The game's great strengths, as a game system (not talking about the setting yet), is that it is versitile. It's not "rules light", but it also isn't published by BTRC or Leading Edge Games. Although it is "class-and-level", the classes determine costs to purchase certain traits (thus, combat Abilities are more expensive for non-combat classes, while the summoner's Abilities are cheap for the Summoner class). The levels are just breakpoints where you're awarded points to purchase traits (also, every two levels you get an attribute point).
Monsters are created similar to PCs. The major provisio is the potential to purchase gnarly wacky traits to represent their monstrous advantages - a similar system was actually used to make the Nephilim (humans with inhuman souls) and the true inhumans, who have templates that modify the base human character at "zero cost".
There are extremely dynamic systems for combat, magic, psychic powers, super martial arts, and stuff like that. Even if you strip away the setting, the game system itself is really excellent.
The setting isn't explained in depth in the core rule book - it actually is kind of vague in there. When the Gaia sourcebook gets translated (don't hold your breath - we're working on FFG's production schedule), you'll discover that there's actually a whole lotta setting, and while there's plenty of room for your stuff there's also a strong foundation for each of the nations of the setting, and all of the political factions. The basic setting is a classically anime alternate history fantasy with a questionably-moral Church and several futurist and counter-futurist factions operating behind the scenes, as well as even more obscure factions behind them.
The versatility of the system is the real jewel of the core rules. There is no serious difficulty to producing a character with one or two traits "off-type" (like a Gandalf, who is a wizard who can lead armies and fight with a longsword, or a Radagast, who is a wizard who also has the "ranger" skill set). It won't cost you dearly, and indeed a multifocal character is a great deal of the fun of the game.