Tag Archive: Fable: The Journey

The longest journey begins with a single step

There are a lot of great Kinect games out there—exercise games, dancing games, even some iOS ports—but the hardcore audience is sorely underrepresented on the peripheral. Long have the hardcore waited for a game for the Kinect that could give them an experience similar to what they would get with a controller in terms of enjoyment. And I think, finally, they may have found one in Fable: The Journey.

Fable: The Journey is set 10 years after the end of Fable III. The hero of Fable III went missing a few years prior; Albion is in shambles because of it, as those who would prey on the weak have gone unchecked and an ancient evil has begun to sow it seeds once again. As chaos reigns in the cities of Albion, though, a group of nomads who skirt along the edges of the countryside avoid most of the insanity by keeping to themselves and taking care of each other. Here, among this group of wanderers, players take control of Gabriel, the slacker of this cabal with his head in the clouds who dreams of the days when there were still heroes. Little does he know that his dreams are about to become a reality…

After becoming separated from the caravan when he oversleeps, Gabriel soon finds himself on the most epic of journeys in order to get back to the only family he’s ever really known. Shortly after he starts his trek, though, he picks up a certain blind hitchhiker along the way who reveals to him that the old age of heroes, where they were born, is dead and that a new age of heroes, where they are made, is about to begin.

The most impressive thing about this game—and this should please Fable fans tremendously—is the story. By adding a new take on the original three Fable games’ story, as Theresa tells things from her point of view along the way, you see now how they all tie together as the story progresses. This brings closure to the last few loose ends of those great tales while also setting the foundation for a brand-new epic down the line. With tremendous voice acting, a script that maintains a dark humor throughout, and a plot that’s more than worthy of the original trilogy, Fable: The Journey’s story will suck in fans of the franchise and won’t let them go.

A great story cannot cover up this game ‘s fatal flaw, though. Unfortunately, like the few other Kinect hardcore games, when you boil Fable: The Journey’s gameplay down to its foundations, it’s really just an on-rails arcade shooter that you control with your hands. You’re forcibly dragged through a large chunk of Albion on your cart, pulled by your lovable horse Seren, and it can understandably get tedious at times, especially when the humorous banter of Theresa and Gabriel dries up. There are some mini-games that break it up occasionally, but even these can become repetitive and after a while. All you really want to do is get as quickly as possible to the next area where you blast franchise mainstay bad guys likes Balverines, Hollow Men, and Hobbes, as well as a few new bad guys produced by the Corruption exclusively for this game.

Aside from the repetitiveness, though, this really is one of the more polished Kinect games out there. The sensor actually picks up your arms when you try to throw fireballs or perform any of the other spells Gabriel learns along his adventure, which, if you play with the Kinect with any sort of regularity, you know is a big accomplishment. There is also some replayability to the game with a full-blown arcade mode alongside the main campaign where you can play through certain segments of each level again and attempt to hit high scores and chain together combos. Combine all this with graphics that just might make this the best looking Fable game yet, and all I can is that if you’re a Fable fan with Kinect, The Journey is a must-have.

SUMMARY: A great story that Fable fans will absolutely eat up, but some long stretches of lonely road keep this from being an absolute must-have for every Kinect owner.

  • THE GOOD: The deepest, most complete story for a hardcore Kinect game yet.
  • THE BAD: Riding in a caravan is about as much fun as you’d think…as in, not fun at all.
  • THE UGLY: Everything the Corruption touches.

SCORE: 9.0

Fable: The Journey is an Xbox 360 exclusive. 

Every adventure begins with the first step and ever since fans of the franchise Fable took those first steps eight years ago, they’ve been clamoring for each subsequent chapter since. And Fable: The Journey is bound to be no exception. But to help possibly satiate fans a little while longer before its October release, a prequel book titled Fable: Edge of the World has been released to help bridge the time gap that takes place between each Fable game.

Written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, who is more than accustomed to writing in the world of geekdom with several Star Wars, Star Trek, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft books already to her credit, Fable: Edge of the World provides unique challenges because as it follows the hero of Fable III ten years into his reign, she is shaping the world around decisions many of us may not have made. This disconnect to the main character immediately left a sour taste in my mouth, but I somehow found a way to push onward.

The book’s basic premise is that the legendary land of Samarkand, best known to Fable fans for where Reaver and Garth ventured to after Fable II, has been overrun by the shadowy forces that threatened Albion in Fable III. The king and his trusted aides must now meet this threat head-on before it spreads unchecked as new and old villains alike rear their heads to cause trouble for the entire kingdom while the king is off in a faraway land.

Now, I understand that the entire premise of the book is to simply provide set-up for the upcoming game, but I couldn’t help but feel cheated after reading this book because the story felt wholly incomplete. That there was almost no feeling of resolution whatsoever and after spending all this time introducing new characters and changing what was actually the story of my personal Fable, I was left twiddling my thumbs, staring at the back of the book as if another 50 pages would magically appear to finish what Golden started here.

This was nothing more than a 250-page tease that instead of holding me over until October, has driven me into a mad Fable-frenzy as I need to play Fable: The Journey now to know how the story ends, or at least continues. In terms of selling games, this is actually a brilliant maneuver. In terms of just being an avid fantasy reader though, this blatant attempt at playing off my consumerism is infuriating.

This does give me a glimmer of hope at least for the story of Fable: The Journey though in terms of providing an interesting and compelling tale that fleshes out the myths and legends of Albion, as well as making sure that we will all have a new and interesting adventure on our hands as the idea of exploring Samarkand in a game has me very excited indeed. Of course, this is just speculation from the book as the only times the character of Gabriel, your protagonist in Fable: The Journey, is even mentioned is in the Prologue and Epilogue, but with half the book taking place there and it having been referenced several times over in previous Fable titles, it only makes sense that we would visit there at some point and that something big is being set up.

Despite the potential opportunities for adventure this book may hint at though in the October game, as a read in and of itself, I found Fable: Edge of the World very unenjoyable. Considering Fable is an adventure game that revolves around choice and this book takes very little of what you have done before into consideration, I can’t recommend this at all. Maybe next time they should do a ‘choose your own adventure’ book? Do yourselves a favor, steer clear, and make the choice that when this book hits your local bookstores today to not pick it up.

SCORE: 3.0