Fable: The Journey announced for Xbox 360 Kinect with trailer

Fable: The Journey CG screenshot. Exclusively for Xbox 360 Kinect
Fable: The Journey was announced as an all-new videogame by Peter Molyneux and Lionhead exclusively for Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360. The game was revealed at Microsoft’s Pre-E3 2011 Press Conference with an impressive trailer.

You can see the new type of gameplay that Fable: The Journey is offering and how it makes use of Kinect for everything you do in the game, in the debut stage demonstration showing off gameplay.

Unlike the video suggests, the game is in fact NOT on-rails. It is a fully open world to explore completely at your leisure with all the freedom that players expect from the Fable universe. Peter Molyneux said that they begged to be given eight minutes to showcase Fable: The Journey at the Sony keynote, in order to have enough time to really get across what the game was like to play using Kinect, but they were only given four minutes. Peter claims Fable: The Journey is the best game yet made for Kinect.

As seen in the trailer, traveling the world via horse-drawn wagon/carriage was the most natural way of transportation that the development team was able to dream up using Kinect. You may laugh at first, but wait until you hear their reasoning. It is no coincidence that you have to sit when riding a horse…. just like you sit on your couch while playing videogames!

Thus the horse is a natural way for a person sitting and playing to get around without thinking or feeling that you must stand in order to use the Kinect more naturally. It makes perfect sense now, doesn’t it! And to think, at one point they had you traveling in the game by actually jogging on the spot…. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well. So horse riding it is!

Fable: The Journey takes place following Fable 3 but is a side-story with an all-new character and cast of characters involved, although set in the familiar world of Albion.

For the magic system, you use various gestures with your arms and hands to create spells and literally throw/fling them at foes. But Peter says what was shown in the demo was crafted purely for the demo’s-sake, and is not representative of the kind of experiences the larger adventure will entail. However, most of the game WILL be played from horseback, or so it seems according to Peter.

Here is the game’s official E3 2011 story trailer.

And while you have freedom to explore, Peter describes it as “the action comes to you”. One scene describes your carriage going through mechanical trouble while making your way through the woods. To make matters worse, you are being chased by a pack of hungry human-craving wolves. As your carriage wheel falls off, you end up having to fend off the wolves, protect your passengers, heal your horse and repair your wagon…. all at the same time! But while the game is mostly set on horse, that doesn’t mean that you can’t walk around. Apparently you can, but the horse is simply your main means for getting to new areas.

The magic system can be used on horseback, on foot, or in combat. The magic system is very in-depth, and the gestures are made to feel like you are “drawing” the spell in the air. And although the trailer shows an ice spear being crafted, you can craft all kinds of other things from nothing. And it’s not just weapons. You can craft all kinds of things using spells, from a telescope while on top of a mountain to a fishing road to catch dinner. More traditional weapons from spears to bow and arrows to hammers to swords can be crafted as well.

This video explains the storyline of the game and gives you a much, much better idea of how the game plays and how the exploration from horseback works.

Fable: The Journey has been in development for a while and Lionhead has been experimenting with Kinect for over 2 years (remember the Milo Project Natal demo?), so Peter promises that Fable: The Journey will offer one of the deepest gaming experiences available for the Kinect device, and that it will not disappoint core gamers. He also says that gamers have reason to be wary of Kinect, until there is a great Kinect game. He promises Fable: The Journey will be a great Kinect game and will justify controller free gaming for a hardcore RPG-craving audience.

Fable: The Journey is scheduled for release in mid 2012.