Set 50 years after the events of Fable 3, Lionhead has
once again brought us to the magical land of Albion, this
time as Gabriel, a young man, accompanied (after an early
in-game accident) only by his trusty steed, Seren, and
mystical 300-year-old seer Theresa.
Fable: The Journey
For: Xbox 360 + Kinect
From: Lionhead Studios/Microsoft
Four stars out of five
Guess what ... Albion is in great peril and in desperate need
of a hero - again.
Well don't worry. If you've not played a Fable game
before, it doesn't matter.
And if you have, it doesn't matter, because there's one big
difference between this and its predecessors ... Kinect.
Apart from initial set-up, this game is completely
controller-free. All your interaction with the game is done
through hand and arm movements - and it's pretty darn good.
You are broken in gently through a series of in-game
tutorials, so by the time the action starts you are more than
Gabriel travels through Albion on a horse-drawn cart, pulled
by his aforementioned steed, Seren, and steered by you. You
crack imaginary reins with both arms to get going and then
pull on each one to steer. Sprinting is achieved by another
quick flick and it all works rather well.
Not all of your time is spent on your backside, though.
After picking up your mysterious passenger, you learn you are
meant for greater things and given magical gauntlets which
enable you to cast spells, both offensive and defensive, to
aid your quest. You can fire energy bolts with one arm and
push enemies about with the other, eventually picking up an
arsenal of five different spells to help you on your way.
The game itself is pretty linear; you don't get to choose
where you go, you just follow a set path both on your cart
and on foot, but it doesn't get boring as the scenery is
beautiful to look at as you go past, but mainly because the
story is really engaging. Once you've met Theresa you really
can't shut her up - she acts as a sort of in-game narrator
and guide and the tales of disaster and woe she tells are
involving and interesting and make you want to carry on.
It's not the fastest-paced game you'll ever play, but you'll
probably be glad of the rest between fights as throwing
fireball after fireball and waving your arms around for a few
minutes can get a bit tiring.
The whole Kinect interaction works really well - although it
pays to calibrate the hardware properly, and, as the game
suggests, sit yourself in front of the TV, but aiming spells
all around the screen worked the majority of the time.
Overall, it's a good game, and different enough from the rest
of the crowd to be a great diversion and well worth your time
to give it a go.