Fable 2 is the latest game from Peter Moleneux. His previous game, Fable, was overly hyped and as a result a dissapointment. It was a good game, just overhyped and brought down by promises that couldn't be delivered. Fable 2 is more or less the same thing, an overhyped game that is foundementaly good, just overhyped.
I apologize in advance for the length
Fable 2's gameplay is incrediably simple. "X" is to use swords and other melee weapons. "Y" is to use ranged weapons like guns and crossbows, and "B" is to use magic. Its all very simple and easy to use, and chaining magic, guns, and melee results in some pretty cool looking attacks, plus an experience boost. However it never gets any more complex than swithcing between magic/melee/range on the fly, which makes it feel empty. Plus, going "pure" or only using 1 skill is really hard, as melee and magic seem to be the strongest and going pure range would be just silly, since range attacks are arguably the weakest attacks. Save for headshots and point blank shotgun shots, its not that strong. The combat system is fun nonetheless, and can be easily mastered by just about anyone.
Another very important part of gameplay is your dog. The dog is implemented very well, and is almost never a hassle. Your little buddy finds treasure, helps you fight, and preforms tricks whenever you "talk" to the citizens. You can use books to teach your dog plenty of tricks and can also teach him to be a better fighter and treasure hunter. A better fighter will make him do more damage, and a better treasure hunter lets him find treasure thats farther away from the player. However, he does have his flaws, as he seems to like to get stuck on the occasional rock or tree.
If you have ever played "The Sims", then you'll have a pretty good idea of what talking to people in Fable 2 is like. You select some expressions from a menu wheel, and your avatar preforms them. So all socializing really boils down to is doing a bunch of odd actions to get people to like you. Not the deepest social mechanic I've ever seen, but it can lead to some humorous results. Like failing to fart could result in your avater crapping his/her pants. Thats another place where Fable 2 shines, its dark sense of humor.
If you can get an NPC to like you enough you can marry them. From there you can have kids if you don't use a condom. Families are pretty annoying and don't really serve any real purpose. It seems like its in the game "just because it can be". You can also have more than 1 family, but that is just a giant burden.
Everything in Fable 2, from the items to the side quest has some humor. The only thing missing some funny qualities is the main quest/story, which I will touch on later. Every item has a description, and almost all descriptions will give you a chuckle, and some will make you laugh outright. The side quests are also really fun, and are actually my favorite part of the game. You have your normal RPGish quests, kill bandits, bounty hunter, ect, and you have more interesting quests, like a grandmother who asks you to save her grandson who just went exploring in a tomb, only the grandson is actually a hardened adventurer and his grandma is overprotective. There are many more funny and fun side quests.
However, for all the fun sidequests there are these dredfully repetative things called "jobs".
All these "jobs" are are minigames where you have to hit a button as a little marker moves back and forth into a "safe zone".
And for some reason, one interesting job is unavailable to the player, prostitution. You see other people making money from it, why stop the player from doing it? I guess it would have come under fire from the media but still, in a game about making any choice you want, coupled with the games dark and adult tones, I'm suprised that you couldn't be a prostitute.
Fable 2's graphics and art style are very nice. I has a sort of storybook feel to it. In other words there is a lot of color in every part of the world, which is nice considering all of the gray and brown "realistic" games coming out nowadays. The graphics aren't on the same level as say Gears of War but they are very good nonetheless. However my only gripe with it is that there is so much damn bloom in the game it can get blinding at times. It looks really good, but they could have turned it down. Looking at the sun creates some cool shadow effects around your character and objects, but still hurts the eyes. Toning it down couldn't hurt.
The sounds, music, and voice acting are really nice. The voice acting does tend to change from brilliant and believable to hilarously bad. The sounds are really good, from a gunshot, to a troll rising from the ground. Its really well done. The music I found was very subtle, I only really noticed it during battles, and it was actually really nice.
The enemies you face in Fable 2 are cut and pasted from every other RPG. You fight bandits, Balverines (werewolves), Hobbes (goblin like creatures), and the undead. There could have been much more put into these enemies. The trolls are my favorite enemy to fight, and shows what Fable 2 could have been if there was more care put into the other enemies. Trolls are massive beasts that never move, but that doesn't mean that they are easy. They hurl rocks at the player and send small shockwaves through the ground at you. They are fun to fight and I just wish more enemies were created with the care the trolls were.
The choices you make in Fable 2 effect the world in a number of ways. And while making choices seems to be in every game these days, Fable 2 is the only game I played where you actually see the concequences of your choices bear fruit.
There are many choices like this, so it does become predictable. But it is still nice to be able to influece the world and you can see the results.
You can customize your character a great deal in Fable 2. At least determaning what clothes you wear and what your hairstyle/beard/moustache/makeup looks like. Other things like height and muscle size are controlled by skills and how good/evil you are and what you eat. Sadly when you max out your strenght if your a woman then your character looks like a guy with boobs. While guys look like steroid abusers. There is no way to reverse this that I know of. And if you use magic a lot then your body starts getting glowing blue markings on it. Which looks cool for a while but eventually loses its charm and you want it to go away. There is no way to get rid of the neon blue designs on your characters as well, which is lame. And you can get fatter or skinnier depending on what you eat. If you eat meats, you get fat, vegatables like celery keep you skinny. But for some reason when you eat pies you get "curruption points". Why the hell is it considered currupt if I eat a pie? It does not make sense.
Hopefully in future DLC there are potions or something that removes the neon blue designs and makes fully maxed characters look less like steroid abusers and more normal. There is already a height potion and fat/skinny potions in one of the DLC's so maybe there is hope.
The characters in Fable 2 are interesting to say the least. I'm just going to focus on the main characters. *spolers ahead*
Thats all for the main characters, except your character of course. There are many minor characters that are kind of important but seeing as how long this review already is, I'll have to skip them. Shame to, because there are so many interesting people.
Now for the main story *Spoilers ahead*
Fable 2 is a good game, just distorted through major hype and promises by Peter Moleneux. Sadly I couldn't comment on the Co-op feature of the game since I never played it. But other than that I tried to cover as much as I could. Although I missed the gargoyles. Shame to, because they are pretty funny, and annoying.
I would say rent this game and see if you like it before you buy it. Its not for everyone, especially not the hardcore RPG crowd.
And thats all, sorry again for the length, but there is a LOT of stuff to cover in Fable 2, if you put in a lot of time and explore everything, you find a great deal of content. But if you just rush through the main story as fast as you can, you will be sorely dissapointed.
Or maybe I just suck at writing and can't shorten things efficiently. I'll let you decide.
And please, tell me what I can do better and what mistakes I made so I can better myself.
And 1 last note: 1000th post! Wooooo!