There are few things better in gaming than a robust RPG. The deep decision making, various customization options, and engaging story come together to make for a memorable experience. There is a reason that people still speak fondly about Mass Effect and Baldur’s Gate. There are video games today that still try to provide that experience. The Divinity Original Sin games are tremendous games that provide countless hours of fun. Greedfall from Spiders hearkens back to the old RPGs when putting together your gear was as much fun as progressing the story. It may not be perfect, but it will easily fill the need for a strong role playing game.
Greedfall is a historical fantasy that takes place in a colonial setting, with the player taking on the role of De Sardet. The character is off to the new world of Teer Fradee island with the promise of riches, opportunity, and the cure for a deadly disease. Along with firearms, doublets, and sabers, De Sardet has the ability to wield magic, if the player chooses. The familiarity of foreign lands expanding is mixed with majestic creatures.
Before the game even begins, the player is able to customize their De Sardet. All the standard options are there from hair style to gender. Giving a player the option to create their own character is an easy way to promote immersion. One thing the game does well is not provide too much. This comes down to personal choice, but a character creation screen should not take hours. Sure, it is fun to goof around, but some presets are more than enough to get the adventure started. Overall, the character creation screen is the perfect analogy of the game: Greedfall gives some players what they want, but it is also very bare bones.
As expected, the game starts by giving the option to what type of play style the player wants. The warrior, technical (stealth), and magic are the listed classes, but Greedfall allows the character to be customized to each individual player’s preferred gameplay style. Whether a person likes to play as brash melee warrior or as a stealthy magician, the option is there. This opens the door to endless options and opportunities.
Greedfall shines in its choice and consequences system. This is more than just a game that provides binary options. The answer is never black and white and the fallout does not always reveal itself immediately. The game does a great job of showing the changing world. It is unfortunate that dialogue is so often repeated. It takes away from the great conversation options when characters same the same sentence for hours.
Spiders is a small French studio so AAA quality graphics should not be expected. Creature design is a great example of this. From the first creature before leaving Serene to the monsters faced on Teer Fradee, the boss monsters look absolutely terrifying. This does not extend to facial animations, however. Even the best characters look slightly off, with dead eyes and hair that looks precariously perched on the tops of heads. It can be very distracting.
The companions and factions system in Greedfall is also done very well. Making up a party is always fun and getting to know more about the people you are traveling with leads to great new adventures. The in-game factions are very distinct, leading to playings thinking they have made up their mind who to side with, when a decision or comment is made that adds to the lore of the story. The story remains interesting by throwing new things at the player.
Greedfall is a fun and simultaneously frustrating game. It seems like the layered RPG that fans of the genre have been looking for. In many ways, it actually is. The weapons and armor customization are catered to the classes and seem endless. At that same time, the skill trees add little more than passive buffs that offer few changes. It has its flaws, but it worth a try for fans of those classic RPGs.