Lionhead's discussed the new combat features set to appear in Fable III.
Senior design director Josh Atkins told CVG that although the studio was fully satisfied with the accessibility of Fable II's combat system, it's now out to up the "dramatic impact" of its encounters in the third game.
"We worked harder on staging our fights, our music and our overall combat experience to ensure the encounters all felt different and memorable - and in the end, more action-packed than before," he said.
Part of upping the drama meant rebuilding the spell casting system, Atkins explained, and now players can utilise their powers' full strength from the start.
"Much like every other section of the game, the spell casting system has had a complete overhaul," he said. "From the moment the player receives their first spell, they are able to cast the maximum spell level, albeit very very slowly.
"As the hero levels up their spell ability, they will find that progressive spell levels will cast much more quickly, meaning that at maximum spell ability level, the highest level of the spell will almost insta-cast. This means magic for all levels is much less about standing about waiting to charge up to useful levels and is more immediate and fun."
Fable III will also introduce Spellweaving, the designer revealed, which once unlocked allows players to wear two spell gauntlets at once, weaving their abilities together for completely new effects.
"For example, if the player chooses Vortex on one hand and Fireball on the other then they will cast a Fire Vortex which sucks people off the ground and sets them on fire, especially good against those annoying Hobbes!" There are over 20 spell combinations to experiment with, he added.
Finally on the feature list are the new "morphing" weapons, which now changed to reflect the wielding hero's playing style. This, Atkins explained, means every weapon in Fable III is cool from the start - so no more collecting boring Rusty Long Swords.
"Initially, all weapons look very standard, but as the hero powers up, the weapons morph to reflect the hero's playing style," he said. "Some weapons have predetermined paths and missions the player has to perform to give them amazing new abilities while others morph to reflect exactly what the hero has done in the game."
He added: "When you are playing co-op these morphing weapons take on a new meaning as some weapons can only upgrade if you are willing to do a nice thing and gift them to another player."
Good stuff. See a bunch of new combat-focussed Fable III screens on this page and look for the full interview shortly.
It's out on October 29 on Xbox 360. Check out the recent gorgeous intro movie, why don't you?