Eventually went back to this and finished it off in a few long-ish sessions.
I got into it a lot more and finished the game massively impressed. The setting and visuals were spectacular. The style, presentation and polish were as good as you'd expect from the makers of Bastion.
I grew to enjoy the combat, but that was always secondary for me anyway. Like Bastion, as well as awarding you increased powers as you level up, they also give you optional items to make the game harder (eg this shortens your turn duration, that makes enemies hit harder etc) so you can tailor the challenge.
I didn't use any of that though. I accidentally recorded 15 mins of early footage from the game and when I went back and watched that I was absolutely appallingly bad at combat, so once I got a handle on that the game worked well for me. Would be interesting to see my first steps in Dark Souls like this, would be equally terrible I am sure.
Generally agree with Richard's review
on the main page.