Fable: The Journey (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

By Wayne Webb

When I’m reviewing a game that starts out with no redeeming features, I still like to give it a chance. Great games are easy to review and you know quickly how good they are. Bad games you should get to know the flaws and see if they can be saved at any point. With Fable: The Journey, the experience is so bad and so flawed that it rendered the game unplayable.

The main problem is Kinect. It is a problematic system even at its best and I have reviewed a number of titles that use it well despite its issues with light and detection. Fable: The Journey requires you to sit down, on a chair to play. It could not see me. I was wearing a black t-shirt on a red couch. Shirt off sees me fine. Ok, change shirts, still having problems – okay, move the furniture. Right away that’s annoying, but livable. There is no option for non-Kinect play; this is not really a Fable game with Kinect options, it is a Kinect Game with a Fable skin thrown over it.

The bulk of the game appears to be riding a horse and moving out of the way of incoming obstacles. Meanwhile, appalling Eastender accents are delivering dialogue aimed at a much younger and less fussy audience than me. Even though the Kinect can now see me, it has trouble detecting movements consistently, so control swings between zero reaction and over reaction. So far I am very unhappy with this game.

Finally, we get somewhere and get off the horse, but now the action is on rails, and you are gesturing spells at enemies – seems like a good idea and certainly better than riding a horse, avoiding walls and evil goo for hours. Except the calibration phase took ages to get through due to detection issues. I finally passed that and then the actual accuracy is so poor that less than half of my movements are seen and then appear to go wild. Yet spells curve back into hit the enemies. Then more detection issues, which means the Kinect is constantly pausing and telling me what to do with tutorial mode and instructions and asking to recalibrate.

So was it the Kinect unit itself? I have had this Kinect for a while and immediately afterwards I swapped to a recent Kinect game I reviewed and one I know works and had zero problems.

This is a massively disappointing game from Microsoft that again takes a loved and highly regarded franchise and makes a complete mockery of it to sell an idea that simply does not fit.

Pros: Nothing
Cons: Control and detection flaws in Kinect, on rails with little freedom, accuracy not relevant in places, long periods of horse riding as game play, appalling accents, unplayable

O Shacks Out Of 5

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