The installation process is unnecessarily complicated by the fact that Steam, which is a required install before you can even install the game, insists on attempting to download the game instead of using the provided discs. The only way round this is to use the command-line to enter a command only revealed on Steam's website - not user-friendly at all. Now, some may argue that criticising this game because of Steam's install process is unfair; but, Bethesda Softworks chose to make this game unplayable without Steam, and so therefore I think it justifiable to consider the two a package, and where one has a flaw, the package as a whole has a flaw.
The game as a whole is enjoyable, encompassing a huge, detailed environment containing much to do and see, and many characters to interact with (many with truly heart-rending story-lines - I've choked up a couple of times). The music is excellent, as with Fallout 3 before, and is available as a compilation album on iTunes for those who fall in love with it. It lacks the sense of poignancy that its predecessor had, but has an absorbing atmosphere nonetheless.
Unfortunately, the game has its fair share of bugs that will now never be fixed, mostly involving the landscape - one non-crucial quest in particular is frequently rendered incapable of being completed because of a landscape bug. But the bugs, whilst quite evident on occasion, will do little to detract from the amount of fun this game has to offer.
I will make one recommendation: if this is your first time playing the game, do yourself a favour and download the JSawyer mod, here: [...] . He was one of the chief designers on the game, and this mod makes some adjustments whose main aim is to add a great deal of difficulty to the game, thereby increasing the sense of realism. It can only be applied _before_ you begin playing, so you should decide at the outset whether to use it or not. Personally, I wish I had, and you may too.