About an hour and a half in, so no detailed impressions as yet.
I will say that so far I am enjoying it. There is a lot of lore to take on board early on, but where with PoE I bounced off most of it, I'm more engaged with this world. While there is a lot of it, it isn't hard to take in and the game does a fairly good job of explaining what is going on and your role within the story.
Character creation - there are no classes here, instead you choose a primary weapon skill (say 1h, 2h, dual-wield, bows, ice magic, buff magic, debuff magic and a couple I can't recall) and then a secondary weapon skill, which shapes the kind of character you'll be. I went with duel-wield for melee and archery for range combat, as a result I can't speak yet for how the magic system works. You then allot some trait points, with the game highlighting which ones are useful based on the weapon skills you chose (for me it recommended quickness (think agility), strength and finesse). You then allocate some skill points, things like parry, subterfuge (ie sneak & lockpicking), athletics etc. These skills level up in the game as you use them, and it appears that there are also trainers you can pay to instantly level up a skill for a total of 5 times per character level. You also choose a backstory, and I went for the pit fighter history. Appearance-wise there aren't an immense range of pre-set faces and body types, but it's fine really.
Once you start the campaign, a narrator lays out the background for you to set the scene, after which you spend about 10 minutes on a map screen, where it plays out a bit like a choose-your-own adventure type thing. Essentially it's recounting the early part of the invasion you're spearheading; you're given a few choices of which areas you will focus on, and once there are given a series of options allowing you to choose how that part of the story plays out. This is actually pretty cool, making you feel involved in changing the face of this world, and once you're in the game proper people will refer to the choices you made and it will no doubt affect the rest of the story in subtle ways. This is where a certain amount of replayability comes into it.
The game itself is very good-looking, dialogue seems fine. There's a useful colour-coding to the text, which while initially looking a bit odd, means that pieces of lore and backstory are available by hovering over the coloured words (or right-clicking for even more detail), which saves delving deep into menus and the like. As someone who never bothers delving into menus and the like, this is a nice way of gaining context on people and places in short, easy-to-digest nuggets. Or you can just ignore them without penalty.
The few skirmishes I've been involved with so far have been fine. If you've played PoE you largely know what to expect, although on normal difficulty I haven't needed to micro-manage to the point of dictating where everyone is standing at every moment, so it plays out a bit quicker and is less punishing, on the evidence so far anyway. The UI isn't particularly elegant, but you're able to get to everything you want within a click or two, selecting combat skills (that have a cooldown a la DA2), stances that offer various bonuses/penalties, weapon sets and, if you're playing a spellcaster, which I'm not, spells.
So, yeah. Seems good so far, looking forward to delving deeper into it and channelling my inner utter bastard.
My face is tired.