Fable III is one of Microsoft's flagship titles, it's got a much loved history and, if you're still cold to the series, it'd only take two minutes of a Peter Molyneux pitch to get you pumped about his latest project.
If you prefer your hype levels to be heightened with strict and structured lists, though, then this is for you.
From visceral combat to unexpected accents, this is why you should be excited about Fable III.
1. OFF THE MENU
There'll be no endlessly dipping into menus in Fable III. Responding to fan feedback Lionhead has added a neat new feature that sees you warp directly to a hub area with a press of the start button. Here you'll be greeted by Jasper the butler and have access to several rooms including an achievement chamber and a walk-in wardrobe! But wait, there's more...
2. MAP'S MORE LIKE IT
The centre-piece of your HQ is the map table. From here you can warp to any area on the map but more importantly you can monitor towns up close. This allows you to keep track of any active quests you have going as well as manage your financial investments. The end result is a far more accessible and infinitely more entertaining way to manage your game.
3. FABLEOUS FIGHTING
In the previous Fable games combat was robust enough, but never quite as exciting as it should have been. Here things have been improved with just a handful of tweaks. For instance, you can use full power abilities from the off, though it'll take ages to charge at first. It's worth doing however as the results can be spectacular. Melee attacks have some spectacular finishers.
4. GNOME YOUR ENEMY
Remember the potty-mouthed gargoyles from Fable II? We spent ages finding all of them, but the rewards were great. In the third game in the series you'll be hunting garden gnomes instead. Harmless enough you might think, but there's definitely something sinister about their glowing white eyes. If that's not enough to convince you of their inherent creepiness, wait till you hear them sing...
5. GOLDEN RULE?
It ain't easy being king. What complicates matters is that your road to the throne will be built on promises you won't always be able to keep. It turns out that doing the right thing isn't always the right thing for Albion, if you see what we mean. Still if it gets too tough at least owners of the Collector's Edition will be able to let chance decide by flipping the bundled guild seal coin.
6. THEY LOVE GAMES
The main story of Fable III is unquestionably darker in tone, but the series' trademark humour is still present in the game's side quests. One example sees your hero taking part in a bout of tabletop gaming. However, rather than rolling dice you're shrunk down to traverse the 'make believe' land on foot. Brilliantly, the game's players are visible around the game board, and perform all the voices of the cardboard cut-out characters.
7. BACK FROM THE DEAD
ZoŽ Wanamaker and Stephen Fry are both confirmed for the game's cast list so expect Theresa and Reaver to make an appearance. Other characters making a return include Fable II's bickering brothers Sam and Max, but as the threequel is set 50 years on they'll turn up as ghosts. We're guessing the afterlife hasn't mellowed them though.