Developed by:Spiders Published by:Focus Home Interactive Genre(s):
  • Action RPG
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • PC
  • Sony
  • Cost:$59.99 ESRB Rating:MATURE Players:1 Release date:September 10, 2019 Reviewed on:XBox One


    Call me crazy, but I expect certain things from RPGs. I expect a grand adventure, engaging combat, intriguing dialogue, and playability (nothing riddled with bugs). Greedfall has it all – it happens to be Spiders’ biggest title to date.

    That’s not to say that it’s perfect. While Greedfall does check the right boxes, it also has its share of issues. Some have to do with the game’s pacing. Others are more technical in nature. All of them keep Greedfall from being as great as it could’ve been.

    Greedfall story centers on colonialism/the conquering of indigenous cultures. Set in a 17th-century European inspired land (with bits of Steampunk thrown in for good measure), the game begins with players readying to set sail. Their destination would be a newly found island called Teer Fradee.

    For years, the world had been plagued with a seemingly incurable disease. The only place that didn’t suffer was Teer Fradee. This of course, sets up the events to come as different diplomats, mercenaries, and more descend on the island. All of them will be seeking some sort of treasure or means of power. As the protagonist/diplomat of the Congregation of Merchants, players will be tasked with finding a cure to the plague (among other things).

    The premise is interesting. A slow dying Earth, rival factions – ultra-religious nations, secretive sailor guilds, the natives of Teer Fradee, etc. – and a mysterious island all help sell Greedfall’s narrative potential. Thankfully, most of it is compelling.

    Part of its appeal was the ability to forge my own path. Not only did I get to create my own character (complete with starting attributes), I got to decide how I wanted to progress through the story. I could use diplomacy to win over potential rivals, be deceptive in my dealings, or be aggressive, utilizing combat whenever possible. Every decision I made went towards shaping my own personal story; how I got to the end (and what ending I got) changed based on my actions.

    While being able to go at my own pace was great, I did have some trouble when it came to the game’s side missions. Greedfall puts a lot focus on these activities; they’re used to develop strong relationships with your comrades for instance. They also can impact the main plot. Because of this, the game’s pacing felt off.

    Sure, I could go about completing the game my way. At the same time, I found myself getting sidetracked by side missions that weren’t as compelling as the main story, because of how they shaped things. Party members have a tremendous impact on just about everything. The choices you make concerning your party member’s side missions can directly impact other missions or even the main story; it’s akin to what’s seen in popular BioWare games. Unfortunately, as Greedfall kept adding new side ventures, the game started to lose its sense of urgency.

    All that said, I’d still recommend doing some of the companion-based quests. Having reliable allies during fights is a must. Not necessarily because of how difficult the game is (it is challenging) but because of the camera. It was easy to lose focus of an enemy or be attacked from off screen while trying to line up attacks. I never felt fully in control when battling enemies.

    Thankfully, the game allows you to utilizes strategic mechanics – like the ability to pause the action and choose attacks against specific enemies in turn – as well as your partners during conflicts. The fighting itself, when I had control of the camera, was ok; the game uses the standard attack/dodge system while letting you keybind important items/actions based on your fighting style.

    Teer Fradee is a treat to explore. The scenery and world are absolutely gorgeous; while it’ll obviously look better on PC, the game takes advantage of the horsepower that newer consoles and hardware can provide. The environments can be a bit restrictive though. You can’t just go in any direction whenever you want. That said, Greedfall does reward you handsomely for exploring every nook and cranny when available.

    There are some technical issues to bring up. Mouth movements and the voice acting going distractedly out of sync, NPCs getting stuck in funny poses, things like that. Basically, the normal issues associated with large scale games developed by Spiders. None of them ruined the experience though. Aside from one weird bug – my Xbox One X kept crashing, forcing me to stop running the game in 4K for a few days/until it was updated – it ran rather well.

    Bottom line, if you are into action RPGs and have been counting the days waiting on the next BioWare title, take a look at Greedfall. It offers a decent (customizable) narrative, entertaining combat, and an interesting world to explore. Just note that it is a little rough around the edges; it has a decent share of bugs, not all of the side quests were made equal, and the camera is finicky. Still, I give Spiders all the praise for releasing what is obviously a labor of love.



    The pacing suffers when you aren't focusing solely on the main missions. And though the combat was fun, I never felt in full control due to the way the camera worked.



    Some character models and lip syncing are almost comical, but the environments and monstrous enemies looked great.



    Again, the voice syncing could be better. The acting itself is very well done.

    Replay Value:


    Different choices throughout will net you a different experience. Some might be reluctant to return thanks to the game's length; those you wanting quick journey/game to play in between releases should look elsewhere.

    Final Score:


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