Dark Messiah was an ugly and broken mess of a game.
There really isn't much to say about Dark Messiah, so I'll keep this short. The game is ugly, the controls are clunky, the story was boring and the game was buggy. It's not worth your time or your money. I regret putting 12 hours into this game.
Dark Messiah is a standard first person hack and slasher. It's similar to King's Field or Hexen or Elder's Scrolls in some way or another. I'm personally not a fan of first-person RPGs, so Dark Messiah went more Hexen in style than Elder's Scrolls. I'm personally not a fan of first-person games like this. Combat is always clunky and slow.
At the start of the game, you get to pick between 4 types, an Assassin, Warrior, Mage or Archer. I went with Warrior, like I always do with these games. You really don't learn any magic or have any bow skills or thieving skills of the Assassin with the Warrior, but they're roughly the same characters and you'll get the same storyline.
You gain experience for every kill and quest completed in this game. After a new level, you'll gain 1 (or 2) skills, but that's the only upgrade you'll get. The game also caps you at level 15, which is pretty lame too. I was capped off before I even enter the final dungeon area.
You can find various weapons, armor and rings that boost your strength or defense. Armor is weird though, I played the game for nearly 3 hours before I found my first piece of armor.
The thing I hate the MOST about this game are the stupid lame platforming sections. I false slip and you're instantly dead. This is the only time you'll die in this game, because the combat is ridiculously easy.
----------Characters / Story----------
Ehh.. honestly, who gives a crap. I didn't pay attention to the storyline, and there was no incentive to pay attention either. 90% of the storyline is played out through a mystic voice in your head (think: Bioshock but boring). The rest is just short storyline segments with NPCs you might encounter.
The graphics are... bad. I know this is a old PC game from 2005 or so, but it looks almost as bad as Mirrowind, maybe worse. The pre-rendered cutscenes look ok, if this was 2002. The world is just ugly, the levels are blocky, the NPCs just looks creepy. I didn't enjoy anything about the graphics at all.
The voice acting, especially the main character, is freaking terrible. I barely noticed the music. There was SOME music, but it was mostly background bullcrap. Hardly worth talking about.
There's no map system, but for the most part, the world flows linearly. You may retrace your steps, but you're forced to do it, and the landscapes are usually different. It reminds me of Bioshock, but even Bioshock feels open world compared to this.
----------Time to Complete Game----------
Not a terribly long game, but it felt like a century playing it. Nothing special after beating the final boss... actually, I didn't even know it was the final boss until it kicked into a cutscene and took me back to the opening screen.