Alright, after 21 hours. Heres some feedback.
The story is great! A proper RPG, leaving part way through will influence the story and reactions, but there are no actual timers that I have found.
Food and sleep are important, they keep your energy up, but are not hard to manage. It's mostly just time consuming to sleep.
Waiting and Sleeping go super slow when ticking down the last hour, always aim to oversleep then quit early. :V
Saving the game is a pain, most of the time, it's no issue. But, when you stumble into a fight and accidentally murder the frak out of a guard. Or stumble into an armed camp with MUCH better equipment than you were expecting, then you die. And you can lose QUITE a lot of time.
Especially when not following quests (which save at particular points) or when out training on random bandits. Losing a single fight tends to mean you lose all the time back to when you last slept.
Savior Schnapps helps, but not enough.
The combat system is fine for a single fighter, but is hard to deal with while in a fight with more than one person. As by default the game instantly locks on, and the unlock button is also the sprint button. Not the best decision, makes it hard to keep up situational awareness in larger fights.
The armor system is amazing, and it costs a LOT of cash to keep your equipment maintained, giving you reason to keep out of fights, or get into more of them. The layered system is a beautiful format that makes each enemy fairly unique, and also gives a huge level of variability to your load out.
Combined with a dynamic level of damage, dirt, and blood stains, each character truly looks quite unique on the field. While factions all follow the same theme, no two characters are dressed identically. Every other equipment based game should take this system and use it.
The health effects really make taking wounds dramatic, and really let you know when you should flee. Blood dripping down your camera as you bleed out from a head wound for instance, is freaking awesome. Obscuring vision and making tough fights even harder.
The movement around hills and bushes is... temperamental. Bushes block movement, but you can also manage to strafe on top of them in combat. And unlike with Jedi, the high ground has no benefits in a duel.
Hills are nasty, because even the smallest of slips can lead to injured feet, or instant death, depending on how badly you fucked up.
And while Skyrim style mountain climbing is in, it's FAR more dangerous than in Skyrim, especially with the lack of quicksave.
I haven't touched Alchemy, and have barely touched Archery, simply because it's hard. Alchemy is very in depth, and I have yet to take the time for it. While Archery is problematic in combat, as the AI will almost never give up pursuit, so you have to win the fight in melee, or die typically. :/
The main issue, is the combat AI never accepting that it has run you off.
The secondary issue is that AI sprint JUST as fast as you, preventing you from fleeing.
Other people have found that the city guard are pretty much useless when facing bandits who are chasing you. So if you can't beat them, it tends to be a reload.
Which them makes the saving system a real pain.
An easy fix you ask me?
1) make AI let you flee if you get too far from their encampment. Have them slow down, and wait. If you turn around again they can attack, if not, they should let you run off.
2) make AI dislike sprinting. This allows the player to flee, and allows him to catch up to fleeing
3) make the game autosave when you arrive at a fast travel point, these are all cities, so they tend to be safe.
Since you spend a lot of time in fast travel, autosaves on that would help prevent the save related issues, while still making schnapps powerful, as fast travel cant be canceled half way, combine with the fact that you can only travel to cities, means that the player will not be able to abuse this system. And Schnapps would be used to save when near camps you are about to raid.
I think this would solve the main issues I have with the game, and the rest are bux fixes.
eg, Did you know that saving and loading seems to clear the stolen flag from items that aren't in your inventory?
Find the knight who wants to duel you, sneak behind him, knock him out, steal his stuff, go home, dump it in your stash, sleep, reload.
Now you should be able to walk anywhere with a good set of armor. :V
Henry tax. :V