GreedFall (XBOX One) Review
Game Name: GreedFall
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: September 10th, 2019
Platforms: Playstation 4, XBOX One, Microsoft Windows
This game review has been a long time coming. It took me a while to complete it as I was busy but I am happy that I was able to finish it.
When the game came out I heard some mixed reviews, however, I found the look and the story to be interesting and I wanted to take a chance on it.
Is the game as bad as people made it out to be? Let us see.
You play the character of De Sardet, a noble of the Merchant Congregation. You start off in the game as a regular character and learn the ropes. However, you soon learn that your mother is stricken by some blood disease that they call, The Malichor.
Around this time, your cousin, Constantine, has become the new governor of New Serene. As you continue your travels, you see that your cousin is also being struck by the same disease as your mother. At this point, you are willing to do anything in order to find a cure.
The game then is a journey in finding a cure for this disease, while at the same time learning about the natives and other factions on the island.
The game is what most people would consider an Action RPG. If you have played Assassin's Creed, Dragon Age or The Witcher, you will know exactly what I am talking about.
If you are not familiar with the genre, you start off with only basic weapons and skills. However, as you advance in the game you can gain XP (Experience Points). Once you gain enough XP, you can level up. The maximum level that you can reach is level 90. Each level gives you a set of skill points that you can put towards many different skills. In fact, there are 3 different areas that you can upgrade.
Skills (Every level): At the skills level you can put your points into any number of skills. From spiritual healing to being better with your light and heavy weapons.
Talent (Every 5 or 6 levels): This is a character progression mechanic that focuses on learning and acquiring abilities that aid the player in exploration and also by increasing various character aspects. The 6 talents are charisma, science, lockpicking, intuition, craftmanship and vigor.
Attributes (2 or 3 levels): This is a character progression mechanic that allows players to increase various stats of their character. You get to choose one of six attributes to put your points in. These are Strength, Agility, Mental Power, Endurance, Accuracy and Willpower.
When you first start you are ask what kind of build that you want to have Warrior, Technical and Magic. All that this does it put skill points on skills that are geared towards that particular class.
You can also change the appearance of your character. You can also play as a female. I believe that is why you only go by your last name throughout the game.
As you would expect with games that are from the same genre, the world is big and you can explore it. You have many side quests that give you background about different factions and it is very interesting.
GreedFall - Sample Gameplay
There are so much to go through but let us start with the presentation for the game.
The game looks gorgeous. The vistas and how the towns are built are beautiful. However, I did have one complaint. They spent all this time building this outdoor world that looks great. However, when you are able to go into a palace or a house, they all look the same with very few exceptions. The palaces look the same regardless of which town they are in. Only the bar with the barracks looks slightly different. Having said that, the towns look awesome. It really did give it that 17th century European feel.
The sound for the game I think was decent. The voices in the game were very well down. Jamie Blackley who voiced the male de Sardet, is awesome. I think he is the best that this game has to offer. Your other companions as well. Siora (voiced by Kezia Burrows) and Petrus (voiced by Steven Hartley) were also very strong. I think for the most part the writing was well done and the voice acting was awesome.
Now, this is where the game shows its lack of polish. The lip syncing can be off in some parts. Sometimes the reactions to a discuss is sometimes either off or lifeless. In fact, there were a few places where the scene where someone was talking had started and the position of the camera is behind a shoulder blade, blocking everyone in the conversation. As a consequence, you are choosing dialogue options but you see only the back of someone. That was a little disappointing.
The story in this game is awesome. I did not expect it to be that good. I heard about what the story was and I did not think that I would have been as intrigued as I was. The idea of natives and their clash with what they call renaigse's. Basically this means anyone that is not native and disturbs the earth. In fact, not to get too political here, but the struggles that are outlined in this game are just as relevant in the real world. This game takes place at an unknown time, but from the architecture and weaponry, it seems to be around 17th century. An example of fact meeting fiction during the game, was now new comers like the Nauts and Bridge Alliance call the natives savages. Some people today still call some natives savages to this day. It is as if someone on the writing staff was native or part native as the way the stories are written it feels genuine and real.
One thing that I found a little distracting is that sometimes there were some typos in the subtitles. For example, using there instead of their and its instead of it's. I know that it is minor but it goes to the point that it lacked a little polish.
The musical score for this game is not overpowering. It is fine but I do not think that people will remember this game for its soundtrack. At some points during my gameplay, I had mentioned that the soundtrack sometimes sounded like the Star Trek Voyager theme. When it did play though, it was very nice and it did not feel out of place.
Last but not least, I would like to talk about the gameplay. As much as I had some fun, I did have some issues with a few things.
There are 3 ways that you can travel around. The first is when you find actual travel points. These are represented by globes. These can be scattered around the island. The second is through caravans. For a fee, someone can bring you to a certain point in the map. The third way is by finding campsites throughout the island. I guess the idea is at the beginning you can use the caravans if you have not found many travel locations. However, as the game goes on, I rarely used the caravans.
Having said that though, the travel markers were confusing at the beginning. When a mission is highlighted in the menu, you will see a star with a ! or a circle with a !. Now you would think that it directs you to the closest travel point for you to get to where you are going. No, it marks the end destination. So at the beginning I was always running towards that globe as I thought that is where I needed to go to fast travel. I eventually learned what this meant and it made travelling a lot easier. However, for me, this was not clear from the get go.
Another aspect that I was not fond of were the skill, talent and attribute points. For the attribute points, the game punishes you for not choosing the right attribute or skill. An example of this was, I had to cross a cliff on a log. In order to cross it you need to have the Vigor attribute. However, until that point I had invested all my points into lockpicking as I thought that was important and it served me well. At this point I could not continue because I needed Vigor level 2. So I had to use one of my special crystals that allows you to wipe all your skills and redistribute them again. I had to do this a few times in the game. For me, if ever they make a second game they need to tweak this mechanic.
I will be honest, as of the writing of this review, I have no clue how you obtain these crystals. They are introduced at the beginning of the game. This kind of mechanic did not work for me but let me know if it annoyed you or not.
I love this game even though it has some technical issues or lack of polish. I think this is a solid foundation for a second GreedFall, if ever they make one. There is enough here to keep you entertained for quite a while. It took me around 45 hours to complete the game with some side quests. I was pleasantly surprised with the story. I also think that this is Spiders best game to date. There was a lot of love that went into this and I think that it showed.
Many of the technical issues we have seen before in games like Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas. Yet at the time, these were overlooked as the story was good and the gameplay fun. I would say the same here. Yes, the game is a little more repetitive than in the Fallout games but that does not mean that this is not an enjoyable experience.
As of the writing of this review, the game is still 69$ CAD. That is a little pricy but in the end, you are supporting a less known studio and we need those studios. We need them to push other publishers to make better games. People might have already forgotten about this gem but I think it is worth the pick up. If you like a good story, this one will keep your attention throughout.
Did you play it? What did you think about it? Was I off base or right on the money. Let us know below.