Fable Heroes is a major departure for Lionhead's series both stylistically and gameplay-wise, but in a recent interview lead designer Ted Timmins explained how the four-player brawler was conceived.
"It all started over a cup of coffee," he told Edge. "We were having kind of a nostalgic reflection on modern-day games and the games that we grew up playing, and how there aren't enough fourplayer brawlers these days. So we thought, well, why not try our hand at making a Gauntlet-inspired Fable game?"
Timmins also cited Turtles In Time, Streets Of Rage, and Street Fighter II as influences. He then explained why the game will appeal to different niches of Fable's audience:
It's really difficult, because Fable inherently has always been RPG-lite – we try to appeal to a younger demographic. With Fable Heroes we wanted to still appeal to that, but at the same time we read the forums, we read people saying, 'We want a tougher Fable game, it's too easy, make it harder!'. So that's where Challenging mode came in … Then there's Family mode. We did a lot of user research on Heroes, and there were a lot of parents who played it that said, 'Oh, I'd love to play this with my kids, but it was perhaps a bit too competitive'. That's where Family mode came in: you don't have individual scores, you have a team score, and everyone's a winner.
Fable Heroes hits XBLA on May 2.
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