Avadon - Review @ GameBanshee
Brother None has penned a detailed review of Avadon for GameBanshee. Ultimately, he enjoyed the game but was bothered by a number of design choices, such as this one on linearity:
This kind of well-paced story is really hard to tell in anything but a linear narrative, which restricts some of the freeroaming known from Avernum and Geneforge. This is an understandable tradeoff, but I personally feel Avadon went a bit far in it. Locations can not be unlocked before an NPC does it for you, and the only NPCs that can do so are typically main plot-related NPCs or followers, with the story structured to see you constantly return to Avadon to be sent to the next area of the game's choice. Even within individual maps the entire experience of exploration is excessively guided, with frequent use of unpickable doors or impassable portcullises guiding you until the game feels the need to open them for you. There are some secrets to find, but for instance paths through dense shrubbery can only be found by quest-related NPCs opening them for you. Compared to Avernum, it feels very restrictive.