A diamond in the rough RPG: “Greedfall”

Despite releasing in September of 2019, “Greedfall” has recently repopularized itself after becoming a free game for Playstation Plus members in January. “Greedfall” was developed by a smaller French company, Spiders, and seemed to slip through the cracks as it did not receive much traction upon its initial release.

In “Greedfall” gamers play as De Sardet, the newly appointed legate of the Merchant Congregation after traveling to the newly-settled island, Teer Fradee. The world in “Greedfall” resembles 18th century Europe. Players are able to play as either a male or female De Sardet and while the character creation is fairly simple, you can still create a nice looking character.

Upon starting the game, players are greeted with the plague-ridden city of Serene. One of the first scenes in the game is De Sardet saying a somber goodbye to their mother before leaving for Teer Fradee. 

While exploring Serene and completing the prologue, players will find plague doctors throughout the city and people who have succumbed to the plague, called The Malichor. De Sardet leaves Serene in hopes of finding a cure for the plague destroying their home. 

Once players complete the prologue and choose to leave Serene, De Sardet will set sail for Teer Fradee and the main campaign begins.

Teer Fradee is fairly large and there are plenty of new areas for players to explore as they go on their journey. “Greedfall” manages to keep an almost whimsical feel to its world while staying grounded in reality. There is a nice mix of larger, built up cities and small camps occupied to the Natives of the island.

One of the central conflicts and persistent themes in “Greedfall” is the new settlers taking over the land. The Natives are forced into a new way of life and have to face the Inquisitors, who try to “enlighten” them from their pagan practices. This helps to create a sense of reality in “Greedfall,” despite it being a fantasy game. 

As players continue searching for a cure to the Malichor, they will meet a variety of different characters. Some characters will become De Sardet’s companions and will accompany you on your journey. Each of the companions has a unique fighting style and will occasionally chime in with a comment during quest cutscenes.

There are also four different romance options in “Greedfall.” If you choose your dialogue options right while completing their side quests, you will have four potential romance options depending on the gender of De Sardet. 

While the romances in “Greedfall,” are nothing spectacular and don’t add much to the game, it is still a nice addition. If players succeed in romancing one of their companions, there will be a short cutscene and the companion will use a different nickname for De Sardet for the remainder of the game. Additionally, there will be a little bit of extra dialogue at the end of the game.

As “Greedfall” was developed by a smaller game studio, there are some areas it definitely shows. The interiors of all the buildings are the same, with only a few different options, depending on what type of building it is. The world is technically open, however there are lots of paths with invisible walls on either side and the travel system is a bit weird. 

To keep the game running smoothly, the whole map doesn’t load in once, rather only the area you are in. Whenever a player wants to go somewhere not loaded in, they have to go through a loading screen and then enter a travel break where they can arrange their team, buy and sell items, or put items into storage. Once a player is done in the travel pause and the next area has loaded, they must sit through another loading screen.

At times, the quests can feel a bit slow, with lots of running back and forth between characters, but the overarching story of “Greedfall” is well done and interesting to watch unfold. There are cutscenes with tender moments right from the start and the game tries to always make players feel something. 

Some of the voice acting does feel a bit weird, but the cast did an amazing job overall. Both the voice actors for male and female De Sardet were able to capture a large range of emotions in line delivery, along with the rest of the cast.

However, some lines get cut short while the character is speaking. They will cut themselves off and it will skip to the next line early. There are also typos in some subtitles and other characters will refer to female De Sardet as a male occasionally, which can become distracting. 

The mechanics don’t feel overly clunky and the combat system is smooth with a ton of customization for keybinds. There is a tactical pause which allows players to go through everything in their arsonal or just take a minute to think of a plan. 

“Greedfall” does have flaws and is by no means a perfect game, however Spiders clearly put a ton of effort into it and this should not go unnoticed. This was their most ambitious project to date and it paid off. For being developed by a small game studio, it really doesn’t show. 

Spiders created a charming game with an interesting story, beautiful graphics and incredible characters. “Greedfall” is an RPG experience like no other and is truly a diamond in the rough.

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