Is Molyneux's vision of Fable: The Journey too good to be true?
Get a bit of white facepaint and a couple of prosthetics and I reckon Peter Molyneux would make a pretty convincing Lord Voldemort. I'm not saying that to be mean, it's just that after watching him whisper "why don't you just die" at a presentation during Microsoft's Spring Showcase I was more than a little bit worried the next words out of his mouth would be avada kedavra.
Molyneux is a well spoken man with a lot to say, and with Fable: The Journey he's managed to articulate one of his most difficult arguments yet - that it's not only possible to make a Kinect game that'll appeal to the core audience, but one that works with softly spoken words and only the gentlest of gesticulations.
Like much of Lionhead's stuff, there's already the faint whiff of the impossible about it - anyone who screamed at the television shouting "HALO THROW GRENADE" during last year's Halo: Anniversary will be extraordinarily dubious of the claim Fable: The Journey will respond to utterances barely louder than a whisper. There's plenty to be sceptical about when it comes to Fable: The Journey, then, but at least you can't fault it for not being interesting.
The meat of the game is between one man, Garbiel, and his horse, taking a 300-mile trek across Albion in a quest to reach The Spire. While hinted at before, the relationship between horse and player seems to have been intensified since the game's last public showing at E3 2011 - exacerbated, perhaps, by the fact Molyneux seems to be more than a little bit enchanted by the stage version of War Horse.
While you can't kill the horse directly, your actions have an effect on its well-being. You pull the reins too hard and the horse's bit will tear its lips. Work your mare too hard and it will become malnourished, and if you're feeling particularly torturous you can even push arrows into its body instead of taking them out. It's a fairly realistic looking nag, too, with attention being lavished over the way its ears move, and the way it blows air out its mouth.