I will admit that the first couple hours I played, I wasn't interested. It felt boring and repetitive. But that was possibly due to my lack of familiarity with the game and controls. As time goes on, I find myself becoming more and more addicted. Observations to follow:
1. There is little to no RPG element, at least not according to my definition. And I was led to believe it was an RPG. But nay. Other than choosing in what order you play quests, and where you wander on the map, you have no other choices. You rarely talk, and only in cutscenes, so there are no dialogue options, and I very strongly feel that the outcome of the game will not be affected by any choice I make. It feels more like an open world action/exploration game than an RPG.
2. Don't play for the story. The story is there, and it is mildly interesting, but it seems to be the element they push the least. To be honest, I cannot tell you where in the story I am at the moment.
3. The combat is pretty cool. I enjoy it, now that I've gotten used to it. You get a sword, a dagger and a bow. I never used my bow and arrows until I realized I could be lethal with them when used correctly. Now I use all three interchangeably. And I truly feel like I'm controlling the combat in the game, rather than mashing buttons and hoping for the best.
4. The orcs. Are you mostly interested in messing with some orcs and thereby affecting the structure of Sauron's army? Ah, well then this is why you play. It is beyond obvious that the orc army is the focal point of the game. You constantly battle various orcs throughout the map, and each captain/war chief has a personal vendetta with you. Fail to kill one when you clash, and he becomes more powerful. He will also remember you and reference the last time you fought. You can manipulate the power struggle among the various orc leaders almost like a chess game, and this is an interesting element.
5. Assassin's Creed-esque elements. Sneaking, running, climbing and scrambling through the game is, I am told, exactly like Assassin's Creed. Call it copying, but I love it. I love having to sneak through an orc stronghold to accomplish an objective without being caught. You can stealth kill the orcs you do have to cross paths with, and it all works very well.
6. The Elf Lord. I do not fully understand yet where he came from or what he is doing there, but you are guided by the spirit of an Elf Lord. He is pretty darn cool and grants you some totally awesome abilities. He also talks more than you do. So most of the story elements are made known through him. Overall he gets a plus in my book.
Those are my major observations. Do not lose me at #4, though. Had anyone told me the game was mostly your manipulation of the power struggle in Sauron's army, I would not have purchased it. But there is something emotionally manipulative about battling these orc captains and chiefs and such, because they remember who you are, and they remember how you fought, and their dialogue reflects that. In the end, you want to best them, you have a mighty need to remove their heads from their shoulders, so to speak.
I think the game is fun! It is not at all, not even remotely, what I thought it would be, but it has grown on me in a very positive way. I would definitely recommend it.
"It's not about the legacy you leave, it's about the life you live." ~Mara Jade Skywalker