GreedFall by game developer Spiders in some regard had an uphill battle before it was even released. With mediocre review scores and well what most would call mediocre games it would be difficult to sell most on the idea GreedFall would be any different. The action role-playing game focuses on a noble called De Sardet. He is set to travel along with his cousin, Prince Constantin d’ Orsay the newly appointed Governer of New Serene to the island of Teer Fradee. There De Sardet must try and discover a cure for a spreading plague. The intro to the game allows you to understand more about your character (De Sardet) and how you will manage not only him but others that will join your group later on. For the time being his trusty sidekick is Kurt a tough but fair companion. Be careful in the beginning because you can basically hit on anyone in the game. I learned this quickly without even realizing I hit on Kurt until after it was done. Yes there are romances in the game but you can certainly figure that out on your own (I wasn’t good with my pickup lines). You can also check out my gameplay of the intro to the game as well below.
Once you arrive on the Island of Teer Fradee you will need to settle in quickly. The game isn’t all about fighting and combat. There are politics to play and with each companion their status as how they see you will also have an impact on the game. Each one will require your attention at some point and if they go unnoticed you better prepare for the consequences. It is good to try and make friends as each companion also offers a friendship bonus such as charisma from Petrus. It isn’t just your companions you have to deal with though. There are factions on the island and dealing them whether you take a more hands on approach or political approach will again have an impact on the game. If you say something in front of one of your companions that happens to be a part of that faction and they disagree with what you said. Then get ready for them to lose trust in you. It’s a fine line to walk throughout the game and one that I crossed plenty of times. One of the best parts about GreedFall is its characters and their development and walking that political line with all the inhabitants of Teer Fradee. They each have a story to them and the voice actors are phenomenal. This was certainly A+ material here from Spiders.
If the characters are top-notch then the scenery should be as well. This is another fantastic part of GreedFall as the surrounding areas feature some incredible backdrops. The island is full of woods, marsh areas, mines and cities. I wasn’t expecting the map to be so vast but it was. Unfortunately using the actual map was a pain in the ass and caused some major frustration throughout my play through. It didn’t respond well when trying to highlight locations and moving your cursor around on the map never felt the way it should. While you can roam around in the world of GreedFall for the most part you are restricted to a certain path. There would be times where I wanted to get a closer look at something but couldn’t because the path didn’t go that way. This was only a little annoying as I wanted a more open world experience but it isn’t something that takes away from the overall game. Everything else in the environment looks great and the creatures while limited in variety are done very well. Of course with any good RPG you have your main missions and side missions. I admit I had a lot of fun tackling some of the side missions. Most of these will consist on helping out your companions but you will find them all throughout the map. You can check out some of them here with my gameplay if you want to see more about the game and its missions.
Does GreedFall shine in combat though? Well indeed it does. You can take up to three companions with you on any mission and each one is equipped with their own gear and weapon. You have the options of equipping a main weapon and a secondary weapon that is quite easy to switch between. This is something I absolutely love about the combat. The weapons are awesome whether it be a sword, big ass axe or your side arm. The pistol is highly effective and something I wish I would have focused more on early in the game. You have magic as well that will let you cast stuff like heals or freezing an enemy. Using a combination of attacks is smooth and potent. Make sure you have a good weapon for breaking armor as most creatures especially later in the game have some pretty thick armor. Using moves such as kicks to stun your enemy often work as well but not always. I found it more useful to find a weapon that would stun or use the freeze spell. Doing this is made extremely easy as you can basically pause combat and switch between what you want to do or use. Learning a good combination and the use of the combat pause can be the difference between life and death.
Each character in the game including yourself is fitted with armor or gear that does the basic stuff in an RPG. Armor rating, magic resistance, poison resistance is all there and something you can actually tweak as well. In the game there is an armor bench where you can craft items to attach to a piece of gear or weapon. Want to have better armor breaking? Then you can craft an attachment for that at the bench. Of course all this is behind a wall of upgrades for the most part. Your character will need to learn new skills in order to not only craft items, potions, but also to be able to wield larger weapons and even heavier gear. The skill tree isn’t just a skill tree however. You will need to also upgrade your attributes and your talents. This covers everything from wielding rifles, lock picking, stasis, healing, dodging, charisma and so on. Want to be a brute? It has a path for that. Want to be more of a mage? You can go down that road as well. Just make sure you know what you want early on and focus on that first as points for the attributes and talents can be hard to come by. A very useful part of the game is the battle arenas. They are located in the bottom of the taverns and there you can practice your combat while earning experience points.
What about the story? Is that any good? The story in GreedFall is very well put together. It honestly feels as if each character has a purpose in the game. This is something you should pay attention to early on as it will help with your relationships later on in the game. It wasn’t always easy to know what I should say or even what I wanted to say in situations. I tried to play pretty much conservative and to not take many risks as far as pissing people off. Maybe I did in a few instances but they probably deserved it. The connections you make and the adventure this story takes you on is one I am glad I had a chance to go on. From dire situations, to exciting and sometimes embarrassing ones I thoroughly enjoyed searching for the cure on Teer Fradee. You will fight incredible monsters and meet quirky characters all while trying to stay alive. You will have tough missions that will test you in not only combat but your political prowess. Side missions will gain your attention and side track more often than it should. Engaging with characters and learning about what is going on with Teer Fradee will intrigue and shock you at times.
I could talk about the companions Kurt, Aphra, Petrus, Vasco or Siora (My favorite) at great lengths and that really says something about the game. The character development and the story line allow you to immerse yourself in the game. This is the heart of the game and mechanics be damned. There might be a few issues with them but it’s nothing to take away from the overall experience. Where I fell in love was just how much I wanted to do missions with these characters. I found myself trying to decide who I wanted to take with me and in most cases it wasn’t an easy decision. I wanted to interact with them all. Ok maybe not Petrus as much as the others but he was still an interesting character. The game is layered with so much detail and you really need to pay attention to it all. Whether it is upgrading your skills or equipping new weapons for one of your companions it’s something you must stay on top of throughout the game. That is something you cannot say about all RPGs. GreedFall does has its issues and it’s not a flawless product. An over use of certain sayings, the map and a few mechanic issues are on a short list of problems that incur throughout the game. I can overlook the not-so-open world when the music and dialogue is so dang good. If you enjoy a good RPG then GreedFall should no doubt be in your library.
Rating: 8.5 out 10
A review copy was provided for the PS4.