One thing about ‘Fable: The Journey’, the latest video game in the Fable series, is it will divide opinion among gamers. There is no sitting on the fence. You will either love this game or just switch off your Xbox and not play it again. Fable: The Journey is the first game on Xbox Kinect that actually turns your body into a controller.
In Fable: The Journey, you are Gabriel, a gypsy who is separated from his caravan and meets the blind seer Theresa. Theresa guides Gabriel, which is you, on an adventurous trail to reunite him with his caravan. And, it is an adventurous trail, where you have to cast spells, ride a carriage through picturesque locales and be involved in a lot of high-speed chases.
The biggest doubt we had was how would anyone do all this on a Kinect controller. But rest assured; this is a game meant to be played on Kinect only. There are the usual Kinect problems when the motion sensors don’t work the way you want them to. For instance, a few magic spells you throw at the enemy go awry, but that doesn’t take much away from the game. You might think that it would be quite hilarious to ride a horse carriage on Kinect. It is hilarious indeed. Pulling one hand back and the other forward allows you to move left or right. One can slow down the carriage by bringing your hands up to your chest and stop the horse by raising your hands to your head. It is a bit awkward in the beginning, but as you start getting into the game, it becomes relatively simpler.
Casting magic spells is a bit tricky and some of them go all over the place. The motion sensor controls are far from perfect, but work most of the time. Casting spells gives you a Harry Potter feel— without the wand, of course—as you have to push your hand towards the screen. The good thing is during the majority period of the game, you have to be seated and, at times, you can also say the name of the spell and cast it. The only time you have to stand and play is when you get into combat with monsters.
The graphics are pretty good, as are the characters and the story around the game. The relationship between Gabriel and his horse Seren when he feeds her water adds a nice touch to the gaming experience.
There will be moments of frustration when you can’t control the horse, which will hit the rocks or be hit by arrows. The start of the game is a bit slow and painstaking, as Gabriel tries to understand and listens to Theresa. But once it picks pace, it is an exciting journey.
If the motion sensors would have been spot on all the time, this would have been perhaps one of the best titles on Kinect. However, it can be annoying, too. As said before, you would either love this magical journey or say it could have been a better game if only it wasn’t on Kinect.