I'm not very fond of giving a game a score in a decimal scale. Personal tastes and experiences can influence a lot, but now that everybody is opening their heart, I'll add my 2 cents.
IMO the game should go for more than an 8, because it is very ambitious and I've enjoyed a lot during grand part of each game, and the replayability is high enough to play many games with different styles and tactics.
I love the design of troops, the manage of cities, the way you can use or abuse of magic if you wish to, the leveling of heroes and cities, the feeling of a dangerous world, full of misteries and quests to be done...the early and midgame, were you start from nothing and from there you make yourself a place in the world, is just superb.
But I have to be realistic, and there are some points that interfere with the game as a whole (mostly have been stated before):
- Bugs and weird issues. Still there are many minor bugs that are little more than annoying once you get used, but there they are, and I think Devs should pay a bit more of attention to fix them. Each new patch fixes some, so in this aspect, the game promises real improvement. But still work to be done.
- Polish. Again, minor details that the player get used to, but when you find how are solved in other games, the overall impression is not so possitive. Minor details like how much movement is left/number of turns to arrive, the join/split armies system, the pops up that can't be minimized, the annoying scrolling between all cities to find the zzz each turn...things like that...You can get used to all of them, but the feeling is ...why I have to? Grrrr, ok....
- Diplomacy and the Late game. The game can be supported by monsters and wildlands in the early and mid game, giving a lot of fun with them. But in the late game, all different playstyles concur in the same point: no challenging monsters left, only AIs. The game in this part becomes very closed in options. Small maps you can try full conquest, but in larger maps that is not in mind. Master Quest and Spell Of Making are a good way to put a quick end to a previsible long boring end game. Alliance victory too. But my sensation is that diplomacy options are still very very limited, and cannot carry the weight of the late game, with hundreds of elite troops and powerfull champs.Options like open/close borders, trade cities, resource pacts and things like that could give a bit more of flavor to that final part of the game, and a excuse to keep going on the amount of turns left to completely conquer the map with the help of some allies...
- Minor stuff. The game provides a lot of features, but after >200 hours of playing, there is a point that you miss: more different monsters, quests, items. The ships, the World events, ...all of this stuff seems to be saying...just wait for a good expansion, and you will get tons of that.
So a game that has given me >200 hours of play, is well worthy for higher than a 8...should I give FE less than that because of the previous issues? How many games I've played lastly for so long? Apart from some addictive multiplayer games hehe...
Well, my final veredict is that I will keep that 8, because Stardock has demonstrated many times that they are caring their games, improving them and polishing them, with future patches and expansions like untill now, so when that time arrives, probably the score will be even higher.
Untill then, mods can help a lot, and that is what really keeps my final score balanced.