Fable: The Journey
EB Games Expo 2012
"Fable: The Journey was an interesting play, but, based on this particular demo, is not a game I would spend my money on. " "

During my time at the EB Games Expo, a conversation I had while playing Fable: The Journey easily takes the prize for the most hilarious...

I had just started playing the demo and one of the people helping out at the booth came up to me. I was sitting there as I watched a cutscene and she said to me: "You know you can play this, right?" I responded that it was a cutscene and I couldn't do anything at the moment. She looked at me blankly and, considering the loud music, I thought she didn't hear me, so I repeated what I had said. Her response: "What's a custcene?" No, this was not a "booth babe;" this was one of the people hired by Microsoft to show customers how to play games in their exhibition and help out if they were having trouble. With a completely shocked look on my face, I explained to her what a custcene was. "Well, I guess I learned something today then!" she said with a smile and walked away.

Oh, right, the game! The demo for Fable: The Journey was a rather odd one. No, I didn't get to swing around a sword or wield any spells. Instead, I got to ride a horse and carriage... and then continue to ride a horse and carriage. That was it. As a result, it's somewhat difficult to give any in-depth impressions of the game as a whole. Also, there was no sound or subtitles, so comprehending a cutscene (just so you know, a cutscene is a video in the game you watch) was like trying to understand a mime.

The entirety of the demo involved a fast-paced escape with the main character riding a horse and holding the reins. If you're not already aware, Fable: The Journey is designed for Kinect, so I was sitting there whipping with my hands and physically shifting left and right to turn the horse. The controls were adequate, but a little unresponsive at times. I was frustrated on a number of occasions when I was unable to dodge because the sensor didn't pick up my movements correctly. There was plenty going on to keep things exciting though: a deadly miasma, falling rocks and collapsing bridges. Whipping your horse to keep your speed up, but not overtiring it, was the key to success.

About halfway through, my horse was injured from some sort of evil magic splinter. I pulled over, jumped off the horse and had to remove the splinter slowly and carefully from the horse's side. Doing so with Kinect was actually a pretty cool experience; the response was highly accurate to the movement of my hand. Once that was done, it was back on the horse and charging down the path!

The graphics were solid (about on par with Fable 3), but definitely not of the same quality as recent triple A releases for 360 and PS3. Fable: The Journey was an interesting play, but, based on this particular demo, is not a game I would spend my money on. Hopefully other aspects of the game are more interesting and enjoyable.

© 2012 Microsoft Studios, Lionhead Studios. All rights reserved.

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