What to say. . . Shadowbane gets some mixed reactions from me.
Well, now it's totally free forever, all expansion packs included, all the races, areas, and classes open to you. Now, this is a game that your going to have a love/hate relationship with.
First off, the game looks Archaic, below a beta-class Playstation game, but this has been said by everyone else, as has the sound. I'm going to focus on the game play here.
The PvE: It contains a Surprisingly small grind, and it is over with much more quickly than other games. You can hit the cap of 75 with a little effort in just a few days to two weeks, the only thing that elongates this is how dangerous the world outside the safe zone cities and newbie area is.
The PvP: Right, this is where the real meat of the game is and is both it's greatest strength and worst weakness. First off, the pvp is fairly thought out, with castle seiges and warfare well implemented and providing, from what I've heard, a good time. But. . ., since the game uses an OPEN pvp system, the lower level players are always in danger of being griefed, and, as of this writing, I myself have been griefed about 8 times in the last 5 days. It will definitely turn off allot of new players, and since you lose everything in your inventory, it means you have to bank everything but a few potions, a Scroll of Recall which you MUST HAVE, or you have to run all the way back to a city. I have only ever grouped once outside of the newbie zone, everyone else has tried to kill me. It gets very annoying to be killed by a stealthed thief while I'm busy with two mobs. This also makes "open" player cities dangerous, as there are people that just love to sit in the shadows and ambush a player who is just trying to get something.
Basically, if you can stand being griefed a number of times, and you are a cautious person, you might find Shadowbane an enjoyable experience, for others, I would highly recommend just shelling out the money for World of Warcraft, Everquest II, or, if your after pvp, Guild Wars, as all present a markedly better experience than shadowbane.