I was expecting this to suffer by comparison with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3)
which has been taking up my time for the last few months. At first, this game seems a bit clunky and not up to those standards - the graphics are "cartoony" - but once you get out out of the tower and into the open air - then things start to look up considerably.
The world is beautifully realised and is light and airy - a pleasure to explore and you are left to go where you like - although there is always a main quest that you can follow and which will drive you forward. However from menus, you can choose to follow which quests you want (as in Skyrim) and all this means is that the quests show up on your map.
So, the game has a lot of features in common with Oblivion and Skyrim - like the Maps with the ability to fast travel; picking ingredients in the wild and using alchemy to create potions; shops with the possibility to buy and sell etc. But this is no surprise as the game was developed under the leadership of Ken Rolston, lead designer of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
This is not just a clone hoewever and it looks and feels very different to anything else. The graphical style is unique and is recognisably that of Spawn creator Todd McFarlane - the drawing of chracters is very much like a graphic novel in classic fantasy territory - elves, dwarves goblins etc.
The drawing and backgrounds give this its own atmosphere and your character moves very differently from Skyrim - I chose the Elf-like character and he moves very quickly and rolls about all over the place. You choose from 4 basic classes and male/female - then go on to choose a destiny, which is only 3 types - but these can be mixed and as you level up - the path becomes more complex. You can also customise you character's appearance in a limited fashion.
So this game is more about action - hack and slash - than Skyrim and the battles are quite realistic and feel more natural - you can really move! As with any good RPG though, the game is about finding stuff, building up your skills and learning things like magic, alchemy and blacksmithing to improve your standing.
For me, this game was quite refreshing and a joy to play - no glitches and once it gets going properly, you are free to do what you like. The level at Normal, seems about right - not too hard but challenging. And while you start with nothing, you soon pick up stuff and there are chest hidden everywhere.
In terms of fun it's amongst the best of the RPGs I've seen - quite straightforward and uncomplicated, but with enough of the RPG elements to make it interesting. Quests are what you expect and maybe this is a bit lacking in originality - but the graphical style and playability in battles makes up for this.
Some people might see this as lacking in the graphics - they are not flashy, but they grow on you. The conversations can be dull and the game stops while you just see static images of you without any helmet and the person you are taking to. But the interface is easy to use and intuitive - easy to get into.
I see it as a good mix of action and RPG - maybe not quite up to the level of Skyrim - but certainly close - worth having and an enjoyable gaming experience.