The lights are on
I had looked forward to this game for awhile. It was supposed to be an open world game with intense combat, and an unforgiving world. They advertised a driving narrative that pushes you through the game world to your final (?) confrontation with the beast that stole your heart. What you really get is a game with many quests, a loosely tied together story line, challenging combat, and a beautiful world full of monsters ready to fight, and npcs ready to do nothing of note.
If you come to Gransys, don't come expecting a large open world with tons of options. The world was actually a lot smaller than I had expected. It was still of an ample size, just not as large as I was expecting. The world being large enough comes from the fact that the game features very, very limited fast travel. You have the ability to use a ferrystone to port you to a portcrystal, but for the majority of the game the only one available is in the capital, Gran Soren. This means that as you're out exploring, you have one place to return to, therefore you have one place to leave from, leaving you to see the same vistas right outside of the city time and time again. This, and the poorly handled story, are really the only downsides that I found.
Sure, while you may see the same areas time and again, I enjoyed being forced to run and fight my way to whereever I was going, and since the world wasn't overly large, it did not take a large amount of time to reach your destination with a few notable exceptions. This allowed me to really enjoy the sense of exploration, veiwing the world everytime I stepped out of safety, never knowing what giant beast would appear to tear me and my pawns to shreds.
The problems with the story is largely that it can be some what difficult to keep on the path of the story because the quests aren't really marked as story quests. They are marked with something though, like there was a set of Wyrm Hunt quests, that strangely do not involve dragon hunting at all, that are part of the story quests, but the game does not tell you this.
The pawn system I found really unique and interesting. You have your own personal pawn that you can shape and mold, choosing different classes as you continue through the game. Then when you rest at an inn, a copy of your pawn at that time is uploaded to the servers, into the rift as the game calls it, allowing other players to use them in their world. You too get to choose from other pawns from other players. You have access to seeing all of their stats, gear, and equipped skills, allowing you to pick exactly what you are looking for.
The combat, while fun, can sometimes come off as tedious due to a limited number of mobs you'll encounter, and as you level, many of them come off as easy. The occasional giant creature like a golem or cyclops, helps mix up things every now and then, but even they proved easy towards the end of my play through.
If you desire a different take on open world games, some good challenging combat system allowing you to change skills and vocations as you wish, then I would recommend this game to you. It's no Elder Scrolls, but it was never meant to be. Even with its noted faults, I still enjoyed it to the end and would suggest others would as well.