You know it's bad for you, but you can't stop - that's the impression dogging you throughout GABR. Repetitive yet addictive, bland and unsatisfying but crunchy and filling at the same time.
A brief summary of the game's flaws which have been noted by many reviewers - the narrative is virtually invisible; there are relatively few beasts, unlike the title indicates, and they vary greatly in terms of effectiveness, speed, and endurance; some frustrating puzzles; and the limits of your attack style, which basically consists of about two sword motions, a "get off me" kicking move, and a collection of occasionally useful magic spells.
Others have been disappointed by the graphics - personally I think the visuals are decent enough and certainly succeed in creating an arcade feel to the outing. There's a big, spacious arena-like atmosphere to pretty much every mission although many of the details are rather shallow and hollow and the missions themselves are completely linear. The check points are way too far apart and you may be replaying missions even on normal a number of times. The camera work was well-done.
So why bother? Well, the swordplay, although very basic as I say, is a lot of fun with plenty of blood and gore. It's a hack-and-slasher's delight and always rewarding when you decapitate or dismember your enemies, not to mention when you barbecue them or trample them to death underfoot of your bigger beasts. So the gratuitous violence level is high. The boss battles can be a hoot, too. Some of the qualities of the beasts, like invisibility, enliven the gameplay at points.
People expecting this to compete with Heavenly Sword will be disappointed, but GABR is a distraction of light fare. I'm not sure if it's worth spending that much time on (to me it seemed quite long), but I don't think it promises more than it delivers so if you approach it as a slot filler in your queue until Far Cry of COD 5 arrive, you won't be heartbroken.
I don't blame Secret Level for this game because I feel that they were most likely given an ultimatum by Sega. Having said that I think this game is contributing to a strong case of why Beta testing is so important in this generation of video games. Almost all of the strong games have been beta, quality tested in the case of MGS4. I feel that this could've been a much stronger game given outside criticism long before it's release, and an extended time of release. Not every game has to, or should be out by the holiday season.