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Fable 2 release date announced

XBLA Pub Games also dated.

Microsoft has announced that Fable 2 will be released in Europe on 24th October exclusively for Xbox 360.

Meanwhile, the Fable 2 Pub Games title for Xbox Live Arcade will be released next week on 13th August for 800 Microsoft Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60).

Fable 2 is a vast, branching, emotional action-RPG developed by Lionhead, in which players embark on a journey heavily influenced by practical and moral choices.

As well as adventuring, you'll be able to raise a family and form relationships with various characters, or butcher people, and generally customise your path

Other innovations over Fable 1 include simplified combat and magic controls, and drop-in/drop-out co-operative play over Xbox Live (with a clever "orb" system that lets you keep an eye on your friends' progress even when you're in single-player).

Another innovation is the Pub Games - a trio of gambling mini-games packaged up as an Xbox Live Arcade game for 13th August release.

Not only will these amuse you on their own (Fortune's Tower, for example, is a sort of customised fantasy Blackjack - and rather addictive), but they allow you to wager and lose or bolster your real Fable 2 character's supply of gold.

Microsoft has also alerted us to the contents of the Fable 2 Limited Collector's Edition: a bonus DVD with lots of behind-the-scenes video, bonus in-game content ("The Hall of the Dead" Dungeon, "The Wreckager" Legendary Cutlass and "Otherworldly Bonus"), a collectible Hobbe figure, a 48-hour XBL Gold trial, and five printed Fate cards.

The decision to offer bonus in-game content to people who pay extra for the Collector's Edition might not go down too well (cf Battlefield: Bad Company), but we'll have to wait and see.

Look out for our review of the Fable 2 Pub Games very soon and of course our full review of Fable 2 nearer the 24th October release date. In the meantime, check out our extensive Fable 2 hands-on report and recent interview with developer Peter Molyneux for more details.

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