The text you are about to read is my personal perception of Fable: Anniversary, after playing it through once.
I grew up loving Fable: The Lost Chapters, bought it for XBOX back in 2006-2007. When I saw Microsoft announcing Fable Anniversary on their Facebook in early 2014, I was at first excited until I saw it would only be for XBOX 360, so I forgot about it for some months. I saw it on PC at the end of last year and looked it up. Noticed how much critic it had due to its DLC and such, but I still wanted to try it myself and see if it had improved or not, so I picked it up during a sale.
At first, I was amazed by how good the game looked compared to the original, it looks vastly better but it still looks as if it were made in somewhere around 2009 or so. As I progressed throughout the game, I realized how many models from the original game had been recycled, only with a little better textures. It says on Steam that there is new sound, but many sound effects are also taken straight out of the original game - the only new ones I did notice were drawing a weapon, and some other minor ones. The music, unlike in Halo: Anniversary, was NOT remade either. It is still the same versions of the songs as in the original game from 2004. At least the music is good, but it's a bit of a shame it wasn't remade. The cutscenes and animations are recycled as well, there are some minor bugs but nothing to complain about with those.
The new engine has great lightning, there are sun rays when seeing the sun through a tree, shadows look good and ditto with blooms. There is really nothing to say about shading and lightning. However, as I said earlier many models are taken straight from the original game, with new textures added. On some characters, only a new head was made, the body was still the original one with a new texture. Thus, the head looks great while the body looks outdated, but the worst part of that is that the throat could have a sharp line, with two different meshes going through each other. Looks peculiar and unnatural. Most villager models, the Hero and a some other characters on the other hand, looks great.
There is also a new GUI, which is far different from the original. It takes time getting used to, but I like the new one equally as good as the old one in the menus. The HUD isn't much different from the old one, except for the hotbar being in the low middle of the screen instead of the left corner - which actually looks good, nothing to say about it. One thing which is really convenient with the new GUI is that when you pick an object up, you can press a button to see its description without having to find it in your inventory later. However, this game was originally made for consoles, which can be clearly seen in the menus. You have to press "Y" for some options, buttons are really huge and using a mouse and keyboard is a pain in the menus. At least there are some keys for making navigation easier, but it's still a mess if you're not using a controller. The game itself has controls no different from the original, some things are a bit annoying from the start but nearly everything can be configured in the controls, which allows you to make controls more similar to other games if you wish.
Nothing is really new with the game's story or gameplay itself, which I presumed. After all, 'tis just a remake. The implementation of Achievements and Trading Cards on Steam is really good, some of them are earned simply by playing through the story while some are a bit more challenging. Also they are humorous, which is nice. I recall there being a contest on Microsoft's Facebook page that people would suggest achievements, and the funniest one would be featured in the game.
I won't really delve too deeply into the gameplay as it is no different from the original game, except for Heroic (which I haven't tried yet, but I've heard it's a good challenge) difficulty and achievements, which I've already spoken of above. The combat is the best part, there are many weapons with different attributes and classes, so you can customize your loadout after what playstyle you have. There are three types of spells, used for either combat (fireballs and lightnig for example), physical attributes (turning into a giant or gaining damage resistance, f.e.), and spells that affect the environment and other creatures (slowing down time, controlling the minds of others, f.e.), all of which are quite useful somehow. One can focus on Strength, which is muscle, health, toughness and physical damage, Skill which is dexterity, haggle, archery and stealth, and there is Will, which is magic essentially. It is possible to unlock every single skill, and you can take them in what order you please.
The story on the other hand, is a little generic. There is this person who rises from his dark corner, finds out about a great evil which comes to destroy everything, kills it and undergoes a great personality change on the way. I've seen better stories, but despite the short and generic story, there are also much worse ones. I would consider it as reasonably good, nothing too special. The environment, setting and path to glory (or despair) is great though, there are some wonderful plot twists and side-quests. The side-quests are often only less important parts of the main storyline, also you can get some extra experience and equipment there. You can during the game choose to be either evil or good, which allows for fairly different playthroughs and good replayability.
I have none of the DLCs other than the modding tools which I've heard are not as good as the original tools, but such is the gaming industry today. Fable: The Lost Chapters has a much better modding community and great tools too. The DLC equipment I've heard is not a necessity, as the game armour and weapons by deafult are better than those. Some people complained about Microsoft trying to earn extra money of the DLCs, which is clearly seen. The game itself is a bit overpriced, luckily I got it during a sale and feel it was worth it during that.
So as to conclude this long and perhaps excruciating review, I'll say that the game is improved, it is for the most part better than the original game (except for the modding). Some parts of the game are a bit unpolished and buggy, and the gameplay and story are not changed at all. The graphics are good, but some models are recycled and look a bit low-poly compared to the new ones. I find the game a bit expensive, especially with the DLC. If you have never played the original game, it might be worth it even if it's not on sale. If you have played the original Fable, there is not really much new to see here other than improved graphics and some achievements, so I still recommend it but only if it's on sale.
(Also, I apologize for my somewhat messy language use, this review is based upon thoughts coming from all directions during my playthrough.)
It makes for some good evenings of playing.