I wanted to like this game, I really did. But in the end the experience was more frustrating than enjoyable. There are plenty of reviews talking about the setting and what's great, and there are good things in this game, but here are the things that kept bugging me.
- The environments are huge, but for no reason. There is almost nothing to explore. And because everything is always at opposite ends of the map, you end up running back and forth all the time, fighting lots and lots of irritating low-level enemies on the way.
- The fighting system seems interesting but ultimately provides little depth. It's way too clumsy to just be enjoyable in an action-rpg sense, and too inconsequential to be interesting to master. Bombs are completely unnecessary, you can upgrade weapons, but you end up getting much better weapons from quests, and magic has very little use except for two spells, and so on...
- Fights are either stupidly hard or incredibly easy. You either kill the foes easily or you're cornered by a group that spams you with stunning/blinding/something attacks that leave you motionless for several seconds.
- Characters always end conversations before you're fully done. Rather than allowing you to consistently explore all conversation options and then quit, they end it for you and walk away. That means you may miss an important conversation option and aimlessly wander about looking for the next trigger to continue a quest.
- Some conversation options only appear once. For example, I tried to play dice with one of the characters. But when I got to the option I wanted to first save the game, so selected "not now", quit the conversation and saved. But after declining once, I never had another chance to start a conversation with the character again, and couldn't finish the quest as a result.
- Conversations are sometimes random. A character may offer you a product or service in exchange for something else. If you don't happen have what they want on you, you're out of luck since this character may never make you the same offer again. I understand this is more realistic, but this simply doesn't work in a game.
- Conversations are out of order. Things you can't possibly know yet turn up in conversation. It's confusing.
- the map marker sometimes isn't helpful at all. For example, you may need to talk to someone, and the map marker will point the character's house. But the NPC will wander about the city rather than be at home, and they're sometimes impossible to find. That would be ok if it was to make things more realistic, and if you could maybe ask other NPC's where you can find the character. But at the same time, the map marker will always show up whether you've explored that part of the map or not. So if you're supposed to get something out of a grave, you'll know exactly where it is whether you've been there before or not. So the argument that it's for realism doesn't really apply.
- The whole sex-card thing is just plain weird. I don't have an issue with sex in games, but the over-abundance of naked female foes and making sex a collectable ... seriously? It's a strange contrast to the otherwise mature themes of the game.
Anyway, I did finish the game, and there were fun parts. Particularly the last act picked up considerably, mostly because the maps were a bit tighter and there was less back and forth. But in the end I don't think it's nearly as good as people were making it out to be. It's ambitious, but ultimately flawed.