GDC 2012: Fable Heroes Coming To Xbox Live Marketplace

Lionhead Studios takes a more fast-paced approach to its adventure series.

With Game Developers Conference kicking off this week, many game companies are making announcements regarding new projects.  Lionhead Studios, headed up by Peter Molyneux, is no exception.  And while the company is expected to talk about its new Fable project for Kinect, it’s also ready to ramp up Fable Heroes, a game that was unveiled on the Xbox Live Marketplace this week.  But don’t go expecting just an ordinary Fable adventure.

As the listing indicates, Fable Heroes is an action-packed adventure built specifically for Xbox Live Arcade, putting a fresh spin on the usual Albion-based storyline and instead opting for a more hack-and-slash approach.  Maybe like Gauntlet, but with far more to do than just going around and taking on enemies.

For the first time in the Fable series, Heroes will introduce a huge multiplayer component.  Up to four players will be able to take part in both time trials working together, and in competition that is relayed through online leaderboards, so players can compete depending on how much they level up or what kind of gold currency they possess.  The game actually works competitively and cooperatively at the same time.  You’ll work with buddies to defeat enemies while collecting coins.

These coins aren’t just for boasting purposes.  You can actually use them in two consecutive ways.  The first involves leveling up your character, which provides access to additional power-ups, as well as new flourishes and finishing moves to take down enemies with.  The second allows you to unlock items in the upcoming Kinect-enabled Fable: The Journey, which is slated to launch later this year.

In addition to powering up your character, Fable Heroes also expands as you continue to play it.  This includes unlocking additional difficulty levels, as well as mini-games that you can play along with your friends.  That makes the game ideal not only for party players, but also newcomers being introduced to the series for the first time – as well as veterans who are ready for the challenge.  Board game challenges could be introduced to the game as well, though how has yet to be seen.  We’ve only seen a couple of screenshots indicating such a set-up.

We should get a better look at Fable Heroes this week at GDC, so stay tuned for more details!