Dear, oh dear, oh dear. As if we weren't worried enough, Peter Molyneux has now confirmed you will be swinging no axes, swords or hammers in Fable The Journey, as Lionhead's upcoming action-adventurer does not feature melee combat. Why? Well, because according to Molyneux, we're "encoded" to expect certain reactions to our actions in games, and seeing as how Kinect cannot register recoil or the like - simulated in controller's by vibrations - he's opted to remove all guns and swords from the game.
"We could have done melee weapons," begins Molyneux, worryingly, "but the one thing I hate about melee weapons, and guns as well, is that the human brain is encoded to expect recoil from those things. Whenever I swing a sword and I hit something on screen, the visuals and the sound isn't enough."
According to Molyneux, Lionhead could have done a "Zelda", wherein Twilight Princess you swing the Wiimote and your sword reacts on-screen, rather than via the controller. "But I wanted people to feel powerful, to feel power, and that's all about you." Instead, Lionhead opted for spell-casting, as Molyneux believes we're not predisposed towards magic. "So no guns, and no swords," Molyneux concludes.
Come to think of it, I'm sort of surprised no-one caught wind of this earlier. In almost every preview or developer chat, no mention has been made of melee or guns. We haven't even glimpsed them in screens. As long as Lionhead can ensure the spell-casting mechanic - wherein you shape balls of magic on-screen via your hands, stretching them out for a wider area-affect - is enjoyable and responsive, I doubt we'll miss the others much.
That said, opinion on Fable The Journey is skeptical enough as it is, and this won't help. Already we're finding it very hard to accept The Journey as a fully fledged Fable offering, instead of a simple Kinect job. Here's to hoping Lionhead's GamesCom showing is as impressive as they've promised. We'll be there to tell you if it is. [OXM]