Fable: The Journey Review
For almost a decade now, the Fable series has been a key franchise for Microsoft mainly due to the fact that every game Lionhead Studios released have always become a stellar hit. Following the release of Fable III several years ago, an Xbox Live Arcade side-scroller game hit the downloadable scene and it received mixed feedback from the media and fans alike. Now, a new Fable game is upon us and the series has returned to retail release. The primary difference is, only those who have a Kinect can play Lionhead’s latest title.
Of all the Kinect games that are available, only a few of them have been successful. Can Lionhead’s Studio Fable game for the Kinect become a stellar hit or is it a major fail that could hint that the series is slowly declining? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Fable: The Journey.
First Story-Heavy Adventure Kinect Game
Out of all the Kinect games that are currently out, a majority of them are aimed towards the casual gamer as a pick up and play game. The Kinect lacks something for fans of RPGs or action-adventure. Lionhead Studios came at the right time as Fable: The Journey is the first Kinect game that offers a heavy driven-story. For those who have played all three Fable games, it should already be well-known that they all have expertly crafted narratives, which pull all of the right emotional strings. In the case of Fable: The Journey, you can expect an interesting story that’s connected to all three Fable games.
Set a hundred years after the events of the third Fable game, Albion is once again on the brink of destruction and it’s up to the Seer, Theresa to find the next hero. No longer from the bloodline of the heroes, the new Hero in the Journey will be an interesting character. He will begin as a careless boy who only cares about his female horse and transform into a hero that will leave a mark on Albion’s history with the help of the Gaunlets, which are obtained from the three previous heroes. As with all Fable games, fans can expect a dark ominous plot that will be engaging for long time fans of the series. It may have the same old “save the world story” plot, but the interesting thing about the story are the characters and humor.
Out of the three Fable games released, I must say that The Journey is one of the best looking games in the series. Using the Unreal Engine to show off the visuals and environments, fans can expect more vivid and lush environments. Colors are vibrant and character models look a lot better during cutscenes. Voice overs are top notch once again thanks to the British VOs and animations. As you go through the new and old locations in Albion, expect to be stunned as you soar through the mountains, forest and rivers. For a Kinect game, it’s also one of the best looking games to date.
Impressive Kinect Controls/Gameplay
Assuming that you are in the perfect area to play the game, one of the things that you’ll realize after playing this game are the impressive controls. In Fable: The Journey, you are sitting in the middle and you control the game by doing certain hand gestures. The game plays out like an on-rail shooter in which the character moves automatically and it’s up to you to perform certain gestures. For the most part, you will spend time going around Albion with the hero’s horse, Seren. In navigating Seren, all you have to do is to pretend you’re holding a leash and flick both your hands to get him running. As for fighting enemies, you will be getting various magic powers. To attack them, simply raise either the left or right hand to launch a bolt, fire or do a push on the enemy on the screen – though you can do some impressive stances to do multiple attacks on enemies. If calibrated correctly, you can simply point at the screen for precise aim. There are several puzzles in the game, but they’re no brainers. They’re simple and it shouldn’t give anyone problems.
Since Albion is a big world, there will be times where you pull on Seren’s leash to stop at a certain marker to explore areas and loot some interesting items. From there, you will do all sorts of miscellaneous things. These include doing two-handed gestures pretending that you’re really performing an action, from picking an apple from a tree to feed Seren to patching Seren’s wound with your magical hands. If you’re worried about becoming exhausted, there will be frequent resting moments where you can just relax your hands.