This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 76 December 2019.
GreedFall is a game that may come a little out of left field for many. It is by and large an old school roleplaying game that tips its hat to the BioWare of old. However, GreedFall’s developer, Spiders, still has some way to go before they match the iconic status of BioWare, but it is clear they are working towards it.
The game is set on a recently discovered island – one perhaps best described as a ‘paradise’ until the arrival of the nations of this (fictional) world. It is also a place of magic and monsters, and as a neutral Human, you are free to ally yourself with any of the factions inhabiting the island. It is your choice whether you will be the coloniser or a friend to the indigenous inhabitants. Whatever your choice, there is the additional matter of finding a cure to a mysterious illness plaguing you and others around you.
I have never found myself enamoured with the combat component of previous Spiders’ RPGs. GreedFall however features a much improved combat system that is at times reminiscent of The Witcher or even Dragon Age: Origins. The combat is more flowing and tactical featuring ranged and melee weapons which feel rewarding when combined fluidly. Magic is also available as a combat tool but does feel quite overpowered compared to the traditional weapons. The gear system with a simple crafting system is surprisingly rewarding and all the elements enhance the combat and exploration experience further.
The main characters are well voice acted, but their slightly disassociated facial animations suspend belief a little. This is in stark contrast to the well-designed and unique outfits and settings which bring the game to life with a breath of fresh air.
The game features quality writing that is wholly engrossing. It also touches on a variety of social issues we spend most of our real lives dealing with in a subtle, but tactful manner. There is plenty of politic intrigue thanks to the various factions. This even extends to the tribes of the island itself, who are varied and not always in agreement. Decisions and alliances constantly affect the story but you are never clearly right or wrong. Sometimes it is just about the best of bad decisions you need to make.
There is well over 50 hours of gameplay, and even with the (minor) issues, you will find reasons to return. The quests are varied and almost all feel relevant to the story unfolding.
GreedFall does lack polish. There are glitches, and the previously mentioned awkward character animations and models. Re-used settings in the buildings suspends full immersion, and the lesser characters are not well voice acted.
The game is however a triumph for the studio that I didn’t think had this in them. It deserves to have a sequel to ensure they can further improve what they started. It is a game that should please the more old-school RPG players brought up on classic BioWare. If that seems like it is addressing you, then GreedFall will not disappoint.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Distributed in SA by: Apex Interactive