You're more than welcome to play the good guy in "Fable," slaying beasts and winning the hearts and minds of the people. But it's equally satisfying -- albeit ethically troubling -- to be as wicked as you want.
Just remember: There are long-term implications for your behavior.
That's because much like the real world, "Fable" creator Peter Molyneux has made a game with consequences, where every action tends to have a significant reaction.
It kicks off with a tragic tale of a farm boy (you) who thinks he's the only one in his village to survive a bandit attack. Seemingly alone, he suddenly gets recruited into a hero training school.
As you follow the story and grow from lanky boy to muscular man, be mindful of your decisions.
Go ahead, attack the villagers, burglarize their homes if you want. You'll have every guard in the fictional world of Albion after you, ready to toss you in prison (or worse).
"Fable" has everything you'd expect in a role-playing game, and action isn't forgotten amid all the ethical dilemmas.
There are miles of caves and winding forest paths to explore, all of them filled with monsters just waiting to destroy you.
The game is split into a series of increasingly hard quests. Completing them advances the story and unlocks better weapons and spells.
You can choose to finish the quests and nothing more, or select a boast to go along with it: brag about fighting a pack of wolflike Balverines without taking damage, or better yet, battle them in the nude. Complete these extra tough or embarrassing boasts and you're rewarded with even more riches, important for acquiring better weapons, armor and magic potions.
If you focus on completing main quests instead of probing the game's many pleasant secrets, this $50, M-rated Xbox exclusive shouldn't take you very long to complete.
But you'd be missing out on perhaps the best part of "Fable."
There are myriad opportunities to dig for gold, cast a line and go fishing, buy a house or present gifts like a box of chocolates to that special lady friend. You can even get tattoos or a stylish haircut complete with mutton chops (apparently all the rage with the ladies here).
I can play about any game and kill monsters. It's the personal interaction with the characters, the constant ethical decisions, that make "Fable" such an enjoyable game.
Three and a half stars out of four.