This review of Greedfall was conducted using a review code provided to us by the game’s PR company. This does not affect our judgment of the game and is explained for the purposes of transparency.
Greedfall is a game developed by Spiders and published by Focus Home Interactive. That latter name might sound familiar to you. We have reviewed several Focus Home games before including The Surge 2, The Council and Call of Cthulu. The Surge 2 and Call of Cthulu received high scores in our reviews, could Greedfall do the same?
The story follows the character of De Sardet as they prepare to travel to the new land of Teer Fradee. I say they as it is possible to customise your character at the beginning of the game, making them male or female and changing the appearance. De Sardet is a noble of the Merchant Congregation, and their cousin Constantin has been named Governor of New Serene, and De Sardet is to act as their right-hand person. New Serene is the Congregation’s capital on the island of Teer Fradee. If this is all sounding a little bit like the settlers colonising America all those years ago, that’s because it essentially is the plot of the game! The Congregation hope to find a cure for the Malichor Plague (known as the Malichor) on the island of Teer Fradee. The plague is a deadly illness, as you would expect of a plague.
Upon arrival, de Sardet is immediately thrown into diplomat duties. As you would expect from an attempted colonisation, the natives are pissed. Attackers the invaders of their land, while the invaders seek to wipe out the natives. From here the game becomes a monumental, yet manageable, balancing act. You must attempt to keep everyone happy; the natives and the neighbouring two countries. Simultaneously, you must find a cure for the Malichor, while also completing side quests.
Then there are the companion quests. Help me find my mother, help me find out who my parents are I never knew them. Never let it be said that Greedfall lacks in the content department. The game is packed with quests for you to do. Not just needless quests mind you, they all connect into the lore of the island and help the player understand the grand scheme of things. As you would expect of an RPG, your actions influence the game and genuinely do make a difference (unlike some other RPGs ….).
In terms of gameplay, the game plays like a standard RPG for the most part. When creating your character, you choose from 3 set classes. Each class gives different abilities depending on the type of combat you wish to use. From there you then level up certain abilities, such as Science for crafting potions or Agility to enable you to use different weapons. You really can build De Sardet exactly how you want, thanks to the range of different skills in the game. You also can use a memory crystal to essentially unlearn everything you have done, and reapply skill points should you wish to revamp De Sardet mid-game. These are scarce though, so be mindful when rebuilding. There is so much choice in the character-building that sometimes I didn’t know what to pick, but the balance is there that the skill tree isn’t too broad so that you feel lost.
In terms of combat, Greedfall, unfortunately, falls a little flat for me. The combat system itself is simple enough. Light attacks, heavy attacks, dodge. De Sardet has access to a Fury Attack as well, which sounds like some sort of Mortal Kombat finisher but is essentially just a very powerful attack. Fury Attacks use your Fury meter, and this fills over time or can be filled using a potion. There are also traps you can use, so that should enemies run over them they inflict damage. These are mainly useful for the larger enemies as they are much slower, and also easier to lure over the trap. De Sardet has a gun which inflicts a lot of damage however, ammo is somewhat scarce so think before you shoot. Other than that, the combat of Greedfall is rather tedious in all honesty. It tries to pass itself off as this intense, Dark Souls level of combat. In reality, the AI is actually rather dumb and easy to predict. Repeated set move patterns make, what should be epic bosses, rather boring. The game has a stamina meter, however, I never found my stamina running low.
An enemy comes at you and you simply dodge and attack them from behind. Giant bosses are slow and make a run at you in a straight line. You lay a trap and inflict damage. Then dodge and attack from behind. Back away. They run. You repeat. One redeeming quality of Greedfall’s combat was the ability to have two weapons equipped, and move between them instantaneously. By simply hitting RB you swap weapons which, while you have two swords equipped is pointless. But when you unlock the ability to use magic, via rings which you equip as a weapon, it definitely improves the combat. To go from sword to ranged magic is nice, however, the core problems of the combat system still exist.
Graphically Greedfall is what you would expect a current-gen title to look like. It is on par with the rest of the competition but doesn’t offer anything new honestly. It is very pleasing to look at. The sound design is also very well done and doesn’t take away from the immersion of the game. Overall Greedfall is a joy to play. The game offers a rich well of content, with a deep lore for the player to lose themselves in. While some parts of the game do leave something to be desired, if you are looking for a 40+ hour RPG right now Greedfall is the game for you.
Overall Greedfall is a joy to play. The game offers a rich well of content, with a deep lore for the player to lose themselves in. While some parts of the game do leave something to be desired, if you are looking for a 40+ hour RPG right now Greedfall is the game for you.