I dunno what the reviewers were playing, but the game is frigging beautiful (granted not the best graphics), the quests are fun and they won't open up unless you establish relationships. There is variety and the world created is magical. Yes the animations are dated, but it doesn't stop you from enjoying the journey and I don't even notice it anymore as you get pulled into the world that's been created. The only other game where you have npcs that have schedule's and go about their daily lives is yakuza.
The issue with the reviews is they are marking the game for everything which it is not instead of everything that it is.
It's not dated. There are things in this game that still do not exist in any game I know of today outside of yakuza. The side quests are organic and relationship based. Even the witcher series don't have this.
The density and detail of the world and how it lives and breathes is out of this world.
It is a slow burn, but that is part of the magic and majesty of the game where you actually have to investigate and find answers and create relationships.
In a world where people want immediate gratification, this game teaches you to pause and take in the world around you and the things you miss out as you are constantly forced and rushed from task to task.
A class example of this is the uncharted games.take the shambala location where you want to take in the world that's been created that just oozes beauty, but you can't since there is nothing to explore or do but to kill and move from location to location killing.
15hrs in and I'm happy with my purchase and would even say its my contender for the game of the year.