Fable: The Journey: The Parable: The Allegory
I had heard of Peter Molyneux's infamously emotional eccentricities before listening to him speak about Fable: The Journey, the upcoming title from Lionhead Studios, at this year's Microsoft Spring Showcase, but I was still caught ill-prepared. One moment he described the controls for commanding a horse on a wagon, and the next he held his heart upon that one emotion he promises we'll feel for the horse by the end of the game—love. Saddle up, Jimmy. It's going to be a long ride.
Fully utilizing the Kinect—we are at a Microsoft Showcase, yes?—Fable: The Journey pits a new energetic lad in the familiar Fable world, five years after the conclusion of Fable III, in an adventure with his beloved horse and cart. While sitting down, you must guide your horse through winding roads filled with goblins who have nothing better to do than sick goblin riders on your tail and shoot arrows at your steed. Keeping your hands to your side, as if you're holding two reins, you can direct the horse by pulling on the appropriate rein to evade any oncoming obstacles or projectiles.
How well you perform will be reflected every time you reach a designed pit stop along the side of the road. There, you'll examine your horse for injuries, perhaps having to pull out any arrows sunk deep in its ribcage. The demo certainly showed how casual Fable: The Journey is, so the horse may not have any health bar to worry about, but hearing your horse wince in pain is enough punishment that you won't want to make another mistake again. Once you reach the final dungeon, you can glance back quite literally at your battle-worn history by looking upon your horse's scars.
Now, before you think this is the next installment of Nintenponies, at least half of the game will take place off the horse. The main character has a whip on the left hand and a spellcasting hand on the right, so you can easily keep enemies at bay. How far you move your hand back before releasing a spell determines its power, but you can just as easily flick a barrage of spells like Gandalf. If you're feeling particularly vengeful, you can even put both your hands together and fire a devastating attack. Who likes toasted goblin?
Fable: The Journey will release some time in 2012, and if the Xbox.com leak can be trusted, on September 4th. And don't forget… love.