Sunday Bits

TODAY: Get a quick recap of all the week's top stories - we go back to 2005 to check out Fable: The Lost Chapters in this week's Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past

Slay the dragon, save the world, and chase chickens in Fable: The Lost Chapters

The original action RPG Fable from Peter Molyneux and Lionhead Studios released back in 2004, first for the original Xbox and then on PC in 2005. Technically the game wasn’t complete until The Lost Chapters ‘expansion’ arrived that actually finished the game with a new area and a final showdown with Jack of Blades.

The entire premise was defining what it meant to be a Hero in the magic and monster-filled world of Albion, or at least what this particular playthrough thought a Hero should be. We all started off the same as a young boy with a sister we needed to buy a birthday present for and that meant earning some gold. Even at the very start we get a taste of the moral pitfalls and enticements ahead.

Things start off where we aid or stand up to a slightly bigger kid being a bully, or whether we let a little vandal convince us to smash some barrels we’re meant to be guarding, but it speaks of the moral forks in the road ahead of us as we grow up. We’ll be growing up pretty fast too as what begins as a gift giving exercise turns into a massacre of the village, and soon enough we’re shipped off to the Heroes' Guild to begin our new life and to avenge our family.

"You don't look much like Hero material to me. But Maze knows what he's doing, I suppose."

Once we’re here and past the glorified tutorial we can set out into the world proper, and it’s here we can strut our stuff. First you’ll be deciding if its melee, ranged or magic you prefer and then overtime if you’re more prone to being a good guy or a selfish - and literally nicknamed - arseface. It was this freedom to define our Hero that made Fable so alluring to play, and of course all the silly humour of the people living in the world.

Despite being funny, Fable was actually a rather dark and foreboding adventure. Many of its monsters are based off fables, and it has its own version of mythical creatures like werewolves - only they’re called Balverines. We get to chop off trophy parts a bit like The Witcher, to exclaim our prowess to the common folk and even to hang up houses. Who can forget the eerily child-like Hobbs? Creepy.

It wasn’t just about accepting quests to swing swords or hurl fire around as you could make your mark by buying homes and becoming something of a small-time property mogul. You could be a sneaky little thief that would actually break into houses at night, carefully tip-toeing around to pinch valuables and then fence the goods.

”Your Health is Low. Do you have any potions? Or food?”

Albion’s people had little lives to lead as you went about slaying monsters and having showdowns with the infamous Jack of Blades terrorising the world with his otherworldly minions. The people would comment on your clothing, demeanour, accomplishments, your nickname, age, past crimes and all sorts. Going into town would very quickly remind you of past deeds, and whether Albion reckoned you an alright sort or a dodgy nuisance.

Spending experience was done back at the Guild of Heroes, because there was more than just one ‘Hero’ adventuring about. As you’d improve your abilities your Hero would actually age, and the more evil, good, magic or brawny you became in stats the more your character would morph to reflect it. What other RPG lets you decide between opening a woman’s shelter in swamp, or keeping it as a seedy brothel? These are the tough choices facing Albion’s mightiest.

The world of Albion was expansive and rich to explore, and always seemed to be hiding a secret somewhere - even if it was an Easter Egg. It’s what started the amazing lore-rich universe of Fable, and despite its many stumbles since, Fable: The Lost Chapters remains one of the great RPGs to let you decide what kind of Hero will be out to save the world, making a tidy sum of gold along the way.

Where to get Fable: The Lost Chapters today?

You can grab the original experience of Fable: The Lost Chapters from the Steam store, and it’s there in all its glory for such a pittance. Of course if you think its looks are a little too dated then there was the more recent Fable Anniversary remaster, which is also available on Steam for PC and the Microsoft Store for Xbox One. As a Fable purist I’d have to recommended the original, which is also way cheaper.

Weekly Top Stories Recap

New Switch model coming mid 2020?

Despite analysts agreeing that Nintendo is unlikely to fragment the Switch user base and development community with an upgraded flagship console, another report claims that “new model of Switch” is just around the corner.

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The Switch has already been through one hardware revision, incorporating the updated chipset from the Switch Lite into the flagship model – and there are persistent rumours about a more powerful Switch Pro.

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are due late 2020

DigiTimes reports that the new Switch model will “begin volume production at the end of first-quarter 2020” according to“sources from the related upstream supply chain.” However, there's no word on exactly what this new model actually is – so it could just be another hardware revision.

Sony and Microsoft are both gearing up to start the new console generation in the final quarter of 2020, and it's not unlikely that Nintendo has a plan to stay in the race.

On the other hand, Nintendo has not really been competing on performance since the GameCube and the Switch was released 3 years after the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – or 3 years before the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, depending on how you look at it.

Sony presents incredible PS4 sale numbers and reveals PS5 logo at CES

Sony has been the undisputed leader of this console generation ever since the PlayStation 4 was launched back in 2013. At CES, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan revealed that the PlayStation 4 has sold 104 million units, which makes it the second best-selling console behind the PlayStation 2, which sold 158 million units. Sony has sold 5 million PlayStation VR headsets, and no less than 1.15 billion games for the PlayStation 4.

