Fable II tells your story as you see fit in many ways. While the main storyline doesn't change much, how events go about, how the world changes, and your own character's personality are all in your hands. The game begins in yor childhood, where you learn the basics of the game. Eventually, you are lead to Lord Lucien's castle, where Lucien is established as the game's antagonist. You then find yourself in the future, tasked with assembling a group of chosen heroes. You are the first hero, and on your own, must find the heroes of strength, skill and will.
Though the main plot may be simple, the game does everything right in regards to the elements of the story. All of the main characters in the game are very well developed, and are all memorable. I quite enjoyed meeting Hammer, the hero of strength, a female monk who looks like a bodybuilder. There was also Reaver, the self-centered, amoral pirate. Aside from the characters, the game also has plenty of events that will keep you gripped, though I won't spol anything.
Fable II is an Action RPG, but is made great by how it takes so many established concepts of the genre in a totally new direction. One of the first things you will notice is the experience system, which is divided into four categories: strength (melee), skill (ranged), will (magic), and general. Whenever you are in a battle, however youi fight will determine what kind of experience you get. If you use your sword, you will get blue strength experience orbs and general experience. You can then upgrade your character as you see fit, based on the experience you gain. General experience goes into all catergories.
One of the best parts of Fable II is the combat system. The X button is for melee attacks, Y for ranged, and B for magic. The combat is simple and streamlined, yet has depth and requires skill. As you progress, you can invest experience in each area for more abilities. You can flourish your sword attacks, zoom in on parts of the body, and charge your magic up for greater damage. The better you perform, the more experience you get. The best part, however, is that the game never feels button-mashy. I loved mixing up my attacks, charging up the sword, and using each option to be a beast in combat. It should also be stated that you don't die in Fable, rather, you get knocked out. Whever you are knocked out, you lose experience, and you are permanently scarred.
One of Fable's main draws is the aspect of moral choice. Should I aid the thieves, or turn them in? Often, the bad choices have instant gratification, and the good ones always seem poor at first. However you play will effect your goodness and purity. Steal from the register? You become more evil. Eat some veggies? You're more pure. However you play the game effects your appearance. You can become fat or thin, you can become muscular if you use strength experience, and you look evil and grow horns if you are evil. In other, more subtle ways, your decisions also effect the world. If you help the police in your youth, Bowerstone will be a nice place, but if you help the crook, it won't be.
Unfortunately, some aspects of Fable fall short. The bread crumb which leads you to the main quest doesn't work like it should. I found my self running ahead of it at times, and having to wait for it other times. It would occasionally lead me in circles, as well. It seemed like it didn't totally work right. The dog was great, but sometimes would linger and go the wrong way when he found treasure. Fable also has it's share of bugs. Enemies got stuck in walls, the camera got stuck, the game would lag, and almost every time I started up, the game would freeze.
Another part of Fable that falls short are the relationships. As promised, you can get married and have kids, but this really isn't all that fun to do. In a game with so much depth, the relationships are very shallow. All it took to make the entire world fall in love with me was blowing a kiss and flexing my arms. After that, everyone wanted to marry me, and it would have been a happy marriage. It rally was a disappointment that there was nothing to any of this, and really, it wasn't rewarding at all.
Fable II is a great game, and I had a ton of fun, despite that I had to reset my console a few times to get it to run. You'll find yourself playing the game through a number of times, and a number of ways. One game, you're donating to the temple, the next game you're bashing down doors and having orgies in someone else's home. However you play, though, you'll likely have a blast with Fable II.