Disappointment compared to the original
I'll give my opinions on certain aspects of the game below, and a score out of 5 for each part.
The game world/Sidequests - 4/5
The world is more open, and by that, I mean that the areas are much larger and theres isn't what feels like a set linear path (like there was in the original Fable.) While this is certainly an improvement, I still feel like the world isn't open enough. One feature which I find annoying is the fact that travelling between areas takes many ingame hours (because for some reason, it should take around 27 ingame hours to travel between Bower Lake and Bowerstone.)
There are quite a few sidequests in the game, and it can take a while to do them all (and get all of the achievements in the game), and this can be quite fun to do.
Plot - 2/5
The plot feels too basic, without as many twists and turns as Fable had. You have to locate the three Heroes, and return them to Theresa (who is actually the sister of the original protagonist of Fable) to defeat Lord Lucien. At the start, your sister is killed after a wish made from a magical music box leads her and you to Fairfax Castle, where Lord Lucien shoots her, and knocks you out of the window.
Next, it goes to your young-adulthood, and your hunt for the Hero of Strength, Hammer. After that, you are taken to locate the Hero of Will, who is kidnapped by Lucien. You must then compete in the Crucible (kinda like the Knothole Glade Arena in Fable), and then go to the Spire, and spend 10 ingame years trying to break the Hero of Will out. The way that time passes in the game (this is a good example) is interesting, but at the same time wierd.
I was quite disappointed with the plot tbh, particularly the ending (which I will not spoil.) Theres also a lack of boss battles in the game, although there are enemies (e.g. Trolls) that are annoying to fight.
Combat system - 2/5
To be honest, everything about the combat system in Fable 2 feels very dumbed down. Its not like in Fable 1 where you had Normal Attacks, Special Attacks and Flourishes, and a decent spell system, and the ability to switch between Melee, Range or Magic. Instead, you control the character using the X button for melee, Y button for range, and B button for magic.
While melee (and range) hasn't suffered much from it, apart from the fact that combat feels like you're mashing the X (or Y) button quite a bit, Magic has. All you have to do to cast spells is hold B, and even worse, you can only assign one spell per tier of power at a time, and by charging it, you're leaving yourself very vulnerable to enemy fire. Sure you can aim the spell or make it an area of effect, but its still annoying.
Gold/Currency - 3/5
As for currency in Fable II, it is very easy to get, which is a good thing, but at the same time, it has cheapened the game a bit. The good thing is that there are several ways of getting it. You can:
A) Get a job, with a minigame involving hitting the A button at the correct time to get a higher multiplier, and more gold as a result. You can earn quite a bit through that method if you're willing to go all the way through promotions.
B) Walk around the game world and collect all kinds of items. You won't earn much, but at least you can get some decent equipment through that way. Plus there are quite a few sidequests ingame.
C) Buy shops/houses, and earn money every 5 minutes, even when NOT PLAYING FABLE 2. This feels like an effortless way of doing things, so as an experiment, I bought loads of housing/shops and played a different game. Went back on Fable 2 to amass a fortune of nearly 150000 coins. It makes currency feel quite meaningless to be honest.
Dog - 2/5
I think the dog was at times quite annoying, but not a bad addition to the game. Your canine friend usually follows you around everywhere, but only once (for me) has he managed to disappear, where I had to go all the way back to the previous area i was in to find him again. You spend a lot of time healing your dog (as a crowd of enemies can easily hurt him) and this does become occasionally annoying, same with when your dog contstantly runs off barking, because hes found treasure or a dig spot.
As useful as it is to have a dog that can find treasure, its annoying to see it happen all the time, especially in the middle of combat.
Overall - 2/5
To give my honest opinion about Fable II, I think that the game was a disappointment upto the original. Sure Fable failed to deliver on its promises but was a good game nonetheless. It definitely wasn't Game Of The Year but it was quite close to that. Fable II however does things worse than the original.