Absurdly bum rap.
This game is not worth 65 dollars. I don't mean to put the game down too harshly, as you can see from the amount of stars I gave it. There was a LOT of great stuff put into it, and I can see where they are coming from trying to pass it off as a full priced retail game, but this definitely should not be a full priced retail game. If you read nothing else in this review, at least wait a bit for the price to come down before you pick this up.
That said, I think quite often it becomes a kind of popular consensus to universally lament some games or movies. So many reports say "The graphics are the worst EVER!!!" So suddenly everybody is focusing solely on that, and even further, solely on the negative aspects of the graphics. There are many things in the game that look pretty good, and if you're willing to actually play the game with an open mind, you will see that.
The graphics are definitely one of the bullet points that should make this a more budget priced game. They aren't amazing, as I'm sure you've read. A problem I have with this sort of thing, is that I've been playing games for 25 years. I've seen graphics evolve over time. I was one of the first people to use a Monster3d to play the "high res" mod for Quake (1). I suppose that makes me less entitled or spoiled on the subject. Graphically, I would plant this game slightly ahead of early 360 titles. People say it looks like a ps2 game, but seriously, go look at Call of Duty 2. Regardless, the graphics are "good enough."
I've also read a lot of people complaining about the sound. Some of the voice acting isn't great, but a lot of it is REALLY good. There is a scene at the end where the acting out shines MOST games I've played recently. There is real emotion delivered and what transpires through the whole of the game is made believable by those voicing the main characters. I also don't have a problem with the writing, and I don't know what the issue is there that people are upset about.
For the gameplay/combat; I was actually really surprised with how deep the RPG elements go. There are many choices you can make, starting with your characters classes, and what kind of weapons they will mostly be using, and going on to divvying up stats, and selecting abilities from a skill tree that is full of a lot of good options.
There is also a sizable amount of equipment, with numerous types of weapons that have advantages and disadvantages. Certain weapons work best against certain armor types. Also, for your own armor, there are trade-offs between high resistance and low agility. Do you want your character to be able to absorb more damage, or dodge more easily? Each character has a set of skills that could be used in either direction.
I was entertained by the combat through the entire game, and only by the ending did I feel like my team was truly unstoppable. There are many strategies you can use, and different things have different benefits. I'm certain I missed a lot of tactics that I didn't end up delving too far into.
Now, the thing that most would agree on is that the story is of high quality. I see a lot of people saying how this isn't for people that haven't read the books. I haven't read the books. But I have watched the show, and I've made a point to look into the aspects that I didn't understand just from watching, to learn the little details. I've actually learned a lot from this game that you would never know just by watching the show. Talking to my friend who is a big fan of the books, he assures me that most of the stuff in the game fits into the series perfectly. That said, I could not dissuade a person enough, to not get or play this game if you aren't familiar with the subject material; at least to some degree.
Overall, there are a lot of individual flaws with this game, that anybody could easily nit-pick and tear apart somehow invalidating everything or anything that might be good about the game. But overall as a sum of all of its parts, I have to say that it was a very enjoyable game. At the end, I was very satisfied with the experience and felt a need to hopefully pursued some to give this game a chance. If you're willing to be patient, open minded, and able to overlook some things that in no way actually harm the overall fun level of a game, this could be a great game for fans of the realm of Westeros.