I've played through the first land, up to the vortex, and have a few more opinions to share. The interface is still clumsy, but I've learned to navigate a little better - it takes an acquired combination of mouse tricks and keyboard commands, shortcuts, and bookmarks. Interacting with objects is still awkward, though, and I'm sticking with my stated preference for an isometric view.
Other than a slight lag occasionally with the 3D rendering, there are no bugs of a W&W level, unless you count the frustrating interface.
The city building and villager control is like Majesty - more general commands than Starcraft-style micromanagement. The accompanying quest system, where you, as a GOD, are at the beck and call to rescue, impress and follow the commands of villagers - sure, the encounter and triggers and infinitely flexible - to me really stands out as being artificial. I've also yet to see the whole good/bad thing play out - in most quests it's rather obvious what you're supposed to do, and you're rewarded for jumping through those various hoops accordingly.
Your main interface to the world is your creature - aka your virtual pet who you have to train by leashing, feeding, punishing, setting an example for, and rewarding as needed. The AI's not too bad here, but again the interface is sloppy - I found myself punishing and rewarding the wrong behaviors, and the leashing system is also tricky.
And then there's the poop meter. Speaking as someone who has pets, and has gone through housebreaking with a live animal, there's some interactions that I'd rather be dealing with a live creature with, and others that I'd just as soon were missing from the game.
Anyway, I see the game's appeal - the gameplay is pretty original, but I still find the interface a drawback, and I have a feeling the next levels will turn the combat aspects of the game into more of a real-time (i.e. arcade) plain old Dune2000/Warcraft/etc.-esque city building strategy than my ageing reflexes prefer. I'll probably shelve it when Myst 3 comes out next Monday.
Prepare Yourself for the Ultimate in Fantasy Games