Fable: The Journey Preview
The Fable series has always been known for its epic tales filled with magic, adventure, discovery and a world filled with unique and entertaining characters. While it’s still going to be a little while until we see the next true sequel, Lionhead Studios has been hard at work creating a unique experience set in Albion – the world the Fable series is set in.
With the power of Kinect, Fable: The Journey takes players on a grand adventure set fifty years after the events of Fable III, and shows a different side to Albion through a first-person perspective.
Your adventure starts out with you taking the role of the main character, Gabriel, who is travelling across Albion with a close group of friends and family. Running late, as usual, Gabriel is tracked down by his brother, who leads the travelling group, and is told to catch up to them as soon as possible. After a few lessons on how to control your horse and carriage your story begins.
Controlling your horse and carriage is very simple and consists of four simple movements. Before these are explained, now is a good time to point out that you’ll be playing Fable: The Journey entirely sitting down, which is something you don’t find with most Kinect titles and is a very welcome addition.
To get your horse, Seren, moving you simply perform a movement like cracking the reins, and to bring your horse to a stop you simply raise your hands in the air. Turning requires you to put one hand in front and the other one at your side depending on which way you’d like to turn. With these four commands under your belt you are ready to traverse the locations found in Albion.
While you’re moving from location to location you will come across glowing orbs on the roads that come in three different colours. Each colour represents a different speed and requires you to be going at this speed to collect the orb. After collecting enough orbs you will level up and be awarded a skill point to spend on upgrades for your magic, but more on this later.
Aside from the main story locations, there are a variety of side stories you can come across on your adventures. These are represented by glowing circles on the roads and will introduce you to the wonderful characters which make Fable so great. The first one you’ll come across is a fortune teller who appears to have only taken up the profession the day you met him, and babbles on about your future in a ridiculous yet humorous manner. These are a welcome break from the main story and give you a rest from the horse riding that you’ll be spending a good portion of the game doing.
The story kicks in once you’ve learnt all of the basics of riding and it is your typical darkness takes over the world and you, being the destined hero, must save the world. Being a typical guy who has no extraordinary abilities or shows any real skill with a weapon, it seems quite the undertaking to save the world from its deadliest threat yet. This is where Theresa, a seer that fans of previous Fable titles will know, steps in to teach you what you need to know in order to tackle this mammoth task.
Arriving at an ancient cave full of secrets and statues of fallen heroes, Gabriel is introduced to some magical gauntlets, which will give him the powers needed to eliminate the threat of Albion. The powers you receive at the beginning are an electric bolt in one hand, a spell called Push that knocks enemies in the other hand, and a counter spell that is used by holding your arm in front of your chest.
Casting these spells is simple and requires you to put whichever hand you want to use to cast your spell in front of your shoulder and then pushing forward in the direction you want the spell to go in. A simple calibration tutorial will sort out the motions for you when you first learn about magic and you’ll find the controls are very accurate and easy to use. Countering enemies and side stepping, by leaning left or right, will recover any health you lose and you also have a magic bar which will deplete with each cast of magic you use. It’s important to space your attacks out and make sure this doesn’t empty, as this will cause your attacks to become much weaker and make your battles more difficult.
This was just a peek into what looks to be an epic journey into Albion. New fans of the series will be able to experience a world like no other and see just what makes Fable so great. Returning players will be able to see just how Albion has changed over the last fifty years as well as seeing it from a completely different perspective. Regardless what category you fit into, Fable: The Journey is sure to entertain and may even change some people’s minds on Kinect and what it can add to the RPG genre.