The game plays like a mix between Skyrim and Oblivion (mostly because it looks more like Oblivion than Skyrim graphically), and just feels like an Elder Scrolls single player game with a multiplayer component (he played in first person the whole time, so maybe that was it?)
In the game world there's no real distinguishing features that separate NPCs from PCs, so you really can't tell who's another player and who's an NPC other than their behavior clearly distinguishing so. Maybe that's another aspect that makes it feel kind of like a single player ES game.
The combat was just like Skyrim, except a lot more difficult since it has an MMO leveling system. But it feels familiar, as the more he used his sword and the shield the more those skills increased. Everything about the game feels really familiar and it doesn't look like it's going to bring anything new to the table other than an MMO with a first person view.
Well that's disheartening. It sounds like it may be a watered down version of the original with a multiplayer component.