Fable 2 has a serious problem on its hand. There is no way to talk about everything you can do in this game in a meaningful way without leaving the article's length something just shy of a novella. Even after putting somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 hours of game time, I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface.
Read on for my full impressions of the game.
Lets try to explain this in terms of a gaming equation.
- You can quick travel between places by pulling up your quest log. Simply choose a quest and off you go. The same holds true for Sales on Items, Updates to your Families, and just about anything else.
- Your quest will take you to new areas of Albion, and to familiar areas from Fable 1. Every area in the game cycles between day and night, and slowly cycles between seasons. Depending on the time of day, different things are available and happen. Shops are only open during the day. Balverines only come out at night. I guess too many shoppers were getting eaten by Balverines.
- There's a clearly marked main story line, but along the way you open up side quests. These quests earn you renown, help change the state of towns, and provide a ton of experience. One quest had me cleaning up the mess of two fellows that accidentally read from the book of the dead and caused the town's cemetery to be overrun by the undead. Ooops.
- While you probably know you can get married in Fable 2 (multiple times), what you didn't know is that you need to set an allowance for your significant other. That's right - it costs money to be married, but you do get a benefit. The more money you allow your wife (in my case) to spend, the happier she is. The happier she is, the better your house can become. The better your house is, the more benefit you get from it. The perks a house provides are clearly marked on the deed - conveniently placed on the front door.
- Your dog companion is incredibly helpful for finding treasure, locating hidden items, and keeping pinned enemies down. You can teach your dog new tricks by reading books and giving positive praise. These tricks can help make people like you more in social situations making it easier to get information, or cheaper to buy goods. Your dog levels up just like you.
- Remember the demon doors from the first Fable? They are back. You'll need to do something special to unlock them and find out what's behind. So far I haven't had any luck.
- The Orbs in the game not only allow you to quickly join another player's game for co-op, but it also allows you to see stats, gift items and send messages. The orbs themselves take on that players personal gamerpic - it's quite odd to see a floating picture of your friend floating around.
- The D-Pad is a contextual menu of emotes, quick potions, and commands for your dog. This changes depending on who or what you are focused on. In a co-op game you can combine emotes and actions for double the effect.
- The game has a huge economy in it. You can buy a shop and earn income from it every 5 (real world) minutes. You can buy a house and rent it out to earn income as well. Want a cheaper house? Kill the owner, drive the price down. Buy it. Spruce it up and resell it a higher value. Want a discount on weapons? Buy a blacksmith. There's so many possibilities here, and again, I probably didn't even scratch the surface. Those aren't the only ways to earn money, you can complete odd jobs, learn a trade, and of course - gamble.
- Your character earns 4 kinds of experience. General (Green), Yellow (Ranged), Red (Will), and Blue (Body/Skills). Each one of these can then be used to upgrade their respective skills. So if you have 1500 general experience and 2000 will experience, you can unlock a 3500 XP cost Will skill. The game will always pull from the specialize experience pool first. You can even find potions and items that will give you bonus experience points. Score.