Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Genre: Action, RPG
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 10/09/2019
Price: £44.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
GreedFall is the newest RPG epic from Developer Spiders. This is the team that brought you titles like Mars: War Logs and Technomancer. GreedFall represents an ambitious leap for Spiders, but does it live up to the hype or fall flat? Read on for this Rapid Review to find out!
GreedFall’s premise is intriguing. You play as De Sardet, noble of the Merchant Congregation. This collection of merchants acts as a neutral party in the middle of a conflict between religious state Theleme and the alchemists of the Bridge Alliance. The Congregation’s free city of Serene serves as neutral territories for these parties, and both pander to the Congregation for political and financial aid.
Complicating matters is the Malichor, a plague currently afflicting the populace of Serene. Your character, De Sardet, is tasked with travelling to the newly settled island of Teer Fradee in search of a cure for the Malichor. As you might guess, the Bridge Alliance and Theleme have begun settling this island as well. The whole set up is an analogue for the colonisation of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Teer Fradee itself is home to several native tribes, who have a range of attitudes towards the settles. Some see it as an economic opportunity, others as a nuisance to be ignored, others still wish to drive the settlers from their borders.
Mechanically, the game is an action-roleplaying game with skill trees, loot, party members, and lots and lots of crafting.
Unfortunately, it’s in the combat that GreedFall stumbles. Characters feel like they’re floating around the environment, and nothing about fighting feels precise. It’s a real shame because many of the character progression elements do feel interesting and engrossing. I liked the skill trees and crafting system, even if they were a little wrote.
On the story and quest design front, it is evident that Spiders are huge fans of the Witcher. While the quests do try their hardest to offer compelling decisions and stories, they don’t live up to CD Projekt Red’s masterful work. This isn’t to say that the story or its quests are bad, they just feel fine. It’s clear quickly that Spiders wants you to understand the colonisers = bad, and that religion and science can be dangerous when used to control and manipulate people (things you probably already understood long before you opened this review).
I do believe that Spiders’ hearts were in the right place here. There are real attempts to humanise and focus on the struggle of the natives, as well as provide a range of diverse opinions in their ranks, but it also all boils down to a single reputation number on your character sheet for the “natives” as a whole.
It’s little things like this that betray some of the real nuances and characters in the storytelling of the game. Combined with the issues mentioned above with combat and gameplay, it’s hard to want to give this game the time it demands.
One area that the game does excel though is in its visual design. Characters are well-conceived, the lighting and environments are quite pretty, and some of the monster designs are exquisite. I only wish the rest of it felt better.
I don’t think that GreedFall is a bad game by any stretch. I believe its ambition outstrips its means. This is the sort of game that Bioware and CD Projekt fans will enjoy absent a new title from those studios for this year. It’s also Spiders best work yet, and I hope they continue to grow in design chops to match their brilliant ambition.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase GreedFall from the PlayStation Store here: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP4133-CUSA14208_00-GREEDFALL0000000
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.