I was on the fence about whether to get this game for awhile, partly because of the price and partly because of quality concerns, since obviously a lot of time wasn't spent on making the game graphically pretty. I purchased the game on sale, but after having played it I would recommend it even for full price to anyone who's looking for a deep, complex strategy game.
Dominions 4 plays like a highly advanced fantasy version of Civilization or similar turn-based games. That's not to say that it's super difficult to play - the basic mechanics are pretty simple once you get the hang of the somewhat odd control scheme where LMB is used for most things where you'd normally expect to use RMB (RMB is always used to get more info on something, instead of giving orders). I was able to feel somewhat competent without any tutorials, having only watched some brief gameplay on YouTube. However the game reveals layer after layer of complexity once you really start getting into it, and it definitely follows the "easy to play, hard to master" philosophy. There will be a learning curve once you get beyond the basics - the manual is almost 400 pages long.
So, what can you do in this game that makes it worth the time instead of just playing a Civilization?
* Choose a faction and a pretender god as its leader from just about any mythology and creature you can think of. Dragons, wizards, lizard men, frost giants, weird fungus monsters, sea serpents, cthulu, you name it.
* Recruit a general for every one of your armies, with his own name (given by you), stats, equipment, and experience.
* Separate your armies into formations and give them orders to follow in battle (you still don't need to micromanage the battles themselves; they play out between turns)
* Sacrifice virgins to your blood god and use the power to summon demons or forge magical artifacts.
* Spread your icy dominion to freeze over rivers so your armies can cross it.
* Call forth an army of undead and march it into the sea to surprise your enemy or control undersea territory.
* Cast a spell to plunge the entire world into utter darkness.
* March huge armies over all the land, then suddenly lose the game because no one believes in your god anymore (yeah, that happened to me).
So if you can get past the graphics (yeah, I know, it takes a lot to get past the graphics), you'll be rewarded with a rich, cerebral, highly replayable game in Dominions 4.