(Author: Sushi Warrior)
Fable 2 takes place 500 years after Fable 1, in the land of Albion. You play as a descendant of the earlier heroes, and the game starts at your childhood. You battle against the Evil (former) King Lucien, and you must gather the 3 other heroes (the Heroes of Skill, Will, and Strength). You are guided by Theresa, a blind woman whose intentions are unknown, and accompanied by your faithful dog. There are many side quests, some of which involve the battle versus good and evil. At one point this is literal, as the cultists from the Temple of Shadows attack the Temple of Light. Over the course of the game, your character starts to take form. You will evolve to be either Good or Evil, Pure or Corrupt, Combat, Magic or Ranged based. You can also marry and have kids. I can't give away very much of the story without ruining the plot however. The ending involves another big choice....
Your dog is your trusty sidekick
Overall, Fable 2 has good graphics and sound, but it really lacks collision detection and has many graphical glitches. When you open chests your dog sometimes half fades (some of his fur is invisible, some isn't), and sometimes his head pops through the lid of the chest. It also gets laggy sometimes, when there are lots of experience orbs and people on the screen. It has a somewhat cartoonish look, when compared to games like Mass Effect, Gears of War 2, and Fallout 3, and it also has a great lighting engine. The sound is excellent, and the people of Albion sound fitting. The chatter on the streets is excellent, and is relevant to what you have done. Whether or not you make good or evil choices will change what they say to you. The music is very unique, and relies on choirs, and believe it or not, techno for the more intense parts of the game. Overall, it really gets you in the game. Also, I should note here that the game is HILARIOUS. There are some things on the loading screens that will make you laugh a lot - especially if you've played Fable 1 (Your health is low!)
The little golden trail you see at the bottom guides you to objectives
As an RPG, this is where it really matters. Fable isn't really a challenge, as I myself beat it with "dying" only 3 times. Even then, you either are revived by a resurrection potion if you have one or simply are "knocked out" and get back up shortly after, and the only bad consequence is you will get some scarring (which will make you less attractive). The combat system branches into 3 channels - Melee, with swords, axes, katanas etc., Magic , with spells such as Shock, Raise Dead, and Chaos (note that there is NO MAGIC METER - you have unlimited spells), and lastly, Ranged. There are rifles, crossbows, and pistols, and note that they have no ammo. Also, with magic, to use stronger spells you must charge up a meter. This can be very annoying, but it does add a sense of balance to an easy game. You will find yourself using melee almost all of the time. You almost have to force yourself to use guns or magic.
High level magic attacks are hard to pull off, but when you do succeed they are devastating
When you kill enemies, you get experience orbs, which are coloured bubbles that fly out of the enemies when you hurt them. They are 4 colours - Red for magic, Yellow for Skill, Blue for Strength, and Green for general exp. You can use these orbs to upgrade in any of the 3 paths - Strength for special combat moves and more health and damage, Skill for better shooting and faster speed, and Will for spells. When you go to buy a skill, you add the amount in the specific category (Strength, Skill, Will) to general and that's what you have to spend. It may sound like Fable is based around combat, but there's a lot more to do.
Those coloured bubbles are the experience orbs. The better fight you higher the multiplier is
You can get a job (like a blacksmith or bartender), buy EVERY HOUSE OR BUSINESS THAT YOU SEE IN THE GAME, get a family, or shop around at the various sales that happen randomly. You make cash every 5 minutes if you rent a house out or own a business. This isn't just every 5 minutes you play - it includes when your Xbox is turned off. This makes it very easy to make money. Another element of the gameplay is online co-op. this is over xbox live (and also splitscreen). The second player doesn't use his character - they are the "henchman". I didn't have too much experience with online coop, but overall it seemed sort of useless to the second player (can't use their stats).
This is the coop setup screen. As you see, the second player doesn't choose their actual character, they make one on the spot
The actual single-player, however, is also sort of lacking. It is too short to be a serious RPG. At most it will last around 50 hours, and that is to do basically everything. You can complete the game in 2 days or less. I finished it in 3, along with ALL the sidequests. This is where it was disappointing - the side quests were very small in number, compared to Oblivion or a similar RPG.
It still is pretty fun to play with your buddies though
Versus Fable 1
Obviously, Fable 2 is better looking, and has more content, but it also provides a very similar feel. It has the same sort of whimsical comedy and humour, and both start with you being marked at childhood as special. One difference is the fact that you can buy everything - in Fable 1 it was limited to 2 or 3 houses per town. You can also start a family, which really goes along with the fact that you are shaping this characters life. It adds more content, but still not enough in my opinion. One big difference is the fact that there are no more godly legendary weapons, like the Solus Greatsword or the Sword of Aeons. Even though it is already easy, it would be nice to have more interesting weapons. Overall, it is basically equal with Fable 1 (for it's time).
In conclusion, Fable 2 is a good game for someone who wants the RPG experience without the time to play an RPG like Oblivion or Fallout 3. It is very funny, sort of glitchy, and really easy. I enjoyed playing it, and it is still a must have for 360.
Story - 9.5
Graphics/Sound - 9.2
Gameplay - 8.6
Lots of 'content' (Jobs, Family etc.)
Easy to learn combat system
Awesome voice overs
Best use of good/evil I have seen
Not many side quests
Unbalanced combat (melee is too strong)