This game has set the standard for games of its genre.
With that out of the way... This game is everything you would want in this genre. Right when you begin the game, the graphics, sound, story plot, characters, and user friendliness of this game will impress you.
There are three primary structures to the character build in the game. These consist of: Race, Birth Sign, and Class. You will have to learn which combo works best for you, based on the direction you want to go with the character build. Make sure you read the game manual, or some online guides, to help you insure you make a smart build.
The way this game combines melee and ranged combat, is unlike any other game in its genre. My personal preference was a mixture of the two. I would use a bow to snipe enemies from far, and use a two-handed sword in close-combat melee.
There are also tons and tons of "unofficial" mods or patches you can download for the game (on PC) for free, that will improve or add upon almost every aspect of the game... NOT THAT IT NEEDS ANY, however.