'Fable' 4: 6 Gameplay and Story Elements the Series X Game Must Have

Fable 4 was announced as Fable during the Xbox Series X games showcase this month, and the long-awaited reveal has us hungry for a deeper look at what Playground Games' upcoming title has to offer. Given that it's been a full decade since the arrival of Fable III, here are six things we'd like to see in its next-gen successor.

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'Fable' is in development for Xbox Series X and PC. Here are six things we want to see in the upcoming game. Playground Games/Microsoft

1) A truly open world: Fable games had decent-sized worlds for their time, but there's no denying even Fable III was outclassed by games like Red Dead Redemption and Skyrim that were also released on Xbox 360. With the supposed unrivaled power of Xbox Series X, it's time to experience the Fable world we truly deserve. That means there should be sprawling landscapes with no load times during traversal. Environments should be lush, detailed and seamless. In this era of gaming, that's the least an open-world game should have.

Assuming that much is true, players must also have new ways of getting around the map. Fast travel is fine when appropriate, but what about horses or other mounts? With bigger land masses, there must be new ways to explore them. Also important is a variety of NPCs littered in all that extra space. Give us lengthy, tiered side quests that unravel based on the story we've decided to tell. In other words, learn some lessons from Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and then pour Fable sauce all over it.

2) Meaningful Choices: The original Fable pioneered choice in video games by allowing your character to be good or evil based on the choices they make. But, aside from the horns or halo near your head, the distinction didn't do much. In a next-gen game, that choice really needs to mean something.

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In the next 'Fable' your choices should really matter. Lionhead Studios/Microsoft

Morality should be at the center of the new Fable. Questlines should open or close based on your standing with other characters. Shop prices should differ depending on your reputation with various factions. Perhaps most importantly, there should be a series of vastly different endings based on choices made at key narrative moments and the good or evil status of your character. Give fans a reason for multiple playthroughs on the good path, evil path and something in between.

3) Humor: In the previous Fable games, the development team at Lionhead did a fantastic job of injecting the series with a unique sense of British style. Under the helm of Playground Games, we hope that element is as present as ever. Microsoft already has its gritty franchises, with the likes of Halo and Gears of War, and Fable has the opportunity to be something totally different. The reveal trailer was certainly a promising tone piece in that regard, but we hope that sensibility stays intact as development continues.

4) Deeper Combat Customization: As awesome as the story and basic conceits of the first trilogy were, its combat wasn't the best. Compared to the Spider-Man, God of War and Ghost of Tsushima of our day, that old style of combat is way too simple to be effective.

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'Fable' could use a boost in its combat for the next-gen title. Lionhead Studios/Microsoft

The new Fable doesn't have to be drenched in skill trees or RPG elements, but it could benefit from some of that stuff. Give players opportunities to change how their character fights. Let us mix and match spells or gain new abilities as we level up. By the end of the game, make us feel like we've truly mastered a set of mechanics, instead of repeating the same basic maneuvers from start to finish.

5) City Development: Fable II famously had a feature in which a town's economy would change based on what the player bought or sold there. Despite being very unique, it was largely diminished in Fable III. In the upcoming title, we'd like to see the concept brought back and expanded. Rather than impacting economies, let players own entire sections of the map and supply them with items found in the open world. It doesn't have to be insanely extensive, but it should tow the line between the camp in Red Dead Redemption 2 and the city control aspects of Assassin's Creed. Let our character have a true impact on the lands they inhabit.

6) A New Story: As much as we enjoyed the old lore, the intervening decade since the last Fable game has likely prompted us to forget most of it. With that in mind, we hope this new Fable is a chance for a fresh start with a truly engaging narrative. Let the old trilogy stand on its own, and make this something else entirely. A few Easter egg references to the previous series would be nice, but otherwise we hope Playground Games is beholden to literally nothing with regard to telling its own bespoke tale.

Fable is in development for Xbox Series X and PC, with no known release window.

What do you hope to see from Fable? Is there anything else we missed? Tell us in the comments section!