One thing that comes up in all the coverage of this talk is the emotions that this dog elicits. What an amazing choice for emotional manipulation -- who can resist the sad whimpering cries of a dog injured to protect his master? Is there anything more heart wrenching?
One often quoted line from his presentation: "If you care about the dog, I've got you."
...his animations were solid enough to endear him to everybody in the room. The way he limps towards you whimpering after a fight is heart wrenching and not just to those watching the game being played. If you leave your injured dog and head off for a drink at the pub, the dog will scratch its way to the front door and look pitiful as the rest of the folks at the bar react to the bloodied pooch.
...You are going to love this dog, promises Molyneux, and then he's going to die. That's right, at some point in the adventure, in service of the story, your pooch goes to the great beyond. Think about the potential rage in your own heart. - ign.
Peter's ambition here is an amazing one, and I think the Lionhead team have made a very smart decision in choosing something they can 'easily' manipulate the player with. They may well succeed in their ambitions. I'm rooting for them, because I'd love to allow myself to be manipulated in games the way I have become accustomed to being manipulated with film. I like having strong emotional reactions to entertainment -- it makes it more fun.
However, my fear (and herein lies the question) is simply that in having Peter tell me that I'm supposed to feel emotion and have him explicitly state that the developers are trying to manipulate me with this dog, I will unconsciously harden myself when playing Fable2 thus weakening the experience. I'm not complaining about the over hype potential either (for which Mr. Molyneux is somewhat infamous for). I don't think this is an issue of over-exposure but rather Peter 'tipping a card' that should have remained hidden.
What do you think? When Fable2 comes out, do you see yourself being able to be absorbed by the experience and allow yourself to forget that the emotions you may be experienced were predicted and publicly communicated months in advance?