I definitely hear you, but I have come to a very different conclusion. For me, of course; no criticism of anyone else’s experience intended.
I have about 45 hours into this game so far. I’m still loving it. I like being solo–as I’ve noted before, to me, it’s a Far Cry game in many respects and I like that. I agree the AI can be, um, lacking, shall we say; stealth assaults with killer drones and suppressed sniper rifles are trivial, to the point that I tend to deliberately spook the bad guys so I can get a straight up fight once in a while. I do find that sometimes they can do ok, but usually I can sit in a hallway and stack up bodies that come running to the door to be machine gunned.But, and this is key, that’s ok by me, because I’m not in this for challenging, realistic ground combat. I’m in it for exactly what it’s delivering, semi-mindless but structured run and gun and loot gameplay in an interesting gameworld.
And I do find the gameworld interesting. The architecture, though often head-scratchingly inappropriate (yes, it’s an island in the South Pacific but, at high altitudes with alpine like biomes, building your houses in the same loose slipshod way you do on the tropical coast is just dumb), is often enough intriguing. Yes, there is a lot of repeating of modules, but overall it’s cool to tool around in, and I love the old “Cold War” (really, WWII-esque) forts and bunkers.
The missions are confusing sometimes, and buggy, but some of the storylines, if utterly unbelievable, are interesting enough to me. I hate, hate, hate the stupidity of the NPC civilians, and the fact that you can eviscerate a half-dozen Sentinel goons in front of some dude at a terminal and after he cowers for a sec he’ll just hop back in his chair and resume typing away amid the carnage.
Loot I agree is uber-meh, but that’s the Division creeping in. One of the issues I have is that I have no idea whether gear score means anything or not. Does it affect any stats? Damage? Armor? What? At GS 50 or less I was killing GS 150 drones (with a lot of kiting, to be sure). Given the fact that you can buy nearly everything you want with the ubiquitous Skell bucks, finding gear is mostly for crafting parts (though I have yet to find a use for the deconstructed clothing pieces).
So, yeah, it’s deeply flawed, and objectively not a good game taken as a complete work. No argument there. But damn it I enjoy it a lot. Gunplay is satisfying, discovery and exploration is good, and a few of the story beats are even passable.