Greedfall, the latest role-playing adventure game from Spiders has the internet buzzing right now! The overall perception has been quite positive so far but how does it really stand up? I’m chronicling my playthrough with Greedfall over the next few articles to give readers my take on how the game holds up under a critical eye. After two hours of gameplay, here are my initial impressions.
Greefall’s character creation sequence introduces players to the game’s protagonist De Sardet sitting for the creation of a portrait. This portrait session summons the character creation menu allowing players to design their protagonist. You can play as either male or female which is a nice touch. The aesthetic decisions you can make are not too bad at all allowing for a decent amount of character customization. In addition to the aesthetic decisions, you choose your class: Warrior, Technical, or Magic. As I enjoy being the first person through the door in combat games I went with Warrior.
Immediately after the portrait session, players exit to meet your master-at-arms, Kurt, who assesses the state of your training before traveling to Teer Fradee. The basic fighting mechanics remind me a lot of Assassins Creed. There are three main methods of attack: sword, heavy weapon, and firearms. Each has its strategic use to break down an enemies defenses. Heavy weapons are used to break down armor and pummel opponents. Swords are for quick, fast combat. Firearms possess devastating damage abilities and also can knock back enemies. The additional inclusion of the dodge, block, and parry mechanics round out a soild combat system. Of note Greedfall also possesses a”tactical pause” menu which allows for combat changes to the player’s entire party. However, as I have not made use of this yet, I will withhold comment for now.
The storyline which has begun to unravel is quite interesting as well. A mysterious disease, Malichor, has swept through the city of Serene bringing a seemingly incurable plague upon the land. De Sardet, son of one of the merchant princes, is being sent to the island of Teer Fardee as a part of a ruling body. De Sardet is on a mission to help solve the Malichor crisis, at great personal loss as we learn his own mother is dying from the disease.
Skill Tree for Days
In my time I haven’t yet managed to leave for the island as I have been running down all of the side-quests in order to get a head start on levels. I can say with authority that the skill tree is quite interesting. You gain one skill point per level (at least in these early stages) which can be split across the three categories: skills, attributes, and talents. All three are interwoven with each other, so choosing which items to upgrade will be an interesting puzzle.
For instance, in an early quest to help find a missing friend, Constantin, you must brew a drugged drink to knock out some guards. Gathering ingredients is easy enough but crafting the item requires the science talent. Like a dummy, I didn’t choose this but went with craftsmanship because I spent too many hours crafting in Skyrim. This might seem annoying at first, but it gives me a lot of hope for the game as it appears that the tree is well thought out. We’ll have to see how I feel in another couple of hours.
Politics Politics Politics
One element which is quite interesting is the relationship system. Each action you take as a player has repercussions within the politic sphere of favor in the universe. In completing just a few quests, I’ve managed to obtain a “nice” relationship with the Congregation of Merchants. Even Kurt, my trusted master-at-arms, is suspicious of me. It looks like this is going to be a prominent element within the game to help use your moxie instead of your muscles to extricate yourself or someone else from a situation. It appears that De Sardet loves to act as a pillar of morality within this world when it suits his agenda so I’m fairly certain being charismatic may come in handy.
So far my complaints have been minimal. The game itself is very pretty. Even this little port town has enough detail to keep my attention and keep my need for exploration stoked. One area which is a bit of a let down is the character animation. At least to my eye, the characters could use a bit more polish. Hair textures look bad. Speaking animations also are not spectacular. They aren’t awful per se, but certainly could be improved.
After 120 minutes with Greedfall, I am excited. From the small snippet of gameplay, I’ve experienced the quests help make the world feel vast. The different approaches one can take to complete a quest: diplomacy or physical confrontation, is extremely compelling. Despite my few annoyances, with choosing the wrong skills at first, the skill tree looks interesting with lots of room for customization. For anyone who enjoys clothing and weapon pairings, the options for creating well dressed and deadly characters look incredible. I foresee several hours spent getting De Sardet’s getup to look just right. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far. I’m looking forward to spending more time within the Greedfall world and chronicling that adventure here.
What has your experience been so far? Did you encounter anything interesting before leaving for Teer Fradee? Let me know your thoughts on the first few missions within Serene in the comments below!