Monday, 22 October 2012

Fable The Journey Review

Fable the journey came out on Xbox about 10 days ago and those of us who've played the newest installment in the Fable series have had our heart strings tugged at ferociously and by now no doubt have considerable more muscle mass in our arms than before we began playing.

For those of you not in the know, Fable the Journey is a Kinect game set in the Fable universe and (in my view at least) beautifully conveys a lot of the spirit form the previous games. This is NOT Fable 4 but it is a part of that world. The game is an on the rails piece from the POV of Gabriel, a dweller who travels with his horse Saren, those who have played the demo will know that the basis of the game is that Gabriel gets cut off from the rest of his "tribe" and has to find an alternate route home, on the way he rescues a blind seer (i wonder who that could be? ¬.¬) from an unknown enemy, who (thinking about it) bares some resemblance to the villain entity featured in Fable 3. I found the following scene truly terrifying, you've just spent the past 20 minutes or so learning to ride your horse properly and are finally getting the hang of it when OMG THERE'S EVIL BLACK GOO EVERYWHERE! ITS COMING FOR US! DON'T IT TOUCH THE HORSE!! SAREN :'( you get the idea.... its horrifying and i was on the verge of tears by the time i reached our destination from the sheer panic of being chased.

Said chase scene, friggin terrifying!
Now i was really excited about the magic system, the idea of lobbing fireballs at and shocking my enemies with real hand movement completely sold this for me, I have to admit i didn't really care much about the horse and cart aspect of things. Until i started playing, even as we're introduced to Gabriel and his trusty horse Saren i begin to warm to both characters. Now i loved the introduction of the dog in Fable 2 (perhaps one of the reasons that's my favorite of the 3 main games) but i found him to be very glitchy at times and very wooden, yes my i would die a little inside when my poor pooch was hurt after a fight and would make sad noises and hold his paw in the air and YES i sacrificed thousands of lives and YES i gave up all that money i could have had to save my family dog.  But that isn't even a fraction of the love and affection i have gained for Saren in this darn game!

The first thing you learn how to do is steer the cart and not hurt Saren while doing so, then just as the tutorial section is complete you come across Theressa who is being pursued by  the gunk as i like to call it (i believe the proper name is "the corruption") and you have to go go go. Unfortunately Saren gets injured and it's a race against time to save her :'( this is actually the only reason Gabriel gains his "powers". I know it sounds pretty lame, it's just a horse right? But there's something about the moment when you have to calm Saren and then pull out evil giant pieces of corruption, or arrows and heal her wounds etc, even just simple acts such as cleaning her coat and feeding her an apple you've picked get you more and more attached to the already loveable character, her characteristics are done beautifully and she still actually acts like a horse!

I also have to admit that I'm in love with the idea of Kinect games but i had yet to find a Kinect game that had the right intriguing story line AND picked up movement correctly, until now. Don't get me wrong, there are little niggles here and there (which of course have nothing to do with my rather terrible aim) but over all it's the most responsive Kinect game i have played to date. There's nothing quite like throwing your arms about and creating awesome combos to kick your opponents butt! Use force push to throw that hobb in the air, use fireball to set him on fire mid air and then when he lands electrocute him, throw a magical spear at him then bring back force push and throw him off a cliff. If that's not fun i don't know what is!

One big issue a lot of people have with the new Fable installment is that the game is pretty much on the rails, other than the horse riding you have no control over your movement...which is fine with me. I really enjoyed horror Kinect game "Rise of nightmares" which would have been a brilliant game, if it had been on the rails, there's much to do with your hands and arms that i don't want to be having to think about moving around too. Being on the rails means you can play this game sitting down (which is nice change I'm sure most "real" gamers will enjoy) this also means you don't need much room to play so it's great for those of you have a Kinect but can't play most of the games because the room you want to play in is too small, it also means you can play longer, although my arms start to hurt pretty early on! The reason most people don't like it being on the rails is that it takes away from one of the main Fable ideas, that it's open world. Sure some people will say it's not as open world as Skyrim for example but can you fart at or kiss a random villager in Skyrim? No. No you cannot. In fact when Skyrim's DLC hearthfire came out, i brought it purely because to me it  brought some of Fable into the Skyrim universe.

Sorry. Tangent.

Anyway, the game may be on the rails but its fantastic. Fable heroes isn't free world and it's unhealthily addictive, Fable pub games you don't even get to kill Hobbes, but you know what? It was still great. This isn't "Fable 4" but it is a Fable game and it's beautiful.

If you've been waiting for a game to buy the Kinect for, i believe that is this, I wholeheartedly suggest you try this game out and if you already have a Kinect but aren't quite sure, check out the Xbox market place and try out the demo. Hope you guys enjoy it as much i have!

Happy Hobbe hunting!!

Mistress of Magic.xx

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