Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Fable: The Journey

Preview: Fable: The Journey

8:00 AM on 09.18.2012 // Abel Girmay

I have a bit of a sordid history with the Fable franchise. Despite the now-infamous promises it never delivered on, I absolutely adored the first Fable, as what was delivered was a finely crafted game, and one of my favorite RPG titles of all time.

When it returned with 2008's Fable II, though, I wept for the series. The single-button combat system, abrupt story, and often numbing lack of difficulty were changes that I simply couldn't swallow. Over time, I grew to live with these changes, just in time for Fable III which, while not stellar, proved to be a solid entry.

And now we have Fable: The Journey, a title with a lot to prove, as it's been taking heat since its first showing at E3 2011. While the early criticisms that called it on-rails were not off, my recent session with Fable: The Journey showed that it can still be enjoyable. That is, when the controls actually work.

Fable: The Journey (Xbox 360)
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release: October 9, 2012

Taking place 50 years after the last game, Fable: The Journey follows the story of Gabriel, a clumsy screw-up from the wandering Dweller tribe. After falling behind from the rest of the convoy, he finds himself hopelessly separated from the group. While trying to find his way back to tribe, Gabriel runs across series staple Theresa, who's fleeing from a mysterious and evil corruption.

They escape, but not without scars to Gabriel's trusty steed, prompting him to strike a deal with Theresa. His assistance against the corruption, in exchange for his horse's life. The story here seems to be your standard Fable fare, the unassuming hero cast forward by unforeseen circumstances into a greater destiny. It's standard RPG fare for that matter, but it keeps in well with what the Fable series does, and works here.

Once in-game, the first thing we try out is the horse riding, which actually worked pretty well. The whole system basically boils down to you imagining that you have real reigns in your hand. To make your horse go, you simply hold your arms out front and crack forward as if cracking a real reign. To travel more quickly, you simply crack down again. If you want to slow down, you bring you arms up to your chest, mimicking the motion of pulling in the reigns. Steering from left to right is similarly straightforward.

To go right, just pull your right arm in towards yourself, while extending the left, and vice versa to go in the opposite direction. Again, a pretty straightforward system, and a pretty reliable one too. With a few exceptions, Kinect read my steering motions well enough, with the only notable ones cropping up randomly. You can also rest your arms when not steering left or right, which is a nice touch. As well as the steering portions of game worked, combat was a whole other story.

Eschewing the past entries' combat trio of might, skill, and will, combat in Journey is all magic-based. With a gauntlet system similar to what was in Fable III, players can tie one spell to each hand, firing a maximum of two at a time. Spells in Journey run the gamut of many of the series' staples, so expect to see Shock, Flames, and Force among others.

Spells can also be upgraded of course for more damage and added effects. One such effect was a handy little ability called Aftertouch, which allows you redirect the course of a spell you just fired. Unfortunately, the combat portions  are where Journey seemed to break down.

To cast a spell you, presumably, push the hand that has that spell equipped in a straight, forward motion. Half the challenge of the combat for me though was getting Kinect to read these motion. It got particularly annoying in sections that asked me to aim and hit a specific area target on-screen, as actually making the mark proved an exercise in patience and luck.

At one point, it was almost a literal exercise, with more than a few moments of sore shoulders as I kept repeating the same motion. It wasn't all broken, however. When the system worked, it played decently enough. However, towards the end of my time with Journey, I had honestly given up on even trying to be accurate with shots, and instead sent spells out wherever, only to use Aftertouch to try and properly direct them. Honestly, Aftertouch was half the reason I ever actually hit anything.

When I had come to the end of my time with Fable: The Journey, I found myself left with the oddest feeling. I was impressed with the overall responsiveness and smoothness of the driving sequences, but combat left plenty to be desired. There are other things to do outside of the main story, such as the wave-based, score-attack Arcade Mode, but without an all around solid core, I just don't see much to get excited about.

Photo Gallery: (8 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Abel Girmay, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Born and raised in Oakland, CA. Avid fan of FPS, RPGs, and Little Caesars Pizza.  more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Fable: The Journey


  Oct 07

Review: Fable: The Journey

Looking a gift horse in the mouth


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Emily Wants To Play has come to mobile (and I wish it would go away again)

Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

Mega Man X Drinking Game: The Super Smashed Bros

Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Looks like I'm not gonna be able to 100% Tearaway Unfolded until Monday at the least. I'm definitely writing about it this weekend and am trying my hardest to get my screenshots off of my PS4 (especially hard as I don't do social media anymore)
Darth Wachen avatarDarth Wachen
I've never done a blog before, so I may as well try one with a review of Stranger of Sword City....well, when I get entered into that contest of course
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Shakedown Hawaii is giving me good GTA vibes. I missed the topdown GTA games when they were a thing. I have to decide what platform to get it for since it's coming to 3DS/Vita/PS4/PC (probably the Vita version for moi).
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
You think your art sucks? Here's the rule34 I made of Larx yesterday. Look at it and despair.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hey Dreamweaver? If you think your art sucks, you should have a look at my magnum opus. It's of Cloud from the popular game, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I never thought this would happen, but here I am. all of my 700+ pokemon gone in one day. My cart stopped working and there's nothing I can do. I quit, you can't just rebuild all that. Time to find something else.
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Tom Collins is a pretty great drink, and well suited for poutine. consumption
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
It may be because I've been drinking but... We need some dung beetles from ark for the front page. Move that dung on out.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Does anyone know how to get PS4 screenshots onto a PC without needing a flash drive? I don't have a spare.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
This is an example of how bad my drawings are. I honestly think drawing stick figures would've been easier on the eyes. :( The worst thing about this image is that this was made after I got BETTER. Trust me, you don't want to see my earlier stuff. T^T
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
So I received a mysterious box in the mail today. When I opened it I was blown away...The friends I've made here on Destructoid are amazing (More pics in the comments).
Parismio avatarParismio
FRISK PACIFIES YOUR FACE!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Woe is me. This month's Cblog theme is basically an excuse to draw pretty girls, and here I am with no time.
Gundy avatarGundy
Maybe one day I'll reach bronze rank in Rocket League...
Nathan D avatarNathan D
A very Bloodborne-y moment.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Back in tip-top shape guys, feel waaaaay better than I have done these past few weeks. Plus my voice sounds slightly raspy now, meaning my Batman impression has been upgraded. Apologies to Gaj and Solar the most, my male-up kisses go to you: Xxxxxx
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wait... Is that...? Could it be...? It IS! Gravity Rush's Kat has taken a break from rushing and graviting to sacrifice some souls in Soul Sacrifice Delta! Which isn't even going for $8 on the PS Store right now! What a steal!
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
Finally got my in game time down to under an hour in Super Metroid. I'm pretty happy about that.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -