FYI: I started my playing after the Jan 2012 patch.
It seems like about 9 out of 10 people who worked on this video game did a great job. The graphics are good, animations are good, the general feel of the game isn't bad (though it's odd that the camera view is completely manually controlled)... what kills this game are these aspects:
1) The game file handling is buggy – I recommend keeping game file backups for the likely scenario that your game is corrupted.
2) The RPG aspects of this game are very limited – in fact the only thing that makes this an RPG is your character upgrades.
3) Also keep regular backups unless you want to risk playing the entire game over from the beginning... For example there is one place where the revive checkpoint lands you in a place where if you're not Farin, then it's impossible to proceed.
4) Be very careful with game saves. It's easy to think you've saved the game when it really hasn't, I recommend not ending a gaming session until you can go back to a town to buy things (quit after shopping).
5) Bugs all over the place – every aspect of the game has little bugs.
6) Don't be disappointed when you find that most of the map is not accessible – the game is much smaller than it appears.
The game looked promising at first. I was playing local coop with a friend for several weeks. It wasn't long before all the bugs of the game were glarringly obvious. Messages would get stuck on the screen and somehow when we reloaded one day it said my partner was at a different point in the game and would no longer recieve experience or be able to level up. So all the time we'd spent was wasted and the thought of restarting this game is beyond what we are willing to do. I absolutely loved the Baldur's Gate and Champions of Norrath games. A friend and I played them for months on end together. I was expecting something similar in this game and can't express how dissappointed I am. I love the LOTR's universe and am just baffled how Snowblind Studios could mess this up. I hate this game and I quit. I haven't been this frustrated with a game in many years. Don't