The great virtue of Enoch is its setting. It's post-apocalyptic, but the fall of technical civilization happened so far in the distant past that almost nothing is remembered. The icecaps are long gone, tropical jungle covers the temperate latitudes, the skeletal remnants of skyscrapers poke from the drowned coast, and nanobot plagues still sweep across the world. We have layers of technical civilization, including still-functioning "demon" AIs deep beneath the earth, along with credulous belief in new gods (some of which are beings that indeed possess godlike powers), while the highest expression of remaining civilization are exploitative, slave-owning empires reminiscent of the Bronze Age--and most humans live as Stone Age hunter-gatherers.
In this world, the player characters are "rebels", against the gloomy fate to which humanity is heir -- a ravaged globe, pestilence and famine, constant warfare and petty tyrants with the ethics of barbarians -- who are, or may become, the epic heroes of a new heroic age, the actors upon whom a new and rising humanity is molded.
Now that's a pretty cool conception; yet (in common with so many conventional tabletop RPGs), most of Epoch's length is spent with system. It's a perfectly serviceable system, and thankfully it's one that does incorporate some lessons from the narrativist RPG movement: each character has a "Vow" (perhaps of mercy, or revenge, or fame, or enlightenment), and behaving appropriately to pursue your vow is the main route to experience points and character advancement. Characters also have "paths," such as "ancient medicine" or "sorcery" (which equals hacking, basically, in a world in which surviving cyberintelligence is equated with demonry), which are the source of their main heroic powers -- but using those powers requires them to expend "pathos" points, which they gain by seeking knowledge and applying their discipline. Thus, while moment-to-moment action is performed by typical RPGish die rolls, strong systemic hooks encourage genuine roleplaying.
Still, that's just system, covering the usual bases for an RPG; where Epoch shines is when Walker discusses the setting, whether at a high level ("Bloodied ziggurats, immortal beasts, AI gods...") or very specifically:
- "To look to the North is to see a vertigo of muck-filled trenches spiraling towards the horizon, not a tree in sight. Piles of the dead roast in fires that darken the sky. Blood red soil trembles, shaken by an approaching horde. Thousands of footmen walk in formation, flanked by cavalry. Generals ride atop smoke-spewing giants, signaling maneuvers with colored flags bearing Mother's standard. Her armies are endless, but the Legion steels itself. The battle has raged for nearly a century. All of Meric is at stake."
There's an imagination at work you rarely see attached to any sort of game. Enoch proposes a rococo, sword-and-sorcery future out of Howard or Vance, with the forgotten detritus of our own doomed civilization as pathetic backdrop. That's pretty cool.