Eventually you find out you are "fateless" and are therefore free to determine your own fate, which is the basis behind part of the leveling system.
As you progress through the beginning of the demo, you are given the most basic weapons for each of the 3 main class types. You can be a warrior, rogue, or a mage, or any combination of the three depending on how you level up your Fate. Warriors favor large weapons like swords and hammers, rogues prefer daggers and bows, while mages prefer staves and magic. That said, at any time you can use any of these weapons, however, your perks and armor will determine the effectiveness.
Equipment is divided into a multitude of sub menus, which frankly are annoying to navigate. When you hit ESC, it brings up the menu. From there, you can select Inventory, then Weapons, then Primary or Secondary (same weapons are selectable, but you can quick select between the two in real time during gameplay), and then the specific weapon you want to equip. For armor it works much the same, starting from Inventory you would select Armor, and then pick the pieces from a menu showing each type of armor - head, chest, gloves, legs, and feet. On top of that there's yet another menu for Accessories, another for Items, another for Consumables... you get the picture. The menus definitely need to be pared down.
|Instant Stealth Kill|
|Oh look, a glowing plant for alchemy!|
Cities have guards, and since you can lock pick and steal, they can and will arrest you and throw you in jail. You can also turn on hostility and attack any neutral or friendly NPCs, if you so choose.
Aesthetically, the game is alright. So far, it has a pretty consistent design scheme and everything fits pretty well. Graphically, however, the game is a disapointment. It looks rather dated, kind of washed out, like there's too much bloom effect. I had to force 4xMSAA through Catalyst to be able to watch cutscenes, otherwise it was a blank screen with voices. Even so, aliasing is definitely present.
As I mentioned before, the game is a lot like Fable, but I also think that graphically, they took a lot of inspiration from World of Warcraft. Everything is cartoony and overly proportioned. I don't think this is bad on it's own, but my problem is that the game also has an extremely short draw distance, so textures keep popping in as you run, and objects distort to get slightly more detailed which I find very noticeable in outdoor areas. I hope they optimize the graphics for PCs much better at final release, because currently it runs like a direct Xbox port. My GPUs were practically at idle the entire time, holding a solid 60 fps.
I don't expect every game to push the limits of graphics, and especially not multi-platform releases, but I did expect more than this game offered. Screenshots look ok for the most part, but if I can direct your attention to details, just look at how grass is only showing for a few meters around my character. It's not just terrain, either, but NPCs will pop in too. I recall approaching a group of small hostile creatures - little balls with arms and legs - but at a distance they looked like floating wisps or something. Only when I got close did their legs and arms show up, as well as a proper body. Perhaps I'm a spoiled PC gamer, but I really hope that these issues are either fixed for release, or else worst case scenario able to be modded via a config file or the like.
All in all, I can't really say I'm looking forward to release. I'm definitely not putting my money down until after reading some final reviews and watching some gameplay clips. I think there is potential here, but they need to be able to draw the player in much earlier in the game with something exciting. On top of that, I'd like to see some interface and menu adjustments as well as more demanding graphic options, even just increased draw distances and some anti aliasing.