+ visuals and their constant variety
+ fast paced combat
+/- dodge-hit-dodge-hit-dodge gameplay. Every now and then you can use a stronger attack, which is just a hit with a better interrupt
+/- labyrinths everywhere
+/- a lot of lore and optional dialogue, especially at the beginning. You can run past it to actually get to the action, but it really tested my patience. Action games shouldn't start with text lore dumps
- the game hates you and wants you to repeat the levels over and over, while not rewarding you with anything worthwhile
- small amount of life, so you die very quickly. Some games can pull it of but...
- one of the best mechanics in souls games (you could even say that's something that made the genre possible) is the idea of estus flasks. Ability to greatly regenerate life when you find ~2 seconds of safety between or during a fight, multiple times. This way you don't feel like you already lost when you get hit in an early encounter - you can just chug to full life at little cost. It's important that you won, the fact that you lost some life is secondary. This game doesn't have anything like it, even though it really needs it with the number of enemies you have to fight. Instead it has a completely unreliable, rare small regen when you you are doing well in combat and hidden single-use healing plants
- enemies have immunity to friendly fire (including fire itself)
It just doesn't seem fun. It disrespects my time too much for what it promises to provide.
I also cannot shake the feeling that this game could have been a beautiful story-based boss rush. A lot of elements are there, just focus more on interesting bosses, add more options in combat and for the love of all gods remove or at least heavily cut down on the labyrinths with tons of enemies. This way having lore dumps (with some amazing visuals that the game can pull off) would be a great way to unwind between the bosses.