I was initially going to title this something along the lines of “first impressions,” but after playing this over a week, and doing half the guardians, I think my impressions are a little beyond initial. But my main impression: this is a great game, that could be made possibly the best game ever made with only a few tweaks.
As for my initial impression, the big take was: this is what Conan: Exiles could be, if that game had some actual structure (and no base building). Both games feel pretty similar, at least at first, before they really get going: you are a weakling in a very dangerous world that doesn’t care about your existence, and won’t even give you weapons that don’t break after a couple of mobs. And you climb things. A lot. But not too high, or you fall down and die. Which death will be marked on the map for no reason.
I have to say, I really like the format of this game. A lot of people put the game down for not really having the traditional dungeon structure, but I quite enjoy not being stuck in a series of puzzles and combat rooms. The shrines are basically individual dungeon rooms spread across the map, which is just fine by me. And I don’t mind there not being monsters or npc’s every ten feet. Maybe they could be more common (especially villages), but it’s fine.
My major complaint is the same as most folk’s: the equipment durability. It really should be twice what it is. And it really sucks to finally get good stuff, only for it to break on some low-tier mob and you have to take their crappy stuff. I really hope that gets addressed in the sequel.