I've been pumped for this game ever since the original teaser. I didn't even need the demo to convince me to preorder. Of course, I had to try the demo regardless... get my first real taste aside from beta videos and livestream demonstrations. And right off the bat, I...
Find it freezing at the second hint screen, then crashing when I pressed the escape key. I tried rushing through it, seeing if it was a timed thing, but it still quickly froze up later on. Next time I loaded it up, I turned off hints, since it only seemed to happen there. Sure enough, that fixed it and I had no freezing problems afterward. I don't know if anyone else has had this problem or if this is a demo-only glitch, but I thought this was worth addressing.
Regardless, this initial irk was in no way putting a damper on my enthusiasm. Gameplay is fluid and intuitive, easily accessible if you have the most rudimentary knowledge of Civilization 5 or a similar game. Building around your city instead of inside it really gives a stronger "I'm spreading my control" feel to your empire/kingdom/magocracy. Visuals are absolutely gorgeous, regardless of stylization. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but when I build cities and empires in games, I like to bask in how it appears and scan over the society I've built... this game is quite indulgent to that sentiment.
I did decent enough on my playthrough, I suppose. I'll admit, I tend to be a sneaky perfectionist who likes to reload over "unacceptable" debacles, so the demo-restricted save/load feature was a bit of a tease. Fortunately, things didn't go too awry. I made a non-aggression pact with one faction and was distant enough from the other that we left each other alone. The biggest threat I dealt with was the other worlds. One was along the coast, so I just bombarded the guardians into submission, but the other one... whoo boy. I didn't expect my initial agitation to cause a small extra-dimensional threat. Earth Elementals and Vampires simultaneously is rather harrying, especially when you only have a bi-turnly output of archers and rogues fending them off. But I triumphed in the end, charged into those worlds... and promptly got my scouting parties smushed. "Another day," thought I.
If I have any major complaint about the demo, hint-freezing aside, it's that just as I'm about to build near an elven village, just as I find some Holy Ground... I ran out of time.