GDC08: Peter Molyneux talks Fable 2 features

Justin McElroy
J. McElroy|02.22.08

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GDC08: Peter Molyneux talks Fable 2 features

Want to know why Peter Molyneux's replacing your mini-map with a breadcrumb trail? Whether or not his character has unprotected sex? If same-sex marriage is still on the table? Journey on, dear reader, journey on.

"I'm just going to put the gum on the side of the monitor here. I'll remember to get it."

With that humble beginning, Peter Molyneux took the stage to reveal some features of his RPG adventure, Fable 2.

He started by speaking frankly about some of the places where Fable failed to meet its goals, including not fully exploiting how your choices can impact the world. He quickly moved on to big plans for Fable 2, including more people playing the game (naturally) and more "Wow!" moments.

Now, the big three features that are going to make Fable 2 "as good as any game out there." They are 1. Drama, 2. Combat and 3. Co-op.

Drama
Molyneux says he wants to make people care about things in the world, like the previously-announced dog, your family and the world itself. He shows the very first demo of the dog which looks, by his own admission, "a bit rubbish."

The world will show it's appreciation for you, for example, giving you free stuff for saving them from evil.

"I always get annoyed when I save the world and someone charges me for a medi-kit," he said. "It just seems a little mean."

Because of how much you'll care about the world, Molyneux reckons that only five percent of the people who play Fable 2 will be evil. He says, however, he's going to make it much harder to be good. To illustrate his point, he says that six hours into the game, you'll walk into a room and someone will ask you to sacrifice something so dear to you that you'll have to put down the controller and think.

Combat
Molyneux shows and early prototype of the single-button combat, and though the graphics are extremely simple, it looks super cool, thanks in no small part to tons of animations and dynamic music.

He says that the amount of experience you'll get in a fight is dependent on how cool you are, (i.e. fewer rewards for button mashing, more for stylish kills). Every stage for combat allows players to construct their own combat. The combat is also dynamic, allowing you to switch from guns to swords to magic mid-stream.

Co-op
He's only talking about half of the co-op, but what he's talking about sounds awesome. Not only will the guest be a henchman, the host will decide the experience split.

Now, he showed some gameplay of Fable 2's female character. He says that his character has been rejected by men, which has been a new experience. He's not sure if they'll be able to show her pregnancy (because of ratings issues), but it's something they're working on.

There's a safety setting that keeps the henchmen from attacking things in your world, Molyneux turned it off and promptly, accidentally attacked his dog, eliciting "Aww"s from the audience. He promptly apologized.

The demo
He points out the lack of a mini-map because "mini-maps are shit." He shows a breadcrumb trail (really) that leads you through the world. The dog's job, he says, is to try lead you off the breadcrumb trail. There's also a "lookout trigger" that you can pull to show yourself them most interesting thing in the world.

He shows off some combat ... and promptly kills his buddy. He tells the audience we "weren't supposed to see that," which makes us wonder if the half of co-op he can't talk about is that it can sometimes be competitive.

Molyneux goes to his home, and as he travels he talks about his husband, and how he originally used a condom but later decided to have unprotected sex. He shows his child, and he's adorable. (Side note: You can have same sex marriage, but you can't have children. Side side note: Some people have bent the rules and had surrogate parents.)

The fourth thing
He tells us that he's not, actually, allowed to talk about it, but it has to do with how Fable will touch more of the outside world. Still with the empty promises Molyneux? Still!? We kid, of course, because we love.
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