GreedFall hits and executes the beats of past BioWare games perfectly, while also standing on its own and improving on the mechanics of recent AAA titles. However, GreedFall certainly has its faults. Here’s a review of the game.
As a devastating plague decimates the population of the continent of Gacane, you take the role of Madame/Sir De Sardet, a diplomat of The Merchant Congregation and cousin to the newly appointed governor of the recently discovered island of Tir Fradi.
Your task is to build alliances and discover a cure for the plague known as “the Malichor.”
This is a game about political intrigue, conspiracies and family, as much as it is about exploring new regions, slaying monsters and finding legendary gear.
This is ingrained into the world that there is literally a quest that involves using bureaucracy to dispossess a merchant from the land he owns. Politics and red tape at its finest.
Three main factions span the island all with their own agendas and political and religious ideologies:
The Merchant Congregation: A nation akin to 18th century England who remain neutral in the war on the continent between the Theleme and Bridge Alliance and has no real religion and generally open to all.
Theleme: The very Spanish inquisition styled nation who maintains a very religious presence on the island to the point of outright zealotry and they regard any other religion as heresy which in their view is punishable by death.
Bridge Alliance: The Academic and Persian influenced nation seeks knowledge and understanding at all costs. To the point of having no issue of capturing the Tir Fradi natives for “study.”
Caught in the middle of all this intrigue and colonising are the natives who simply want to live in peace.
To accompany you on this grand adventure is a collective of unique and often quirky cast of characters, each of whom have their own story to tell, quest-lines to follow and secrets to uncover.
The quests were varied and most were interesting and had more than a few “oh shit moments.” Even the ones that were a bit ordinary didn’t feel unnecessary and after 40-hours of playing, that was impressive. Even minor quests had an impact on the overall story in ways I didn’t expect.
Everything felt relevant and important and every decision you make while exploring this new world, has an impact. Choices are important and they matter. The combat and overall gameplay handles well and is responsive. You have a numerous amount of abilities at your disposal all depending on your MP or stamina bar to use, with the addition of a fury attack.
Active pause was a fantastic addition to the combat, and I relied on it more than once, especially in the third act. It allows you to pause in the middle of combat to take a breath, plan your attack,take what whatever potions or cast whatever spells you need too.
I played the role of a light magic user, so my combat style was to blast opponents with a stream of light and heavy magic attacks while dodging and making sure my MP bar didn’t run out. Dodging was made more enjoyable once I had unlocked the “lightning dash” ability which allowed me to zip and zag across the battlefield while unleashing my magical wrath.
There’s a standard style skill tree that ranges from magic abilities, technical (traps and guns) to melee. In addition to that, there are attributes which range from strength, endurance, accuracy, agility, mental power and willpower. All of these have an impact on your play-style.
The talent tree is where things get interesting. In most games you can simply jump across a gap to get the chest on the other side but here if your vigour isn’t high enough, there will be no jumping for you. Along with vigour, this tree includes intuition, craftsmanship, charisma, science and lock picking.
One addition that I very much enjoyed was the ability to switch quests on the fly without having to jump back into the menus. Using the compass that most modern open-world RPG’s use, all I had to do was look in the direction of a different quest and press R3. This feature also didn’t overload the compass, so I never felt overwhelmed.
Loot and crafting
There is no shortage of gear, loot, potions and materials to collect, use and craft in your journey across Tir Fradi.
While weapons and armour can’t be crafted directly, they can be improved with the resources you have gathered or dismantled from other pieces of gear.
Pauldrons, straps and collar pieces for armour to the shaft and pommel for swords sword or mace.
Potions that heal to magic potions that restore your MP and even a powder that brings your knocked-out companions back to life, can all be crafted as well.
While GreedFall isn’t the most attractive game out there, it’s by no means ugly, and often I did manage to find something gorgeous to look at, whether it be one of the many monsters that roam the world to standing on a ledge overlooking one of the three main cities.
For a small independent studio to make a game this fantastic is a feat of its own, especially after Technomancer in 2016. After this, I’m very much looking forward to what Spiders does next. I loved the time I spent with this and I’m a little sad there’s no DLC.
Minor issues aside, this was a fantastic experience and there isn’t anything out quite like this.
Worth getting at full price but if you can’t, then get it on sale. GreedFall is a compelling and fascinating world with choices and consequences that do matter, and the characters and story are all worth experiencing for any RPG fan.
- Compelling story, lore and world
- Interesting Characters
- Feels great to play
- Nothing felt unnecessary
- Texture pop in issues
- Odd camera angles on occasion
- Voice acting can sometimes be a bit over the top or silly