TL;DR: So far the best way I can describe it is The Witcher mixed with Mass Effect mixed with EYE: Divine Cybermancy. It's got great atmosphere and some decent RPG mechanics. Combat is actually somewhat challenging.
I've been playing for the past couple hours. It's not a bad game. I think it's being treated a bit unfairly by casuals and the press.
Combat is sort of like Witcher 3, just without the oils or concotions. You choose from 3 different weapon combos (staff; mace + shield; and knife + gun). There's more of a focus on dodging and interrupts. Timing, movement and positioning are a big part of every fight. It's also not an easy game. I'm playing on Normal and I've died several times already. Combat is really easy through most of the tutorial, but once you're in the real part of the game you can get fucked up by even simple opponents.
Character creation is pretty good. Your character won't come out looking completely retarded unless you really try for it. For those of us with fashy tendencies, there's a selection of nice undercuts (one of which is the default hairstyle). Also worthy of note: there seems to be no diversity quota in this game. I've only encountered one black person so far. Women are modeled to have womanly proportions and I've seen at least one prostitute. I expect this game to receive negative reviews from SJW's if they happen to notice it (which I doubt - probably not mainstream enough for them).
Character progression and leveling mechanics are there to give it that RPG element. There are Skills, Talents, and Attributes, which you earn points for at different intervals (for example: I am level 5. I get my next skill point at level 6, my next Talent at level 9, and my next Attribute at level 7). Skills are strictly focused on combat, and are split into 4 trees with 3 branches each. Talents are for non-combat stats, such as lockpicking, charisma, and stealth. Attributes are what they typically would be in any other RPG (like KotOR). There are 4: Strength, Agility, Power, and Constitution.
There's a karma system, but I'm not entirely sure how it works yet. When you fight opponents, usually they get knocked out instead of killed outright. You then have the choice of killing them by extracting "serum" from them (translator's note: as far as I can tell serum does not mean semen). This is apparently used as currency, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. If you choose to do this, you gain -1 karma for each person you kill. I don't know how to gain karma back and I don't know what affect this will have on the game.
There's also a decent inventory system where you can craft upgrades to your gear. I haven't seen crafting for equipment yet, just for equipment upgrades, so I don't know if that's in the game or not. So far all the equipment I've found has been from containers or picked off dead bodies.
Environments are really good, very atmospheric. I think it's one of the game's strongest points. The setting is interesting. It's obviously a game by a foreign developer - the dialogue is a little rough at times, but I get the feeling this is more of a translation issue than just bad writing.
I think this game has the potential to end up being one of those cult classics sort of like EYE, just with references to serum instead of brouzoufs (assuming that it maintains this level of quality to the end of the game). It's definitely not receiving a fair shake from critics.