Molyneux Disowns Fable E3 Demonstration As A "Horrendous Mistake"

Molyneux Disowns Fable E3 Demonstration As A "Horrendous Mistake"
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The E3 news conference demonstration Fable: The Journey, the Kinect-enabled next entry in the role-playing franchise, was objectively speaking a flop. The series’ creator himself says so, because the Journey left the impression this was a rail-shooter spinoff, and now everyone’s in damage control.

“I made an horrendous mistake on the press demo on taking out the navigation allowing players to move,” he said to Official Xbox Magazine. “I’ll state on record now that Fable: The Journey is definitely not on rails.”

Molyneux, in OXM’s video, then points to a whiteboard that has those words written, followed by three exclamation points. Underneath that were dozens of signatures Molyneux said came from writers who had seen the game and agreed with him.

Crecente’s impressions say the game is “part on-rails shooter.”

It sounds like Molyneux wanted to showcase the game’s action, which had the demonstrator making gesture-based magic attacks and steering a carriage. Admittedly, open-world navigation isn’t really telegenic when you don’t have much time, but the whole thing reeked of gimmickry and left many giving it a thumbs down.

Molyneux: Fable Kinect Demo a ‘Horrendous Mistake’ [Official Xbox Magazine]


  • How does one, er, make the small error of removing navigation from the game demo?!

    Or at least not explaining that you’d done it in the first place? What interpretation did he expect people would get from it?

  • WARNING: This turned into a huge rant…

    I followed the Fable series since the first mention of it way back in 2001/02… back when it was Project Ego and associated mainly to Big Blue Box.

    At that point it sounded like the best RPG I could imagine; once released I enjoyed it, but was let down a bit by broken promises, a short main story, and hit/miss gameplay. Melee combat was fun, but if you didn’t use the 1h sword, you were missing out on take down moves as well variety in weapons.

    Then Fable 2 came along, I was wary, but still I enjoyed the art style and the gameplay style. Followed it less energetically than the 1st game, but still bought it on release day. Enjoyed it up to the point where the story ended up mirroring the 1st game and then distracted myself with the wide array of weapons, clothes, tattoos, gear and looks you could fiddle with on your character. Plus the melee combat was boss in this iteration, and interacting with the populace was far easier.

    Fable 3, I could barely bring myself to follow it. I did however end up buying it, collectors Edition even, what can I say, I’m a sucker for new gear and a boxer dog 😛

    Played it, was mostly disappointed. I had no interest in the fictional time-period and the style of the characters/world. There was some cool upgrades to the visual element of combat, cool flourishes and finishing moves, however it felt more sluggish and un-responsive than Fable 2 in practice.

    The much hyped weapon morphing was mostly a rubbish gimmick and most of the morph options were weak, especially on the Hammers which was now the only non-sword weapon in the game (Having enjoyed using the 1h & 2h axes in Fable, then only having the 2h axe or Mace in Fable 2, now the only option was hammers. I mean honestly, who even used hammers in Fable 2?). After the initial look of the hero hammer which I liked, the morphs changed my hammer into something out of a shitty anime.
    -It would of been far better if they let us create our own combo of weapon bits and bobs in some kind of blacksmithing mini-game, that would of been far superior than having to sit there with a big green bone hammer ‘cuz one time just before upgrading you drank lots of potions and killed many hollowmen.

    The character you played as interacted with the world in 2 ways; as a spineless little twerp or a spoilt shithead. You only were really able to interact in two ways; holding everyone’s hand or killing them. At least in Fable 2 you could run around and get the whole town drunk fairly swiftly using the expressions wheel, making it very easy to give gifts or use expressions, a far better system than the “press A to interact with this character alone” type system of Fable 3, which meant it was even a pain in the arse to interact with your dog. You could only give gifts if the recipient wanted one, otherwise you had to go on a fucking courier quest for them to like you.

    On top of that there was much less character customisation options, the scarring system got worse, the body morphing was also far more subtle, which in a game of Python-esque humour and Pratchett-inspired design, subtlety is wasted. The player character became far less… er… characterful.

    Hrm, so after all that, this new Fable… looks to be the worst one yet. I’m pretty much certain I won’t be buying this. Lionhead have taken the series in the wrong direction for my tastes. If they went back in Albion’s history to the period where all those ancient ruins were being built it would be far more interesting.

    On top of that, Lionhead seemed to have gotten worse at their control and gameplay mechanics, I can only imagine that developing for a new input method (kinect) will be even worse. Sorry Lionhead, I’ve always had a soft spot for you, because of your connection with Bullfrog and the energy that you had in your creativity, but you’ve completely gone off the rails (hah!) when it comes to good games and quality design, watching that footage was so depressing, the enemies looked more like the trolls from the Gummi Bears than Hobbs.

    How saddening.

  • As soon as he showed this at E3 I though he’d just lost 80% of the fable fan base. I don’t think changing to “part on-rails shooter” is going to make a difference.

  • I’m really starting to feel that Kinekt and Play station move etc are starting to kill the video game industry.. Companies seem to be dumbing down and cheapening up their games in order to fulfil the simple minded peoples’ demands.

    • Please don’t lump Move in with Kinect before it’s had an opportunity to show a core game title.

      Kinect has had Star Wars, Dance Central and now Fable to show what potential it has for gameplay.

      • If the Playstation Wii hasn’t shown off a decent title by now, it never will.

        Wii? Kinect? Move? Same crap, different companies.

    • I play on consoles as well as PC, just getting that out of the way first…

      but in some kind of sick way I find it funny what Kinect and Move and the like are doing to consoles because now everyone is angry at them for dumbing down console games… and it sounds *exactly* like what PC players have been saying about consoles since the late 90s… God forbid in another 10 years there will be people defending Kinect and complaining about something even lamer that is ‘diluting’ the experience haha *shudders*

      Kinect/Move < Consoles < PC … … < Real Life ;-P

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