Announced at Gamescom 2013, Microsoft and Lionhead Studios’ Fable Legends has now switched from a paid-for experience to a free-to-play title. The four-versus-one online multiplayer experience pits four hero characters against a single villain character who will have access to minions and traps in order to thwart the four, goody two-shoes dorks. Remember kids: evil will always triumph because good is dumb.
With the switch to a free-to-play mechanic, Microsoft and Lionhead have opted to follow Riot Games’ suit insofar as hero rotation is concerned. Similarly to League of Legends, Fable Legends (oh wait hang on… even the names are similar) will rotate available heroes that will be free to use. You can, if you wish, choose to purchase a hero so that he or she is permanently available to you.
The villain character sounds like it works a little differently: you’ll be given access to specific creatures and traps depending on what quests you’re undertaking. Villain monetisation will allow you to purchase specific creatures and traps to use irrespective of the quest you’re currently playing.
Any progress you make with a character will be bound to your account. That means you won’t be starting from scratch the next time a free hero cycles round. What’s more, any unlocks you make on either platform (Xbox One or Windows 10 PC) will carry over to the other platform.
Microsoft recently announced that Xbox One and Windows 10 PC players will be able to play against each other in cross-platform multiplayer games. However, Xbox One players will need Xbox LIVE Gold to play; Windows 10 PC players won’t have this requirement.
Insofar as a physical release is concerned, Lionhead and Microsoft have nothing to share at present other than that they’re looking into the option.
So then, this is quite a drastic shift in gameplay and monetisation for the Fable series. It kind of leaves me wondering whether or not this will be only a Fable game in name. There’s no word as to what this means for the game’s single-player offering, but Lionhead has said that you’ll be able to play the story from beginning to end without spending any money.