Fable ships

After years of hype, Big Blue Box's much-vaunted and open-ended RPG ventures off to retail.

After nearly four years in development, Fable has finally shipped to stores. Available exclusively for the Xbox, it is rated "M" for Mature and retails for $49.99.

Set in the fantastic realm of Albion, Fable is a uniquely open-ended role-playing game. Starting off at childhood, the game follows players' characters through maturity, offering up a variety of fantastic quests. Players are also faced with all manner of moral choices; whether they opt for good or evil will not just determine the outcome of the game, but will also affect their appearance, a la Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

One of the most anticipated Xbox games this side of Halo 2, Fable was developed by Big Blue Box, a subsidiary of Peter Molyneux's Lionhead Studios. When he first announced the project, Molyneux promised its open-ended gameplay would make it "the greatest role-playing game of all time." The result, as outlined in GameSpot's review, was not as spectacular, but nonetheless impressive.

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