The story isn't anything mind blowing, but it helps set up the sequel which is in development. It's still enjoyable, but nothing you've not seen before. Voice acting is decent, lip syncing is awful however. Graphics are great in my opinion. Everything is done in game, so that the armor that you equip shows up in each scene. The environments are huge and only take one load time. Unlike other RPGs, where areas are divided into sections. Even houses are loaded up right there when the town loads. You just open up the door and walk right in, then walk back out.
It requires an install, but load times are quick considering all that loads up. It takes awhile to save which is the only 'problem' I have with the game.
Gameplay wise, it's a lot like Final Fantasy XI and XII. You can move around real time, all enemies move around in real time. When you begin a battle, you have to wait for your action circle to fill up before you attack. [Much like the active time battle system of many RPGs, only you can move around at all times) There's a bar on the bottom of the screen where you assign abilities for use. Magic, Physical Attacks and combos you create. You use the d-pad to change between actions. Soon after you start playing, Leonard gets you the ability to transform into the White Knight. You need at least 5 Action Chips to transform into the White Knight. To earn AC, you need to defeat enemies and you earn them about each turn as well. Later on, when you transform with more and more AC stocked up the White Knight will gain new abilities to use while transformed. The White Knight will be dismissed when you run out of MP. Each move of the WK uses up MP, so you have to be careful at what you do.
When you level up you're rewarded with 4 ability points, which you can use on learning new abilities. Divided by weapon type, with two magic sections. One for White magic and another for Black Magic. As you learn abilities, you unlock even more. Which also includes status upgrades. When you learn 2 physical abilities [or even magic] you're able to create a combo. To use a combo, you'll have to use an Action Chip [or more depending on what abilities you have in the combo, each has their own value]. You use a combo, and you'll have to hit 'x' at the right time to go through the combo. Otherwise, you'll just use the first ability in the combo and it'll stop. Combos are really where the battle system shine.
The online, I've not delved into that much yet. So can't comment much about it. Georama and Geonet are great though. Georama allows you to make a town as a 'hub' for online. Where you can meet up with friends and head out on missions. You can also put shops into your Georama where everyone can shop. The Georama works a lot like the Dark Cloud series' town editors, which I think goes by the same name. You get materials in single player to make houses and various other things to put into your town. You upgrade the size of your town with the money you earn in single player as well.
Geonet is a lot like .hack's 'The World' oddly enough. There is a type of forum, where you can post topics for other WKC players to reply to and read other topics by others. You can post blogs about your missions and what you're doing with WKC, and read other people's blogs. You can update a status as well so others can see what you're up to. I personally use it to say what area I'm at. :3 This is also where you find friends, and add your friends to your Geonet friends' list.
You also create your own character at the beginning, which is used as your online character. Where you can level and gain items for the single player section of the game. You can't change the appearance of your character without either starting over, or paying $5 to do so. So make sure that you do it right. Your character kind of hides in the background of the story, which is a shame but easily overlookable.
White Knight Chronicles is like a lot of great games melded into one great package. Not without it's flaws, but it's a game that you have to try to know if you'll like it I think. The music by the way, is phenomenal.