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 moderators, 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.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Gotta love all those Dtoid community members that magically appear whenever there's a giveaway.
DSBrad avatarDSBrad
Newest Madden may be one of my favorites. Been taking all my time up.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
TWITCHTOID! I'll be playing some more PS4 Zombi and then some Until Dawn if'n I want to change things up. Link: [url=http://www.twitch.tv/thedefenestrator]Twitch.tv: TheDefenestrator[/url]
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Bless Wasteland 2's custom portraits [img]http://i.imgur.com/JuWaB1W.png?1[/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Sorting out a bunch of university stuff and going through a bit of writers block. I'm also holding some of my best stuff back for freelancing purposes (uni ain't cheap!), so sorry if my blogs have been a bit lackluster lately. And will be for 4-ish weeks.
gajknight avatargajknight
Been looking for a car to buy today. I swear, I am so sick of my mums voice. "It's too expensive!" "Don't you think it's a little big..." "INSURANCE!" Goddamn woman, chill your beans.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Hey look! I bought some toys and stuff and junk and what-not. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-08/IMAG0656.jpg~original[/IMG]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Yes, it's essentially a trace job, but this is my first piece of pixel art: [img]http://i.imgur.com/N0zmHiL.png[/img]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Oh for fuck's sake, why is there no Netflix app for my PSTV?
Zenbrains avatarZenbrains
A new fun game for iOS and Android devices. Featuring a beautiful minimalistic design and an easy gesture based interface. Hope you'll like it. [url] https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1022015201[/url] [img]http://bit.ly/1EtWjdJ[/img]
Ben Davis avatarBen Davis
Apologies for the lack of Experience Points lately! I'm taking a short break from writing them, but don't worry. They'll be back soon enough!
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Am I the only one excited to play the Forza Motorsport 6 demo?
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
Adventure games are a big part of the indie scene, but there's a reason their popularity plummeted as graphics evolved. This clicking on everything, just in case, nonsense is for the birds. 90s birds, but birds.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Spotted some "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" (1989) DVDs in a store. Hearing music and sound effects from the game is more amusing than it should be - although the running shrill gets old quickly.
extatix avatarextatix
Diablo 3 patch 2.3.0 equals more grinding. Good.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Funny coincidence: Last week saw the release of Until Dawn, which talked about a Canadian tribe of Native Americans called the Cree,and last night a Cree woman (Ms. Canada) won the Ms. Universe contest. Butterfly Effect updated.
MeeGhoulz avatarMeeGhoulz
Playing UNTIL DAWN 1st time:I'm alright with QTE,but an option to use direction as choices instead of buttons poppin' on screen would be welcome!Also:NO SHINY ITENS TO INDICATE CLUES!LET ME DISCOVER THEM!All in all,it's fun enough...
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
If I was to play through the NES library, besides being madness, what order do I do it? Alphabetically or Release date-wise? Whats the Dtoid universe think?
Gundy avatarGundy
Maybe someday I'll finish Natural Doctrine AKA Natty Doc...
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
You've got guts, a powerful soul You've got guts, sweet and sour You've got guts, do the guts A man sweats, he really does, go!
more quickposts


Contest!


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!



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 -