*Puts on fanboy hat*
I played for about 8 hours last night and made it to level 10.
Despite reviews to the contrary, the story has been engaging, at least thus far. I cannot tell to what degree the plot varies depending on which character you choose at start up, therefore it's entirely possible that the Lucas path is a lot more emotionally salient than say, Anjali's. It's been years since I've played DS2 and the expansion, but I do recall that the franchise has a history of weaving lore into the environment and Obsidian definitely continues that tradition.
Combat is challenging. Even on normal mode. No getting around the fact that the game is a button-masher, but it's not a mindless button-masher. Blocking, dodging, changing stances, and using special attacks are all critical to survival and the odds of doing so seem to be directly related to how quickly you can learn to do those things effectively. Expect to die a lot in boss fights.
A lot of loot. Seriously.
Choice and consequence, influence, and deeds (aka perks) - Decided to spare a boss last night. She looked at me like I was stupid and said, "Are you ****Ing crazy? My boss is going to send TWO of me next time". But then I got a pretty cutscene suggesting that showing mercy might also pay dividends. Got a perk - sorry Deed for helping somone that helped me earlier, but also have the suspicion that I'm going to get screwed over for that choice.
Companion AI is not a source of extreme frustration for once. Heals me when I fall. Changes stances on her own to be more effective. Picks up coins so that I don't have to.
The dialog, while well written, is delivered rather woodenly. FWIW, I think this is intentional, but still.
The game manual is 5 pages. I eventually figured out that a lot of the info I was looking for could be found in the Lore menu, but something in the manual directing me to the Lore menu would've been nice. On the same note, there are some important things, like ressurecting companions, that don't get any mention (so far as I can tell) but really should.
A lot of loot. Seriously. And the naming convention kinda sucks. For example if you have Awesome Boots and then later find another pair of Awesome Boots, you can't assume that it's the same item. Both pairs of boots modify the same stats, hence the same name, however the pair you just picked up may be significantly stronger or even weaker than the pair you have. This translates into an almost mandatory trip to the inventory screen everytime you find something cool...which is about once every 30 seconds.
Isometric is cool when the graphics suck. Frustrating as heck when they don't. They obviously put a lot of detail into the creatures and enemies. Too bad I never get a chance to examine them.
Obviously there is still lots of room for things to go sideways, but thus far the story has been great. I have a few ideas about certain people and events and I look forward to seeing how things pan out.
The lack of loading screens is nice.
No crashes or freezing. The game is incredibly stable and smooth.
Low-level baddies go from being a serious challenge to a cheap, plentiful source of XP in only a couple of levels. Skirmishes at level 4 gave me a run for my money. I hit a group of five guys with one round of super blade kill thingy at level 6 and express surprise if any are still alive when I turn around to go back to where my companion is waiting. On the flip-side, FINALLY managed to kill a particular boss on my fourth try, only to find out that the fight wasn't over. Bosses continue to be a challenge and as I said to a friend, "if this is normal, then hardcore can go **** itself".
I will add more as I progress.
Last edited by Achilles; 06-22-2011 at 04:20 PM.