Whilst Spider’s previous RPG games have not really been critical darlings, I can say with certainty that they have been some of the most interesting games I have ever played, with each title in their portfolio getting better than the last. Thankfully, this time is no different as GreedFall may just be their best title yet!
From the promotional trailers and photos alone, I could see that they were homing in on aspects that are omnipresent in modern big budget, Fantasy Action/RPG games and it’s that kind of this research and willingness to adapt that I believe really makes GreedFall work where a lot others didn’t.
It easily checks off some of the things I have enjoyed in acclaimed Action RPG games like Witcher 3, Mass Effect and more. Want a big open world? Check. Side missions that have more story than your average fetch quests? Check. Optional Relationships? Check and check! However, the main thing that really makes all these different aspects work are the storylines behind it.
I will admit that I am not a huge fan of grinding in games just for the sake of grinding, I want a good reason to do so, a reason mostly reliant on good stories. GreedFall definitely has that going for it as I mentioned before where the stories and characters are interesting enough for me to follow them and see where they lead.
The main storyline itself is really interesting as it deals with a disease that is a huge plight on humanity, all set in a world with strong political divide and a mythical but dangerous nature. You have the Bridge Alliance, very middle-eastern inspired faction responsible for the advancement in alchemy and medicine, The Theleme, equivalent of a religious inquisition and natives, who are the one with nature and magic and want to live in peace. Their differing opinions and histories occasionally make them butt heads with each other.
It is an interesting world, one that really adds flavour to your adventure with a varied cast of characters and party members, that all have their own motivations and opinions. What I particularly like about your role in this divided world is that you play as a diplomat, and for someone who likes talking their way out of all their problems before raising a hand, it really makes sense for my character but gives you scope to grow as well.
Especially as, like all good RPG games it allows you to actually side with anyone you like, truly letting you play how you see fit, and shaping your story based on your actions as siding with one side can damage your relationship with another. Of course certain factions can do questionable things, and I was initially worried about taking onboard a party member of said faction might object to me questioning them, but fortunately they seem to oppose any atrocities just as you do which prevents me from disliking any party member before giving them a chance.
I was also worried that party members would not react to other characters or dialogue you take part in like most other non big-budget games that seem to miss it, but thankfully I was wrong as they do help and react as you would expect them to. Whilst I do not see an issue with choosing between party members for story reasons alone, more hardcore RPG players might feel limited by that choice as their stats or combat aptitude barely influenced my decisions. Again, this isn’t a bad thing for me personally or anyone who are along for the storylines.
This also isn’t to say that the combat in the game itself is lacking, as I found it engaging as attacks generally felt impactful. The guns are a good example of that. The monsters are interesting as well, both visually and mechanically, prompting you to switch your tactics and read their attacks. It isn’t anything as in depth as The Witcher 3 but it isn’t superbly lacking either.
Whilst comparing it to The Witcher 3 might seem unfair as its budget might have been much higher, it is a credit to the GreedFall as it really does invoke image of CDPRs epic. Still, the game’s reused assets like interior rooms and more for all faction buildings, does take you out of the fantasy of having distinct factions. I occasionally ran into bugs as well, but none were terrible enough to break the game for me.
As you might know, we have a trend of games becoming an hybrid of Action and RPG, and whilst it seems to be a great combination, the two design branches do tend to fight with each other a lot where either the Action can overpower RPG or the other way around. However, the game still does have a lot of RPG depth where you have to tailor your characters stats to meet your play-style.
All the important stats like Endurance, Strength, Charisma and much more are present and do play a role in certain encounters. The outfit system also has RPG depth as each equipment provides you with different advantages and shortcomings. I recommend those looking for a heavy RPG experience to play the game on the highest difficulty to truly make use of all these different stats. Overall, GreedFall kept me hooked enough to overlook the bugs, technical issues and other shortcomings and I enjoyed my time with it due to the vibrant characters, politics and stories I encountered throughout the game, each making me want to investigate the next. I am happy for what Spiders has achieved and I can’t wait for their next big adventure!