The graphics are fantastic. The interiors are meticulously crafted with great attention to detail, and the exteriors are absolutely breathtaking.
The game works fine on Windows 8. This is one of the few games where I bought the initial release and did not experience major performance bugs. In fact, I have played through twice without incidents which are not related to internet connectivity.
The custom weapons crafting is great. You can construct weapons with two fundamentally different functions. My personal favorite is a rivet chain gun with a force gun. There is a LOT of intense, close combat with multiple creatures. The force gun blows them back several feet, and the chain gun wipes them out with great efficiency. There are also instances (although relatively few) where a long range weapon comes in handy. A Seeker Rifle with a missile launcher is tremendous for these opportunities. One can create a very wide variety of different, very effective, weapons that have their uses in some of the unique situations in the game, and are just plain fun!
This game is SCARY! I'm over 50, and easily startled, but I still find a certain exhilaration from the creative (and often unforeseen) ambushes by some extremely well-designed monsters which come in a refreshingly wide variety.
The game provides a number of different strategies and tactics for different players' personalities. Oldsters like me with bad reflexes can beat the game just as well as the younger players.
So, why only 3 stars?
There are two design flaws in this game that I find extremely annoying, and make no sense, whatsoever.
First, the game has an automated progress save feature, and no manual progress save feature. There is NO excuse for this. It should be up to ME when to save my progress, not the developers.
Secondly, the game requires an active internet connection to start and play. I have a wireless network, and when my connection gets interrupted the game freezes during combat sequences. This just serves to magnify my irritation with the automatic saves, since I have to exit, reconnect, and then restart at a point BEFORE I lost my connection. There is no excuse for this, either. In the single-player campaign, there is NO practical reason to require an active internet connection.