Greedfall, The newest WRPG offering from Development team Spiders and Publisher Focus Home Interactive, Is a bit of a departure from earlier, more sci fi, heavy offerings like Technomancer or Mars: War Logs. Will their previous experience offer smooth sailing towards a Victorian era game or will it prove too harrowing a journey of discovery? This is Captain JMachine here to help you chart these potentially troubled waters and hopefully find a land worth exploring. Now… ALL ABOARD!
Greedfall shines in it’s jack of all trades gameplay experience but that shine is devoid of any real polish; devoiding it of any true lustre. You have moments where you can sneak around but it’s ridiculously easy to have a guy notice you as soon as you enter a room or just without warning. You can have multiple ways to solve a side quest OR you can just find you don’t have the skills to complete it at all. Combat has many options with guns, traps, magic, armour piercing attacks, dodging and all sorts of other options BUT you’ll find the only thing that matters is mashing the attack button and sometimes dodging if you somehow get ganged up on; which you won’t because you’ll have two companions to divvy out the encounters. You can choose alliences and ruin reputation but it’s also pretty easy to just have everybody like you. One thing done correctly was the crafting system.You can make or reinforce armour, weapons, potions, and other things that will help you complete tasks and battles. Otherwise it’s pretty standard WRPG fare with a lot of nice character skill development.
Combat, to elaborate further, is a tiresome butting mashing experience where the only excitement will come from switching your weapon to remove their armour. For some reason they included dark souls like bosses; large in scale but ultimately mash between reg attack and dodge and it’s no more thrilling then a regular encounter. controlling your character is also a chore. They are slippery, stop on a dime that got fired out of a cannon, and with a button scheme that will often have you whipping your weapons out or doing something else you didn’t want to because the experience is that unique. (Why they though pulling out your weapon and sheathing it should be different buttons is beyond me but pressing the left analogue should not have been one of them). It honestly made navigating the menus a nightmare and made me wonder if they made controller support an after thought or not.
In short It’s got a lot of potential that got buried by a lack of attention. Like the saying goes: too many cooks spoil the pot and well this pot overflowed and took the flame from under it.
Music and Graphics:
Music was fine. I never noticed it though tbh. Voice over work was really good and confused me since it had far too much polish for the rest of Greedfall’s presentation. Graphics were budget tier but the character models and maps looked fine. The only real issues arise from the lighting and whatever filter they used for hiding the draw distance. It was like someone shoved a ton of poppy seeds into a handful of Vaseline and smeared the screen with it. The muted colours were fitting but the overbearing lighting effects and aforementioned filter made it very difficult to actually see anything properly. And my word that ATROCIOUS FONT used. The pale brown, without a transparent background and smushed together lettering… Thank goodness everything was voiced but that is the pinnacle of ablest design in a game I’ve seen since the glory days of everything needing an epilepsy warning. It’s a strain for me to read and I pray for those with dyslexia or deaf or really anything that would make them rely on needing to actually read something. This is especially frustrating because in the past, Spiders had much cleaner and easier to read dialogue designed in their games that included a proper background and easy to read font. Until this gets overhauled I would not recommend Greedfall to anyone and even then I’d be hard pressed to given the lighting and filtering used; making it hard to see everything else outside the actually nice menuing.
D+ (the only thing carrying this is the voice acting; which on it’s own I’d give an A)
This was actually very good. between the writing and the VA work, Greedfall showed it could be a competent offering. It showed promise in having choices that would alter how the story played out and thus offer replayability, It had engaging narrative, It didn’t ham fist the dialogue both written and voiced. It was engaging. That said the feeling I had choice felt more and more like an illusion the more I played though I can assure you it was there to some degree.
Greedfall has an ambitious desire to evolve it’s genre without the polish to make it stand out; all while neglecting it’s core gameplay to the point it can’t even be seen as competent or fun. I’m sure Greedfall will become a cult hit eventually but for now it’s the gaming worlds equivalent of an early morning T.V. infomercial; trying to sell you an “amazing” product that we all could have lived without despite it’s inherent usefulness for a problem we didn’t know we even had. A real shame too because It really has promise.
Note: GameOctane editor Ryan Welch received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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- Great, engaging story
- Wonderful voice acting
- Interesting crafting system
- Equipment can help you complete side quests
- Many ways to solve a side quest or go forward with the story
- Lighting and filters, especially depth of field, robs the graphics of any redeeming quality.
- Font is ablest garbage that should be completely redone.
- Basic character control is a slippery, unsatisfying mess.
- Combat is full of possibilities but easily devolves to dodge and mash fests.