If I rated games on potential, I would give this game 100%. It had all the ingredients of an Elder Scrolls classic but unfortunately couldn't add them together to a great game (this was released 3 years before Oblivion, the first great ES game).
The world is great, but it's let down by a few fatal flaws. Maybe the most important is the fighting system, it is very tedious and irritating, lots of mindless clicking or frustratingly having your attacks get dodged. And there's a lot of fighting, there are constantly enemies attacking you and lots of fighting involved in the quests. And it's not a given that you will knock through your enemies with ease, instead you will regularly die, which is tedious enough on its own with the saving and reloading, but you have to make sure you've saved at the right spot while you're healthy or else you could get trapped in an endless doom loop.
And the quests themselves. They often involve lots of reading through boring text in order to find the quest, or you may end up going through some text for nothing. Even when you find the quest, it's unclear why you're doing it, what the greater story is and if you could even just skip it entirely. Many of the quests are also boring fetch quests or fighting quests. That's when you know where to go to complete the quest, there are no quest markers on the map, the standard at the time but frustrating when you're wandering around aimlessly or forced to look up a walkthrough online.
In the end, I just attacked the NPCs, which is also a problem. If the game makes this an option, it shouldn't break everything as a result. Skyrim does this nicely with essential characters dying and then re-ressing without agro. In this game you better hope you saved before you started attacking otherwise game over. For me, I was going through the start of the game and met one or two guys on their own so I killed them just for fun, of course later I saved the game unaware that I had just broken everything. So, no more interacting with the White Order for me, which was a shame cause that story seemed more interesting than the bandit camp one. If I had known of course I wouldn't have killed anyone at all but it's just a case of bad or at least un-thorough game design.
With heavy modding this could still be a decent game but as it is I won't be finishing it or going back to it.
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