Rediscovering Albion and excessive flatulence in Fable II
There was great excitement in the office when the news broke that Playground Games (the studio behind the Forza Horizon series) is working on a new Fable game, and with the prospect of a return to Albion firmly in my mind, I decided it was time for another go with one of my favorite games on Xbox 360: Fable II. Set 500 years after the first game, it boasts a more fleshed out world and some wondrously funny writing.
You play as Sparrow, who sees a tragedy as a child before becoming an adult (as you do) and adventuring across Albion. He searches for the descendants of great heroes and aims to put a stop to the evil Lord Lucien, with plenty of mishaps along the way. It’s open-world so you have a lot of freedom, so you can be super evil if you wish. With its emphasis on humor, the things you’re capable of doing and the reactions citizens have are often surprising.
I had forgotten the joy of the moment you discover you can fart on command with the press of a button, so of course I do so everywhere I go, be that out in the woods or in the center of town. Most seem repulsed by my gassy display, but others whoop and applaud, and some even seem to be rather intoxicated by my impromptu performances. I secretly wish trying to pick up dates was as easy as just letting one rip and having them judge the outcome; anyone who is attracted to that is the type of man I know I could party with.
In the doghouse
Speaking of making friends, I’m also thankful for my canine companion— he’s adorable, and stops me from getting lonely as I walk across the countryside. He’s also rather helpful, pointing out digging spots for me and unearthing everything from treasure to condoms. It’s at the point where I uncover my first little rubber marvel that one of the game’s unique mechanics comes back to me, where having unprotected sex (shown with a censoring fade to black, of course) can lead to unwanted pregnancy or even STDs. Yikes. It makes me wonder about the rumored remake. It was a very different time when the first games came out and was handled with a nod and a wink—would a new game ever bring that aspect back? How would they handle it now? You would expect families and relationships to return, but letting you get someone else pregnant and then running off never to be seen again feels weird now. As does initiating orgies by seducing multiple townspeople at once. Sex is a core part of the Fable series’ identity, but if not handled well in a modern version it’ll be absolutely crucified for it. It’s a very narrow tightrope to walk if Playground wants to maintain that cheekiness without being insulting, and it’s difficult to picture a studio that’s famous for driving games being great at handling sex.
Albion is a beautiful, varied place that feels fantastic to explore, so a
Witcher- like traditional fantasy RPG approach would also fit the setting, side-stepping the childish humor aspect of the series completely. Though while that fits the location, would it really be a Fable game without its slightly rude quirkiness? If my replay has taught me anything, it’s that if the rumored new Fable game is to succeed, all it needs to do is embrace the small silly moments that naturally emerge. That includes more good dogs, and a greater variation of farts—that’s enough of a game to make anyone happy.
“When I uncover my first little rubber marvel one of the game’s unique mechanics comes back to me”