Posted: February 28
Straight Up: This has to be one of the best story-driven RPGs I've ever played.
With an award-winning cast of authors on the team, the game's actual storyline elements and plethora of sidequests don't ever fail to disappoint. Combine this with a sort of choose-your-own-adventure approach to your hero's class, and you have a definite thumbs-up.
There is a vast array of both skills (like blacksmithing, artificing, herbology, persuasion, etc) and abilities (magic, swordplay, backstabbing - fun!) that can be combined in any manner to create your own unque character and stylistic experience. Furthermore, many of the quests have multiple outcomes and allow for some fun variation. (Also, there is a "wanted" system that kicks in if you kill randoms that enables you to bribe or kill guards, go on endless frenzies, and if you so desire, to break out of jail).
The best part about the game for me was definitely the voice acting and the music. It seemed as if every character with whom you could speak actually had a different voice actor, creating a much more realistic world and a much more immersive storyline. Also, there are characters who you'll actually grow to love dialogues with because they're just SO FUNNY. Which is great.
Lastly, if you think that DLCs are all a waste of money, this game has two story-driven DLCs that add achievements, weapons, story, characters, a higher level cap, and many side quests. Oh, and in one there's a debating club with Half-Giants in which you argue by beating each other to a pulp. Which is also great.
The game has LOADS of side quests for many extended hours of play.
Enjoyable factions to join.
Many different voice actors.
No pre-set class system. Any ability can work with any weapon and any race is you allocate your skill ponts correctly.
Arguably the most worthwhile DLCs I've seen since the expansions for Age of Empires back in the day.
The game is ultimately like Skyrim with a proper combat system.
The system of Twisting Fate makes for incredible Kill-Cams and gives you the enjoyment of feeling absolutely overpowered, even if only for a few seconds.
LOTS of achievements (including secret achievements) to keep giving you things to strive towards.
Oh, and you can fight the Chicken Overlords after completing the game.
The game is dangerously addictive.
Late game, if you've invested in blacksmithing, you become completely overpowered, regardless of your main ability alignment and the game's difficulty settings.
The weapons you make through blacksmithing often don't look super-epic, even though they turn out absolutely overpowered.
Overall, this is one of my all-time favorite games and I'd give it a bare minimum of an 8.5/10 if I'm being hypercritical but more likely a 9/10
It goes on sale often. You know what to do.