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Greedfall

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 26 - 2019

A 17th Century fantasy RPG.

 
The RPG genre is a tricky thing. Players will find a game that they really enjoy and then sink hours upon hours into. From that point on, the player will compare it to each further RPG they play, with most of them coming up short. It is easy to adjust expectations with a game that only lasts ten or twenty hours, but when a game stretches over one hundred hours, it is far more difficult. This is why that first little bit of recognition is so important. As such, saying that Spiders’ latest title, Greedfall, has a little BioWare in it should be more than enough to get people interested. Throw in some weighty decisions, ample choice in how to approach situations, and a world that eschews the usual medieval fantasy setting from something more colonial, and Greedfall has a lot going for it.

 


 
It is that setting that is perhaps the first item of interest in Greedfall. So often we are given the chance to play as knights in shining armour as we travel from one castle to the next. Greedfall jumps forward a few hundred years, to offer up frilly collars and far more civilisation. This world has advanced, but still has kept hold of the magic and monsters that keep these games interesting. Different factions, ruled over by the likes of science or religion, argue for dominance, while native peoples are downtrodden in the name of advancement. Greedfall feels as though it has a lesson to teach, along with a firm look back at regular human history, but that is not for me to say. The setting is quite different and I was not sure I would enjoy it. However, the developers have made this world feel different while also familiar, and it wasn’t long before I was prancing around like a local.

 
Well, a local with privileges of course. This rich world is in something of a pickle, thanks to an untreatable illness known as the Malichor. On the plus side, a new land has been discovered which is ripe for colonization, and there is the possibility that a cure could be found there. As a guild representative, the player is tasked with travelling to this land, Teer Fradee, and deal with the native people, along with the other factions marking their claim on the land, all while trying to find this cure. It is not an enviable task, but the player will not be alone in this mammoth undertaking.

 
Players start out with a loosely defined role, such as being a melee specialist, a musket-wielding ranged fighter, or a magic user. From there though, the player is free to modify and adapt their character to suit their play style. New skills and abilities will become available that can switch up a character to give them plenty of options when it comes to combat. However, the player will also have up to two companions with them at any time, and these characters will have their own style and can be customised along the way, giving the player control over their entire group.

 


 
The companions are far more than just additional fighters though. They can aid or hinder when decisions have to be made or diplomacy is in play. They can allow for more options, make or break relationships, and simply make the main character better. They are also full characters in their own right, with their own back stories, their own personalities, and their own missions that the player will have to take on. There is a depth to the companions that make them enjoyable to be around and, most importantly, memorable.

 
There is a great sense of freedom to Greedfall. As quests come up, players are able to approach them how they see fit, such as sneaking around or going in, guns blazing. Skill, abilities and companions will give the player more options, even in the dialogue sections. Diplomacy is nearly always an option in Greedfall, and players with the most charm will find themselves able to talk their way out of all sorts of situations. Of course, these situations can have an effect further down the line and can change the relationship between the character and the factions it involves. Often times players have been teased with the idea of making meaningful choices in a game, but Greedfall does a pretty good job. The effects are not always as obvious of life changing as they could be, but the situations are rarely black and white, and so players will find themselves carefully making choices for fear of what may be the result.

 
Then again, situations often end up with combat. Greedfall has a combat system that starts out feeling a little clumsy and slow. Deliberate is a good way to describe it. There is a certain amount of heft to wielding a weapon, and firing a musket is very satisfying. As the player progresses though, and unlocks new moves, the combat becomes deeper and far more satisfying. In an interesting move, the developers have included an option to pause the action and take a tactical view of things, much like Dragon Age: Inquisition. While it gives players a chance to take things a little slower and weigh up their options in combat, I am not entirely sure how many players would actually use this function. Still, it is there, which is nice.

 
Greedfall is a very good looking game. On more than one occasion, the temptation has been just to stop and drink in the view, especially in the wilderness of the new land. However, it has to be said that many of the assets in the game have been re-used over and over, taking away some of the magic. There are a few technical hiccups along the way as well, but nothing that really damages the enjoyment in any way.

 


 
With interesting quests, a great setting, excellent character progression and solid combat, Spiders seem to have hit the nail on the head with Greedfall. The setting is a breath of fresh air, and the companions are just brilliant. However, the entire game could have done with more of a polish and, I’ll be honest, this new world is not the happiest place to be. Still, Greedfall is Spiders’ best game to date, and is well worth picking up by anyone with a passing interest in RPGs.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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