'How much is that doggy in the window?" Peter Molyneux says.
"Well, sir, every dog here is a mutt. We don't know what they are, so we can't put a price on them. If you want them, take them."
"Well, thank you dog man!" says Peter Molyneux. He goes, takes all the mutt dogs, throws them in the back of his truck, and drives back to his evil lair (Lionhead Studios), where he proceeds to dismantle every little mutt dog, and patch together his second uber-dog of even more epic proportions. Yep, in this uber-dog, there is literally a little bit of everything. Of course, he had to leave one of the mutts alone, lest he be charged for genocide. So he decided to make it your little canine companion, alongside this massive uber-dog he decides to call Fable 2.
Fable 2 is, really, an unfinished game. Yes, it includes almost everything you'd want in a game, but you keep getting to moments when you realize, "Wow, I really wish this was in the game too." And you will encounter that so often, because Peter Molyneux has gotten so close to the perfect RPG, and is obsessed with every little detail, but occasionally misses out on the big points. And really, Fable isn't just an RPG. It's been turned and added upon so much that it's like Colonial Second Life melded together with Fallout 3.. on super
easy. Really, the combat is the easiest part of the game, which isn't saying it's not fun. Leveling up enough in certain skills can be one of the most rewarding and humorous things the game has to offer. I can't tell you how many times I smiled after learning the Sub-Targeting skill, which allows you to target specific parts of an enemy with your ranged weapon. Currently, my player has made 38 groin shots, and it's really quite funny.
Besides the combat, the one thing in Fable 2 that really makes your jaw drop is the scenery. The cities are beautifully detailed, and the forests and outside world suck you in and are incredibly realistic. But it's not just that. The economy and people around you react to what you've been doing in-game. Following a quest that made me a generous amount of cash, I went down to the Market and bought a pub, which is quite an expensive building in comparison to the rest of Bowerstone's properties. I then set the prices of the items (yes, you can do that too) in the store up 100%, and almost immediately people looked at me and scowled, muttering things like 'money-hungry' and 'bastard', and their views of me changed. Now, the people in Fable 2 are very different from the first installment. You can 'target' people, which opens up expressions you can make towards them. Say Sally the Whore enjoys the Sock Puppet expression, which is found in their Bio. Do the Sock Puppet for them, and you'll get a huge bonus in their opinion of you, in which case, they might think you are funnier, or love you more. Oh, yes, and you can have sex. Hot sex. Hot sex with five people in a drunken bar. And it's encouraged in the game (an achievement is given for doing so). Really, is there anything in the game not to like?
Unfortunately, yes. People have two voices. One if they're a guy, and one if they're a chick. It really does get quite monotonous after a while. Secondly, the game glitches, not a lot, but occasionally, and if you don't find a way to reverse it, the glitch will occur forevermore in your game. I had a glitch occur when I went in to my house to change a table, and when I pressed the button, it targeted a chair and a little thing popped up on the top of the screen, saying "Buy furniture from a furniture store to upgrade this item" or something like that. And that was floating there for a good week while I was exploring around. And it wasn't until the little ten-year gap in the middle of the storyline (I'm not giving away anything) that the thing finally went away. Your dog will continually get stuck trying to keep up with you, and sometimes getting him to lead you to treasure or dig spots is a real pain. Overall though, Fable 2 is almost the perfect game. It has almost everything, and melds so many genres it defies categorization. In a slumping economy this holiday season, you should make this game first on your wish list, because high replay value and just so much to explore will keep you going 'till February.