Blackguards - Preview @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee has posted a new preview of the Early Access version of Blackguards.
Blackguards still has a lot of work that needs to be done. Daedalic will need to continue polishing the text (it was in a terrible state when I first started playing, with typos, untranslated phrases, and missing text being all too common, but the first patch took care of a lot of those issues), working on the interface, and balancing the classes. Right now warriors seem to be way more powerful than hunters or (especially) mages, but I don't know if this means that certain skills or classes need work, or if like in a lot of RPGs warriors start out strong but then get bypassed by the more complicated classes as the game progresses.
If I had to evaluate Blackguards right now, then I'd say it looks like it could be a fun little game. It feels more like an RPG to me than a tactical strategy game (despite the structure), and a lot will depend on how well the mystery in the main storyline plays out. You don't learn much about it in Chapter 1, as the majority of your time there is spent dodging the authorities and making your way south to meet with somebody who can shed light on your situation. If the story can provide enough twists and intrigue to keep players guessing, then I think it and the combat can complement each other enough to make the game enjoyable.
Chapter 1 took me about 8 hours to complete, and so the full complement of five chapters might take around 40 hours, which would be fine for the game's $25 asking price. Look for the full version of Blackguards to come out sometime around the end of January.