First, a surprised but gratified thank you to my Loyal Lieutenant shana for sending this to me after she heard of my SECOND nasty infection of the week (now that the week is OVER I can at least be sure there won't be a third one for that week!), and more so for sending it super-duper special delivery so that it was delivered TODAY. Yes, on the Fourth of July, SUNDAY. I wonder if she paid more for the game, or more for the delivery...
In any case, I did get in some play time on this while otherwise doing very little except for spending a few hours doing very little but talking at my friend Eric's traditional July 4 picnic (at which I did NOT do my usual grilling services).
So far it seems very good indeed; hearing Patrick Stewart's voice as the first thing in an opening narration certainly is a good omen.
I'm not used to the first-person approach yet; the problem with it is that one then has to coordinate turning and moving and listening for things like combat, or you'll have some giant rat kill you from behind.
The only problems I've encountered have been either failures on the part of the tutorial -- which seems to be willing to assume a bit more knowledge or experience with these sorts of games than I have -- or on the part of my brain which isn't grasping the instructions properly. It appears I'm SUPPOSED to be able to just choose my destination on the map and go there without walking or renting a horse or whatever, but I can't even really figure out how to scroll the map or what it represents. I'm not sure how I'll handle a real fight with, well, multiple people or creatures -- they move faster than my sluggish reflexes and perceptions really can manage in the game context (in real life, I wouldn't have to think about how to aim, how to move, how NOT to get turned around and staring in the wrong direction as something gnawed on my leg, etc.)
I'm puzzled by some of the other techniques -- making potions and such; they list ingredients with effects but don't seem to actually produce the effects the ingredients say, and seem to REQUIRE the potions be made with four ingredients, rather than just using one ingredient for that ingredient's effect.
I'm also unclear on how I'll "level up". I've created a character class that's basically an Adventurer -- somewhat more magical than fighter (light armor and blade skill, but several magical skills plus whatever the talking skill is) and I've done a lot of magic stuff. Do I have to use each and every skill that was key for the character in order to level up? How can I tell?
Anyway, it seems fun, the imagery is rich, the controls are actually very well done, and hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon. Unfortunately, they don't have "Intelligent Toad" as a character race.