The latest installment of the fantastic Fable franchise was release last week, this time for Kinect, so I thought I would post a quick review.
Story: As always this is the real strength of these games, the story is fun, engaging and the voice acting is excellently done.
Graphics: Again another strength of the Fable franchise, beautiful scenery and graphics in a charming, though cartoony, world.
Gameplay: Unlike the other Fable games, Fable the Journey is not a open world game. Instead, gameplay follows a defined track. Also, some of the more delightful elements of the previous games have been removed. Gone is the shopping, collecting of treasure and other items, buying and decorating your own home(s) and personal interaction with random strangers in the game. However given the technical limitations and the processing requirements of Kinect, the simplified world of the Journey is not unexpected. The introduction of the horse cart, and its subsequent emphasis on the road system, make this more palatable than expected.
Interface: For the first time in a non-fitness game, the Kinect interface actually seems to work for the game. This is not to say that there are not glitches and frustrations, but the spell casting calibrations can always be recalibrated, even during game play. The gestures selected are relatively intuitive and clearly mapped out through a tutorial system.
Activity Level: While Fable the Journey is not a fitness game, it does provide a noticeable arm workout after a playing session. Standing, rather than the recommended sitting, while playing increases exertion especially during key battle sequences.
The Skinny: So far this game has my vote for the best non-fitness game for the Xbox. It is not as good a game as the other installments of the Fable franchise, but the limitations are understandable and the game is still delightful. All in all, this game gives me hope for the Kinect as a controller of choice in the future, even if that day is not yet here.
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