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Fable 2 & Fallout 3

Fable 2 (Xbox 360)

Why get excited?
The idea of living the life of a fantasy hero is as intriguing as it ever was, and this time Lionhead seems to have the technology to make it happen. We've already had some details of the new context-sensitive fighting system, and new additions like primitive guns, a constant companion - your faithful hound - and the chance to get married and have a family are very interesting indeed. Set 500 years after the original, Fable 2 allows you to explore a bigger and more fully realised Albion, but the quirky British-ness that made Fable such a refreshing change from the big US RPGs should still be there. Peter Molyneux is promising not just an adventure but an emotional journey. If he can deliver, Fable 2 has magical potential.
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Curb your enthusiasm?
Lionhead's recent output has been innovative but also slightly patchy, and the original Fable didn't quite live up to its stratospheric ambition. That said, it was a very credible action RPG, and Molyneux has calmed down the hype this time around. Our suspicion is that this Fable might be rather more successful.

ETA: 2008
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Fallout 3 (Xbox 360, PC, PS3)

Why get excited?
On the one hand, it's the third game in the legendary post-apocalyptic RPG series. On the other hand, it's a new game from Bethesda - the guys behind Oblivion - and it uses an enhanced version of the same tech. The trailer suggests that the series trademark blend of black comedy, rich storytelling and stylised violence still lies at the heart of the threequel, and it's understood that this remains a proper RPG with solid skill and experience systems, not an FPS with knobs on. Imagine Oblivion with mutants, weird wastelands, heavy weapons and a lot of overblown gore, and try to restrain the urge to pre-order.
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Curb your enthusiasm?
Updating such a well-regarded series is always a risk - particularly without the original development team. After Bioshock and Mass Effect, RPG fans are also hostile to major changes, particularly those seen as ‘dumbing down.' All the same, we'll be surprised if this isn't an absolute belter. It could be this year's Bioshock and this year's Oblivion in one!

ETA: Autumn

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