I am sorry to write this review as I have loved everything that bioware has done but I have to say that this is a massive disappointment as reflected by the reviews in the Edge 5 out of 10 and PSM 64%.
The problems started right from the outset when you realise just how fiddly and unrewarding the combat is. I tried to use the tactics screen to arrange my tanks, healers and archers but half the time they simply defaulted to basic attacks even when their stamina/magic bars were full. The targeting system is poor and it's easy to select your own side or the wrong enemy.
This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that even on normal difficultly the game is very easy especially if you level up your characters sensibly and have the right mix. By the time I got to the Dwarf city I simply left my party members do their inept jobs of following my orders while I hacked my way through the monsters that were in front of me. Virtually no tactical thought was required but at least you could watch the violence without any distractions.
Once you are out in the real world I was amazed by the amount of invisible walls and barriers that hinder your progress. Even in open areas you are constantly reminded that you cant go here and have strictly limited freedom of movement. This was fine years ago but with the likes of Oblivion and GTA 4 where you can wander around without these walls it simply is not good enough. Mass effect handled this far better and I never felt so hemmed in and restricted.
The plot is as total cliché (gather an army and fight the dark lord - come on!) and the dialogue and voice acting is in places awful.
Its not a total disaster and some regions such as the Deep Roads and forest ruins are good and for a minute you forget you are in such a restrictive game. The levelling system is well handled and does have a clear impact in combat. There is also the pleasure of seeing your character develop into a killing machine but then this is present in every good RPG. The use of runes for weapons is also simple and user friendly.
I dare say the branching storyline is good and the way your actions come back and haunt you is clever but they do not make up for the games obvious failings. I could not honestly recommend this game as the crushing sense of disappointment and overall feeling that it should have been so much better rob it of any pleasure.