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Postcards From Albion: A Fable Primer

The list of backward-compatible Xbox 360 games available on the Xbox One continues to grow, and among them is one of our favorite role-playing games, Fable II. If you’ve never experienced the Xbox 360 Fable games, now’s a great time jump in with the upcoming release of Fable Legends just around the corner. The Fable games are quirky, full of great combat and rife with humor.

The Fable series is a collection of fantasy RPGs set in the fictional world of Albion, a land full of magic. In each game, you play as a customizable hero who changes in skill and appearance based on your decisions. Do good things, and your hero becomes more pure and charming… but use your powers for wicked, and your hero will take on a more devilish appearance. Back in 2004 when the original Fable came out, these kinds of branching story lines and evolving character appearances were breakthrough features. Fast forward a decade and the series’ influence has spread to numerous western RPGs.

The world of Albion changes dramatically over the course of the three games. The original Fable’s world was a medieval land, with a few villages and cities sprinkled throughout the countryside. Fable II takes place 500 years later and Albion has entered something of an age of enlightenment. Fable III takes it even further down the line, with Albion entering its own industrial revolution. In each game, your hero embarks on a long, arduous quest to stop a great evil that could destroy the world. You play as a different hero each time, but you’ll see some familiar faces in each game, including Theresa, a blind witch who has a particular connection with one of your heroes, and your loyal canine companion.

The Fable series is one of the funniest game franchises around, featuring a Monty Python-esque sense of humor. Flatulence jokes, chicken abuse, pop culture references and a lot of quippy British one-liners fill the story. It even allows you to perform vulgar actions with just a press of the d-pad. It also boasts an impressive cast of voice actors that includes Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Michael Fassbender, Naomie Harris, Simon Pegg, Nolan North and Nicholas Hoult.

Part of what makes the Fable games so compelling is all the stuff that you can do – and we’re not just talking about side quests to earn extra gold (though there is plenty of that as well). The Fable series lets you gamble, get married, travel the world with your dog, learn harsh truths about the dangers of excessive philandering, and build and improve your own home.

And let’s not forget combat: The Fable series has been praised for its combat system, rewarding players for making well-executed kills and using the variety of skills and weapons at their disposal. A diverse roster of enemies, including trolls, bandit leaders, and fearsome beasts, test your abilities and reward you greatly for quick reflexes and well-planned attacks. As you travel through each of the games’ many adventures, fighting hordes of enemies along the way, your hero will acquire impressive new powers and become a battle-hardened legend throughout Albion.

Whether you’re new to the series or a returning fan, the Fable games are definitely worth jumping into. The world of Albion has a ton to explore in all of its incarnations. Begin your journey by grabbing Fable II on November 12 via Xbox One Backward Compatibility!