First off I think it essential to state how different this fable is to the others. It is completely Kinect controls and so the wandering around looking for something, killing or just having a wander is not an option in this game; as such, for a fable title, it is rather restricted. This is what has dropped it a star for me and which has caused a little disappointment. Nevertheless is has a lot to offer in other areas.
An example is the originality. The Fable series is known for its originality and here it has not disappointed. The unique use of the kinect for complete control is a brave move which for the most part has paid off.
The Kinect can be a bit frustrating at times, I'm not going to deny that but for the most part it seems to behave in this game; it responds well in the accuracy, responds well while driving your horse and cart and seems to do pretty well in keeping out the way when not needed voice wise (which I cant say when playing Halo remastered for example; every word it seemed to think was a command). The main point though is that the Kinect has made this game so much fun. You feel like the hero, you are the controller, YOU are saving the world of Albion. Additionally, this game offers a serious stab at kinect gaming; being the most responsive and 'largest' game to come to the kinect.
Here is another massive plus of the game; Albion. It is simply beautiful to look at, with reasonable graphics the world still manages to be filled with so much detail and beauty that it can be distracting. This distraction however is needed in some parts of the game as for a lot of it you are on the Cart... This is not an issue, it's fun and easy to get used to, much like a stick on a controller, it feels natural eventually to move around; even if there is a lot of it. A hell of a lot. At some points a lot where you think that the game has forgotten you as not much has happened and all there is to do is enjoy the scenery.
I wont get too much in to the story as I don't want to give away too many *SPOILERS* but it is a solid story, based around yourself (Gabriel) and Teresa fleeing and defeating The Corrupter. It felt about time some questions about Teresa are answered and its exciting to get an insight into her life and mystery. This game is all about her mystery and in fact feels a little like an "in between"; the moments when say in fable 3 she disappears and you have no idea where she has gone or when she's coming back, this game feels like one of the places she may have disappeared to. There's that spin off feeling. It's not a bad feeling, its fun and interesting and answers questions, yet its defiantly a spin off. This is a fable for Kinect, not fable 4. Another plus to the story is the refreshing lack of blood line hero's; this was getting a little tiresome and a chance to create and develop a hero of your own is fun and exciting.
The main PRO's of the game:
The use of magic; easily controlled once you find the right position for yourself in front of the Kinect.
Using and Caring for your horse; Fun, easy and quick to get used to and oddly you do build a bond.
The strong story; interesting, mysterious and as strong as any before it, if a little "spin offy".
The beauty; the game is beautiful scenery wise.
Difficulty seems about right; it speeds up as you develop through the game, keeps you on your toes but it's not so hard that you want to destroy it or so easy that you get bored.
The main CON's of the game:
It is basically on rails; you have a few choices here and there, you control the horse, yet the track is set with the odd fork in the road. On feet you can go left or right and shoot around but you cant wander off and set your own path.
Some parts of the horse riding gets a little repetitive and boring and often left me wondering if the game had forgotten I was there.
All in all I was impressed with Fable: the Journey. It was a brave move basing it completely on kinect controls and for the most part it has paid off. It is a shame you couldn't explore that much as that has been such a distinctive part of any previous Fable. The odd stand up moment where you could jump about for a bit or walk would have been welcomed (much like the controls of Rise of Nightmares).
In the future I hope Fable has another stab at Kinect gaming as well as controller and kinect mix because I think it has worked really well, especially for this particular story. Some people may be annoyed at the lack of meele weaponry, however I think it would have felt weird in your hand; the magic based fighting has a much more natural and controlled feel.
A must buy if you own a kinect. Be warned about the rails and just enjoy it for what it is; a great fun game with usual Albion (rather British) laughs, action and beauty. Try not to compare it to the RPG's it was born from as you probably will get a bit disappointed/ miss them; it's the same beloved world and characters just a different perspective of it all. 4 out of 5: fun, exciting, mysterious, responsive yet a shame about the lack of exploration.