If there is one thing I really love in gaming it's a nice deep role-playing adventure. One with branching dialogue, weighty story choices, lots of loot and a nice combat system. Things like Skyrim, Fallout, Mass Effect and games of that ilk really shaped my gaming tastes. Unfortunately, these games have been a tad disappointing recently and I am crying out for something new to get stuck into.
After hearing a lot of good things about Greedfall and after watching the game's trailer I was very excited, maybe this game could fill the void left by disappointing entries to both the Fallout of Mass Effect games in recent years? From what I was reading and seeing, I thought this could definitely be the case. Let's get stuck in then, shall we?
Greedfall tells the tale of a mysterious disease called the Malichor which is sweeping your nation and has no known cure. Fortunately, a new island nation has been discovered and it is said it may hold the answers to finding a cure. It's up to you to travel to the island, investigate possible leads to a cure and run diplomatic relations between the islands various tribes and inhabitants.
From afar Greedfall straight away shows where its inspiration comes from, with its lengthy dialogue choices and branching storylines, you would think you were playing a sprawling RPG classic from Bioware or Bethesda. Fortunately, Greedfall does have a few things up its sleeve that separates it from the games that heavily influenced it.
Firstly, you can have a team of several characters that help in both combat, story situations and even with skill-checks. You can even change their gear and equip them how you see fit for the journey ahead. This adds a layer to all the customization, tactical choices and really opens up what you can do when in battle. These characters also have their own quests, needs and backstory. It's a nice little system that fleshes out the world and adds weight to your teammates.
Another thing that really separates this game from others of its ilk is the number of ways you can complete some of the quests. You can use stealth, use your skills or just go in swinging fists. There were a few quests where had I unlocked certain skills, it would have given me numerous ways to complete them. You can even use disguises that you pick up and just walk into restricted areas. The whole game seems to have a massive amount of choice and numerous ways to complete your tasks. I liked that a lot, I never felt tied down to one option and it was refreshing.
The dialogue system in Greedfall is very well done. You often have multiple choices and branching questions which do seem to matter. This is a big thing for me as many games before tout having choices that matter but after playing did not really seem to make any difference. I annoyed several characters within the first few hours and it made making my decisions more worthwhile and often had me pondering what to say. I liked that and once again, gave the game more depth.
Your standing within different factions and groups gets affected by the choices you make. Most quests do not have plain black and white answers. You are often operating in grey areas and sometimes what you think is the right thing to do, ends up being exactly the opposite. I really enjoyed the banter, relationship building and consequences I got while playing through the story. It gave the bits between the combat and quests meaning and gravity.
The world you are exploring is both amazing and a bit disjointed at the same time. The map is split up into sections and when moving between them you are put in this weird camp-like area. It both masks the load times and gives you somewhere to look after your characters but I found it jarring and it broke the immersion for me every time. On the other hand, moving in and out of buildings was seamless and really well done. I also found the lack of a minimap strange but I overcome that issue eventually. Otherwise, the world was well designed and looked nice enough while exploring.
From a gameplay point of view, Greedfall is everything you expect from a third-person action RPG. Initially, I was not a fan of the combat. It felt very basic and quite heavy, a bit sluggish and rather clunky. After a while though, after getting used to it and unlocking some more combat options it became more serviceable and quite fun. I specialized in traps and one-handed weapons, I used my teammates a lot and the combat, in the end, became quite tactical and enjoyable.
You can even use a 'tactical pause' in battle to weigh up your options, change your quick use items, use techniques or even just initiate various attacks. As I said previously the combat starts slow but give it time and it does become quite rewarding. Its the same with the dialogue options though, in Greedfall there is a lot of talking, if that is not your thing then you may not enjoy it. I liked it but not everyone will, some may find the whole experience a bit on the slow side.
There is a lot of room for different character builds in Greedfall. Between weapons, skills, attributes and talents, you can play the game however you like. You can be a spellcaster, a swordsman, a trapper or anything in between. The skills go hand in hand with the many gameplay options too, lockpicking will open up a lot more doors but craftsmanship will allow more weapon and armour upgrades. The choices are yours and you are never tied to a certain character type at any time.
Graphically Greedfall is a weird one, at times it looks absolutely stunning but sometimes it also looks a bit bland and generic. Once you get into it though you rarely notice that some of the building interiors are cut and pasted into others or that the enemy variety is quite modest. I did have some moments though that were truly screenshot material and absolutely stunning to look at.
Performance-wise I did have a few small hiccups. Now and again I had a bit of slowdown and some stuttering but these were few and far between. It did not detract from what was overall, a very good experience. Hopefully, this can be ironed out in a future patch and make the whole package a little smoother. Greedfall is a little rough around the edges but it does not sour what is a fun and rewarding RPG with a lot of depth, story and some good quests to undertake.