I played for about 2 hours last night and while I have many small issues with the game, I can't say it's bad.  Enemy AI and Ally AI are both admirable for the gameplay.  Controll during combat is much better than I expected.  A few things seem out of place with the interface though.  Changing between characters requires going to the main game screen which takes time.  You can customize each character but again switching between characters takes too long. Some of the dialogue is a little hokey but on the overall it's solid. Starting the game with items that need fixing seemed quite lame.  I also have to agree with the ability tree disorganization. Other than that I am a happy LOTR fan  :)