I'm about halfway through Fable 2, so I thought I'd share some of my impressions. Here we go!
Fable 2 looks gorgeous. Not in a photo-realistic sense but rather the art direction that went into it. They've really gone above and beyond to make you feel like you're in your own little world. Albion definitely has a pulse.
I was a little unsure of how well this whole "one-button combat" stuff would work. I remember hearing that Molyneux wanted to make the combat non-gamer friendly but with enough depth for even the most hardcore player. From what I've experienced so far, he's done exactly that.
Today I went through a certain challenge that requires you to take on multiple waves of enemies in various arena-like environments. There is no way a non-gamer is gonna get past that part alive. But good ol' Peter came up with a solution for less experienced players. Instead of dying and restarting at a checkpoint like in most games, you just kinda pass out and you're magically resurrected with an XP penalty (I'm pretty sure it's just whatever orbs are uncollected when you die). I'm not sure if you can die like 20 times in a row because, frankly, I don't suck that much. I imagine you can, though. You might think this would cheapen the whole experience for the hardcore players who want checkpoints, but I didn't really mind. Just try to survive for the experience orbs!
The combination of swords, guns, and magic all works very fluently-- even when surrounded by large groups of enemies. It's simple yet at the same time intricate. For example, you can go around and use nothing but your sword if you want or you can mix it up and use all 3 abilities. The depth doesn't stop here, folks. There's a spell that allows you to summon the dead to fight for you. There's gonna be weak enemies and there's gonna be strong ones in each encounter you face. So what you can do is take out the biggest, baddest motherfuckers first, then cast the spell and use them to your advantage! I can't say if there's any other strategies as cool as this one, but it's all up to you and how you play the game.
I'm diggin' Fable 2 so far. I'm diggin' it a lot. The moral choices, the epic story, the combat, the environments and more all stack up to make this game freakin' awesome.
Not so awesome, though, is the cooperative play. The camera is a downright annoyance, and upon joining a friends game I found that you can't use your own appearance (which sucks, because I totally customized my character to my liking with tattoos and expensive clothes and even a spiffy haircut).
The game isn't without it's flaws. There are some minor annoyances. For instance, I was going around trying to pick up chicks with the expressions you can use. After I found a wife, bought a house, and had a baby I was pretty much done being the town flirt. Apparently my character is just too damned attractive because I'm constantly getting unwanted visitors in my house with glazed over eyes and a giant heart above their head talking of marriage. Half of them are dudes. Seriously. Am I missing the 'toggle gayness' option somewhere? So then you have to do stuff to get them out of your fucking hair and I was going for the good guy image so I had to resort to running away half the time. The other option would be to dress your character as fugly as possible but I don't want to do that because, like I said, I liked the way I customized my character. Oh well.
The game as a whole is superb, and the minor annoyances are most certainly overshadowed by the sheer awesomeness that is Fable 2.