We'll hold our opinions on Fable The Journey until Matt or Jon get their literal hands on it; but so far, we're less than impressed. Neither is Peter Molyneux, apparently, but not with the game itself, but the allotted time Microsoft granted the team at Lionhead to showcase a short demo at their E3 2011 conference on Monday.
"We begged for eight minutes," reveals Molyneux, "but we only got four, and it was really hard to get across what Fable The Journey actually was". The reception to the demo was decidedly mixed. Whereas some praised the inventive use of Kinect - you summon and cast spells by gesturing with your hands - others simply dismissed it as Fable on-rails.
"A lot of people have written since that it’s Fable on rails," laments Molyneux. "It’s not on rails. That is a definitive statement". I'm inclined to believe him, even if the demo itself suggests otherwise. "You’re free to travel through Albion, taking 300-mile journeys, there are paths and hamlets and caves to explores – it’s not on rails," insists Molyneux again.
Fable The Journey is the first game in the series not to be developed in-house at Lionhead. Headed up by former staff at an offshoot studio overseen by Molyneux, the game isn't even built on the same tech as Fable 2 or 3, with Microsoft instead opting for Epic's Unreal Engine 3.
It could be great. I'm a great believer in Molyneux and Lionhead's desire to innovate, if a little less confident in their ability to execute their ideas. It could also be very bad, both for the Fable series and Kinect's core appeal as a whole. But Molyneux is typically smitten with his next title. "I kick myself when I think about showing this demo. What we should have shown is beautiful moments like when you’re healing the horse with your hands. You’ve not only for fireballs in your hands, you’ve got life force. It makes your heart sing". [Beef Jack]