Gamer Limit Banner
Avatar ImageReview: Fable: The Journey
By: | October 9th, 2012 | Xbox 360
Kinect |Review |X360

At an infamous press event at E3, Peter Molyneux repeatedly told his audience that Fable: The Journey would not be a simple on-rails experience, and would present a unique viewpoint into the world of adventure gaming on the Kinect. Right.

I’m here to tell you, right now, before you drop your hard earned cash on it, that it is on rails. And that’s not the worst thing about it.



Fable: The Journey
will feature hot horse action — lots of horse action — more horse action than any one gamer can handle probably, specifically in the form of your horse named Saren. For any spectators that happen upon your playthrough, this would seem like the main character of the game — at least, moreso than the guy who is supposed to be the main character — Gabriel.

Gabriel is just a regular-ass dude (yes, there’s no female hero option unfortunately) who is seperated from his caravan crew, only to embark on a journey greater than he ever imagined: or something like that. Basically, you play as the bumbling idiot Gabriel as you ride your horse and cast spells for about eight hours: with very mixed results.

In Fable II, the gimmick was in the form of a canine, which sorta kinda worked for some people who bought into the story, and projected their personal pooch onto the screen. Here, your horse is more of a nuisance than an asset, leading to a more hateful than helpful relationship — and part of the reason for that is the control scheme.

In order to get around everywhere, you have to control your horse with your two hands via Kinect. There are “virtual reigns” to master, and it’ll take both of your hands to do it. Cracking them with your hands will make the horse go faster, holding them above your head will stop, and raising either your left or right hand will make the horse turn — simple, right?

Well, not really. As is the case with oddly designed Kinect games, the controls will either work very well, or they’ll be all over the place. If you were just expected to simulate your way from point A to B with little effort, it would have been fine, but that’s not the case. Along the way you can pick up XP, which, depending on the color, needs to be picked up by trotting, galloping, or outright running. Did I mention that you have to non-negotiably sit down the whole time?

Due to the unresponsive controls, you’re going to have a lot of frustrating moments where you’ll want to throw a controller against the wall — only you are the controller, which could end pretty badly. 

It also doesn’t help that the game is on-rails – and although you have a few different paths to go through — since you have to always go straight, the game is essentially a tunnel simulator. To be clear, this is not an open world game.

When it comes to these portions (which is easily half, if not more of the game) I hope you really like horses, as you’re going to be spending a lot of time grooming, petting, and tending to it. You could even say that half of the game feels like an XBLA sequel to Kinectimals.

Once you get off your horse and start actually fighting things, you’ll long for the horse sections again — which is not a good thing in the slightest. For starters, there is no targeting mechanism — you just have to wing it and hope you hit something with your two spells (not much variety here). Later on in the game, you get a chance to do battle with unique enemies like the signature Hollow Men, and it’s kind of cool to be able to manipulate their appendages, but it ultimately serves no purpose, considering you can just blast them away in a few seconds.

Handled correctly, hand gestures could have presented a myriad of cool spell combos for the player. As it stands, using a telekinesis and fireball spells aren’t very exciting — especially when coupled with a defensive spell that only works some of the time. After about four hours of the repetition of horse riding and the monotony of using a scant few spells, I couldn’t take anymore and stopped playing.

All in all Fable: The Journey is a shame, because Lionhead put forth a lot of effort to preserve the charm and feel of the franchise — it just feels like they were forced to shoehorn in every Kinect trope possible from up top.

So if you’re looking to board the fun train, you might want to find another mode of transportation. Yes, the track is not all layed out for this game, which may cause your sanity to derail. To be clear, you definitely do not want to dock this one into your 360′s station.

Get it? Because you know, the game is on-rails.

This review is based on a physical copy of Fable: The Journey for the Xbox 360.


  1. avatar GMAN

    An honest review unlike IGN and OXM etc

  2. I couldn’t imagine this game being any good. I’ve yet to see Kinect utilized successfully as the only control scheme in a traditional game. The voice stuff in games like Mass Effect is cool, but the tech is too imprecise for a game like Fable.

  3. I outright state in the review that I only got about halfway through (about four hours) before I called it quits.

    There’s only so much of the consumer’s time that should be wasted. If you look at a number of other reviews, a host of other reviewers couldn’t stomach it either.

  4. avatar Trevor

    They are both great machines in there own right. First off the PS3 has 8 cores not 3, only 7 work and only 6 are open to game usage, the 8th one is lkcoed and can never be used to reduce failure rates. The 360 on the other hand has a better GPU and better memory management which is a huge bottleneck for the PS3. Also both systems are 1080p HDMI compatible are look great you will never tell the difference when the same title is put side by side, minus the PS3 has mandatory Hard drive installs for almost all of its games because the 2x blue ray drive does not spin fast enough.The blue-ray drive on the PS3 although one of the best players on the market is not cheap when you can find them for $199 or cheaper. Besides who actually buys a PS3 for movies you’ll buy 1-2 then be bored with it. Both systems have good online features, but 360 outshines PS3 in almost every fashion. You can do everything on a 360 with no fees or a silver membership, but if you do use gold membership you can get some demos sooner and play Multiplayer online. The selection of movies, music, demos, videos, and HD 1080p streaming seems larger on 360. Really though it comes down to the games. Both systems have a great selection, the only difference is first party titles you think you must have, and the lack of RPG’s on the PS3.

  5. avatar Estella

    Thank you very much for this blog update. I really thank you for you giving out this nice information.

    I hope you may go on my site. People that play games really
    appreciate this. The web-site is concerning free xbox gift cards.

    My homepage :: free gift card xbox

  6. avatar Ahmed

    Hello, this weekend is nice in favor of me, for the reason that this point
    in time i am reading this great informative paragraph here at my home.

    Here is my web blog; web traffic generator

  7. avatar London Health and Safety

    If you are in London and need Health & Safety advice, contact paul Feely from Paul Feely H&S advice

    http://www.paulfeely.com

  8. avatar learn spanish easy

    This site is simply excellent, the information is upgraded and also crystal clear. I am going to undoubtedly visit this web site again. I’m sorry if my English really isn’t acceptable, i am actually a Spanish language presenter, sorry about that. Keep up with the good work:-RRB-.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak62Kr0sbF4

  9. avatar Jai

    Yes! Finjally someopne wwrites about game.

    Also vsit mmy homepage: odpoczynekdladuszy.blogspot.de [Mauricio]

  10. avatar Minerva

    Somjeone essentiall helpp too makee signnificantly posts I’d state.
    That iis the first tme I frequented yoour webb page annd tto thiss point?
    I amazrd with the analysis you mqde to create this
    atual publis incredible. Excellent process!

    my blog post beautyjune.com; Florian,

Leave a Reply