And I just finished it.
26 hours. I blew up the station. Not that it mattered.
It has been a very good game, overall. Not perfect. Some quick pros and cons:
-Great space station. From the variety of 'decks', to the all the sub-areas that are in a level, to how it was all connected internally or externally, and all having a degree of verisimilitude. You could believe it worked.
-Very good use of zero gravity environments. It isn't nothing original at this point in videogames, but here it's well exploited.
-Good environmental puzzles. From platform moments where you have to use the verticality with the help of boxes, to having to search someone with the help of a security station, to hidden maintenance tunnels, to having to use a computer special features for a quest, etc. They never are hard, this isn't a puzzle or a platform game, but they are involved enough. They don't feel like the designer put the solution just in front of you like in Bioshock or the last Deus Ex, you have to look a bit for yourself. It felt as it the game respected the player's intelligence, there was no minimap, in some quests you had to read the instructions and decide what to do instead of following the quests marker, etc.
-Good character progression. No xp for killing, but killing enemies give you resources to craft neuromods, that are like skill points. The pace where you unlock neuromods and improve your weapons feel right.
-Good sense of tension, of isolation, during most of the game.
-Great little crafting system. Easy to use, helps recollection by minimizing crap in your inventory while at the same time gives some value to that 'crap' so it still makes sense to collect it.
-Of course, good mix of a bit of action, and adventure, where I include exploration, stealth, quests, resource management & crafting, etc. It may look like a FPS but the shooty parts are reined back in this game.
-There is a decent amount of backtracking, but with the great design of the station it makes sense to use it, and very intelligently a good amount of all the back tracking (say, 2/3 of it) is optional because it's related to the secondary quests.
-Related to the last point, the respawn system is also good. There is enemy respawn because there has to be in game with backtracking and interconnected levels, but it isn't overwhelming, the amount of enemies is inferior than the original level, and it only activates when some main quests advance (I think there are a pair of secondary quests that also triggers it). So sometimes I could return back to a previous level to finish a secondary quest and it was empty. It would be a bother if every time you switch levels the enemies reappear.
-The story never really grabbed me. I had interest on it on an intellectual level because the mystery part on it, but I wasn't really emotionally invested on it. It felt very in the background, it's more a gameplay-first experience.
-The game lacks a bit in difficulty. If you have a bit of patience, if you are the exploration fan type, the type who likes to be efficient with the resources and make smart choices (in other words, the type of player who would like this game in the first place!), the game isn't particularly hard once you 'get it'. At the 16th hour mark I switched from Hard to Nightmare difficulty in the game options and I still could have played in an even more difficult setting. And I don't like super difficult games!
For example, it didn't really felt like it had a survival horror flair like System Shock 2 because it wasn't hard enough for that. Meanwhile, in this game I finished with 70-75 medkits in my inventory (And with +30 grenades of every type and etc etc) because usually with the medical operators and the foods/drinks I had enough. I used maybe 3 medkits in all the game. And I didn't get any power that would heal me or regen me.
-At 26 hours (and that's not counting loading times and retries with the quickload) the game overstays its welcome. The solution wouldn't be to shorten its length, it's a good duration for a single player game. What the game needs is a bit more of content, like a pair more of enemy types and a pair more of different weapons. I was disappointed when I saw the invasion forces where operations painted in black, and not real human soldiers which could have opened up another venue of gameplay. The game could also have used the trick of SS2 and use possessed laboratory animals as another type of enemy (monkeys!). Same with the weapons: pistol, gloo gun, shotgun, emp gun, energy cannon, and the grenades. That's it? And not even ammo types? Weak.