The Microsoft E3 press conference featured about 4 minutes of Fable: The Journey gameplay, 4 minutes that showed off almost exclusively on-rails gameplay. After that presentations many websites (including 123Kinect.com) naturally wrote that Fable: The Journey will be on-rails.
This whole on-rails ordeal made Peter Molyneux a bit upset, so upset that he went out to clarify that Fable: The Journey is absolutely NOT on-rails and that the game has plenty of freedom and free exploration. There is however a bit of a catch I think and I’m still a bit skeptical about the whole game.
Fable The Journey is not on-rails!
So Fable: The Journey is not on rails, in fact, only a tiny fraction of the game is, according to Molyneux. He explain that what we all saw in the Microsoft presentation was a result of getting only half the time they originally wanted to showcase the game. They had to make concessions for the demo, and as a result the game looks like it would be on-rails.
Molyneux is saying that the game will stay true to the real Fable experience and that there is lots of freedom and exploration!
So how does this free exploration with Kinect work? Well Molyneux explains that they experimented a lot with different gestures and stuff like running on the spot. All not working according to him so they had to take a radical different direction. The result of this is horses. You will be able to freely explore on a horse or in a carriage and apparently this make the game very good (because Zelda, Assassin’s Creed 2 and Red Dead Redemption also had horses and those are all good games).
Gameplay on the horse will not be limited to exploration only, explains Molyneux, as he sketches the following scenario:
You are going through the woods when wolves start chasing and attacking you in your carriage, leaping at your horse and tearing at its flanks. Your horse spooks and run off, forcing you to wrestle it back under control, before a wheel comes off the carriage, knocking your passengers to the ground. The woods around you are full of wolves – so you’ve got to fend them off, heal your horse, protect your passengers and repair your wagon, all at once.
So action will be coming to you all the time, while you are exploring on your horse.
Is it a driving game?
So, you can take your horse and freely explore the beautiful world of Albion, just like in previous Fable games. Just that once you get off your horse the game will be on-rails. Molyneux is saying that this does will not occur often as “off-horse gameplay will be relatively rare” and “For most of the game, you’ll be either on the reins or in your wagon – the action comes to you”.
This immediately brought the question to my head: “so what, is Fable like a driving game now?”. I’m still rather skeptic about this title because to me it seems this is like a open-world-driving-shooting game. You’ll ride around on your horse, stuff comes at you and you use your magic weapons to kill stuff, only to continue riding around again. It all doesn’t sound like a true Fable game…
We need more info
My skepticism might be completely wrong though, and as I haven’t actually played the game yet I should not draw any conclusion. I hope there will be a preview version soon and as we’ll find out more about Fable: The Journey we will inform you immediately.
So what do you think about Fable: The Journey?