Jim Ryan also introduced the PlayStation 5 logo, which looks exactly like you might expect. The font and logo keeps the style introduced with the PlayStation 3 Slim and used for all models of the PlayStation 4. Considering how well-established the PlayStation name and numbering is and how much ridicule Microsoft recently suffered, Sony's probably smart to play it safe.

PS4 owners on average purchase eleven games throughout the console’s lifespan

Sony has been pretty careful about revealing too much about the PlayStation 5, but we know the core features: GPU featuring hardware ray-tracing, 8K output and SSD storage. The actual CPU and GPU specifications are still under wraps, but it is most likely similar to the next Xbox, since AMD is delivering the chipset for both consoles. All will most likely be revealed over the course of the year.

Resident Evil 3 remake 90% complete

Capcom is applying the last few touches to the Resident Evil 3 Remake, so the game will not see any delays according to a Famitsu interview with producers Masao Kawada and Peter J. Fabiano.

The game's high concept is the ‘fear of being relentlessly pursued’, embodied by Nemesis. Resident Evil 2 Remake was more about the fear of zombies, while Resident Evil 3 Remake will be more action-oriented and presumably rely more on Nemesis pursuing you to create tension.

Nemesis was inspired by T-1000 from Terminator 2

Jill Valentine is the star of the show, and Capcom has been careful to keep her design familiar. Her design will emphasize her beauty, while her outfit is more ‘tactically suitable’ to suit the more action-packed story.

The story remains similar to the original game, but will be rearranged – apparently more so than Resident Evil 2 Remake was. Carlos has had a bit of a make-over, but retains his charming and passionate personality, while Brad Vickers is expected to reappear – although something has changed for the S.T.A.R.S team.

Resident Evil 3 Remake hits PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on April 3rd.

Pokémon Direct: Separate Expansion Passes for Pokémon Sword and Shield

Nintendo's latest Pokémon Direct has revealed that there's DLC on the way for Pokémon Sword & Shield, which you can unlock with the Expansion Pass.

There are two different Expansion Passes, one for each version of the game. The DLC will feature two new areas – The Isle of Armor and The Crowned Tundra – as well as new customization options, trainers, rivals and challenges and of course: New pokémon.

You can start new adventures using your old save data

The two new areas are part of the Galar region, and seems to be based on Ireland and Scotland. The new pokémon includes a new kung-fu fighter from the Isle of Armor that sports Gigantamax and can evolve into two different styles of fighter. Crowned Tundra will feature a new legendary that ‘once ruled over the land’.

Around 200 classic pokémon will be added alongside the new areas, and they can be collected even without an Expansion Pass thanks to trading. The Isle of Armor DLC will launch in June, while Crowned Tundra will appear later in autumn. Each Expansion Pass will cost $30 and be available for pre-order on the Nintendo eShop soon.

Assassin's Creed Ragnarok to feature more RPG mechanics

It's not exactly a huge surprise that Ubisoft's next entry in the Assassin's Creed series will keep building on the RPG mechanics established in the very successful Assassin's Creed Origins.

The leaks stem from 4Chan so a pinch of salt is advised, but several points have been independentely confirmed so it doesn't seem to be invented from whole cloth.

The biggest news is four-player drop-in/out co-op, and a massive map covering Northern Europe. Ubisoft is expected to announce Assassin's Creed Ragnarok at a PlayStation event next month, and the release date is supposed to be September this year.

Highlights:

  • New weapon durability system
  • Smaller inventory that can be expanded by upgrades
  • Adrenaline will be replaced by Berserker Mode powered by elemental runes
  • Sailing will return, with more emphasis on exploration and less on combat
  • Improved parkour mechanics, particularly when interacting with trees
  • Hidden blade is back along with one hit kills and customization options
  • Stealth will be governed by particular skills, hiding in crowds requires disguise
  • Expanded reputation system gates missions and involve factors like particular cities and officials, as well as clothing and crimes
  • Conquest battles are back and allow players to wrest control of settlements from the Templar
  • Dynamic wars and territorial disputes between kingdoms, players can capture settlements for fun and profit
  • Players can organize and join raids on settlements, cities and forts
  • Assassins seem to have some kind of connection to the Norse god Odin
  • Difficulty now determines parry windows, health and reaction times and not just enemy health
  • Improved progression system similar to Skyrim, no more level-locked regions
  • Skills unlock through story progression or skill point expenditure

Weekly Giveaway Winners

Blackmoor 2 on Nintendo Switch

Last week we gave away some Switch codes for Blackmoor 2, which is a beat-em-up platformer that supports 4 player co-op action and is currently available on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

Here's the list of winners, and don't forget to check us out next week for another giveaway.

  • Blazej Stan
  • Juan Carlos Salvador
  • Julie Iris
  • Jeroen Mortier
  • Brenda

Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks to everyone that entered into this and continues to read DailyBits!

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