a handful of new concept sketches to go with it. The art is mostly some different character designs, but it also includes the super spooky image you see above. It makes us think of vampires and werewolves and people with thick accents. The update doesn't contain much in the way of new information. Basically, everything is going according to plan (designers are designing, planners are planning, etc.). The update concludes by letting us know that the Lionhead Video Diary is still on the way. We can't wait. Hit the "read" link for the update.