Just a general note of warning; I'd personally write this one off as something only to be bought when the price goes waaaaay down. There are just too many small things piled into the game that add up to be one big detraction. I've been playing it off and on since Tuesday and really I have no more desire to finish a playthrough.
-There's no real sense of 'character progression'. The only element to the storytelling is the Notes and Broadcasts which 'show' (it's all written and audio) how the memories are being changed as you progress through the dungeon. There's one big problem though...it's 'practically' random.
It doesn't matter if your Karma meter is full Blood, Light, or Steel. The Notes you pick up can be anything. You can be full Blood and still be getting Light-aligned Notes. This is because there are a ton of factors that go into what determines if you're 'really' Blood or Steel. Including what freaking weapon you happen to be killing enemies with. Which is a big deal since you really have to take what you can get due to how fast weapons break in this game. Supposedly you can retry dungeons and replay them over and over until you get the result you want but it's just a ton of pointless busy work.
However because there are no cut scenes (so far) outside the opening dungeon events there's just no real connection to the story for me to feel these effects. This isn't like Dark Souls where the gameplay is engaging enough to drive the sparse story (which can then be fleshed out through the item descriptions and load screens if you're really, really curious about world lore). This is a far lesser game leaving me with a '...where's the meat?' feeling everytime I try to get my fill.
-Mechanically this game has serious issues. I'll give the two biggest examples I currently have as the worst offenders.
First, the possession rooms. What I thought was going to be an interesting mechanic that helped flesh out your character through potential morality choices is turning out to just be a very boring, repetitious minigame played over and over with a new skin. It doesn't even occur often enough for you to 'enjoy' it. So far I've encountered two across three dungeons. They've both followed this pattern:
Enter the room.
Want Light points? Sit there and do nothing.
Want Blood points? Run up to everything that flashes or moves and attack it.
Want Steel points? Try to do Blood but fail to 'beat the clock'.
It gets old even by the second time and really does nothing to hook me in.
Second, the dungeon and just general 'concept' design is very poorly executed. This is one of those games where the 'difficulty' is artificial. Starting around Floor 6 my number of deaths went up quite a bit simply because the developers decided that the best way to challenge the gamer was to stuff rooms to the brim with a number of monsters that makes it virtually impossible to dodge every incoming attack. I have a Strength/Vitality build specifically designed to soak up as much of these melee hit nightmares as possible and I can still find myself in near-death situations more often than I'd like. Because the game does not auto-save any of your progress you pretty much have to rush through the dungeon, find the save room, then spend 3+ minutes walking back to it and another 3+ back to where you were everytime you're near death to avoid repeating 10+ minutes of gameplay.
The design flaws become even more apparent with a boss called the Light Guardian. Good bosses will challenge your knowledge of the game and test every skill you've needed to hone to press this far inwards. You'll learn very quickly that in this game touching pretty much anything hurts you. Projectiles hurt you. Getting too close to a foe hurts you (because of how fast they can lash out). So how do you defeat the final stage of the Light Guardian? By throwing every ounce of logic the game has been pounding into you and directly standing in the line of one of his projectiles to hit it right back at him.
In other games it sounds like a simple enough solution but it's so counter-intuitive to every instinct the game has programmed you with up til this point that I honestly couldn't figure it out on my own. The fight designer pretty much has no idea how the mind-flow of a player works in a dungeon crawl environment and it felt like an extremely cheap way to spike the game's already high death count (again, not in a 'good' way like Dark Souls).
it's just...bleh. Not a game that encourages you to come back for more. ~_~