Unlike its wide-open predecessors, Fable: The Journey is a linear adventure where players serve as a daydreaming Gypsy named Gabriel.

After he's separated from his caravan, Gabriel and his trusty steed, Seren, encounter blind seer Theresa, a staple in the Fable series who is again voiced by deliciously raspy "Harry Potter" actress Zoe Wanamaker. She guides Gabriel on a sweeping quest to reunite with his tribe and harness powers capable of taking down any foes that stand in his path.

The hand-based controls are assigned to a variety of actions that include spinning a crank to engage an elevator, cracking reins to force Seren to trot faster, reaching up to a tree to pick an apple for her to eat, lifting a treasure-chest lid up and wielding a Force-like spell to tug enemies across the landscape and thrust open closed passageways.

Other than the frustratingly slow first hour or so of the game, Fable: The Journey is impressively paced, seamlessly alternating between guiding Gabriel's horse-drawn carriage through picturesque vistas, leading him on intense high-speed chases and blasting magic out of his hands in ground-based, on-the-rails confrontations. There are a few puzzles, too.


RATING T for Teen

PLOT The role-playing series continues

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DETAILS Xbox 360, $50

BOTTOM LINE Casting Kinect magic