This is a good rental.
Picked this game up yesterday on the way home from work. I haven't completed the game yet but intend to. From what i've played so far, I know what to expect from the rest of the game. The story is decent. I'm actually kind of curious as to how the pieces of the puzzle line up with regard to what happened here so the developers did a good job on sort of drip feeding you the story. I feel it's still too early on in the game for it all to make sense yet but i'm hoping it all comes together in the end.
Graphics wise this game is sort of a mixed bag, Sometimes you'll be zipping along and the game looks rather nice. Other times it looks like a high res version of a last gen game. Art style is pretty bland. With a game like this, as much as i hate to say it, some extra graphical filters like some bloom or blurring would have gone a long way to help the game establish a graphical style. Character models are ugly for the most part, not much going on there, most of the blackwatch soldiers look like rejects from past splinter cell games and not in a good way.
The gameplay for the most part is fun but the thing I fault it for the most is that you never really feel like you have good control over alex. You're bouncing around so much and so fast that you'll often times overshoot your landing or sprint right of the top of a building or right past an enemy you intended to attack. The missions so far have been varied enough to where i don't feel like i'll be doing the same thing over and over like in Assassin's Creed. The game has only 31 story missions and each mission takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. I'm 90 minutes into the game and have already completed 6 of the 31 on the normal difficulty and I've been taking my time going from mission to mission. In the early going of the game you're forced to undertake the side missions to build up Evolution Points (EP, the games version of XP) in order to unlock certain new powers to enter into the storyr missions. The side missions are varied, and consists of checkpoint races, kill frenzy missions, and combinations of the 2. They're done in a way so that they also feel unique and offer rewards in the form of medals and EP for completing them more efficiently. Other replay additions are the addition of collectible orbs similar to crackdown, and additional consumable enemies that have minor pieces of story elements attached to them.
All told this isnt' a great open world game but it's ok. The city is bland, the character models are bleh, the animations are decent, the gameplay is fun but can get stale in long sessions, and you won't have much reason to go back once you've played through it once unless you're a particularly big fan of collectathons.