BoD has never been beaten in fighting animations nor in the learning curve it provides. The only area it never explored was civilization...or at least civilization that wasn't say...smashed by large catapults or abandoned. my point here is that there is a game (once again on Xbox) that gives that feeling of involvement with other people: Fable. The game is not as good in the fighting department but its better than others that have tried to beat BoD. In terms of animation, It's combat beats Enclave and Morrowind . It's weapons also put those two games to shame as some of them look like BoD weapons (two handed sword that looks like Barbarian's Flat Sword etc...). The armor and building designs are excellent. It doesnt have you move on invisible rails like Soul Reaver or Prince of Persia (those games have it minimally). The level of interaction with towns and peoples on a scope never done before (games at the Inn, Popularity with towns folk, courting of the opposite sex, buying homes, talking to leaders for longer than a few seconds till they die from beheading...poor lord kerman...etc...). Most importantly, the dont have lame voice over like other fantasy styled games like Baldur's Gate, (cheesy english/scottish accents obviously copied by american voices or worse just plain old american voices...no offence to americans its just not natural to hear your accent in those games). For Fable, they whip out voice over that sound like proper accents from the British isles (which makes sense because the kingdom is called Albion).
I guess what I'm saying is that Fable has similarities to BoD but has expanded on what it was missing which was story interaction (Fugitive excluded)and has action better than most contenders while retaining other production values that BoD had.