For the past few months, I have been incredibly excited for Greedfall. The latest action RPG from french developers Spiders. To say I am disappointed in the title is an understatement.
Everything up to launch looked like Greedfall could be in the running for game of the year. Myself and a lot of my contemporaries at other publications had Greedfall pegged as the sleeper hit of 2019.
By that, we meant it probably wouldn’t sell well at launch but would become massive as reviews and word of mouth started doing the rounds. Now, having had unrestricted hands-on access to Greedfall I am afraid I can no longer stand by that prediction.
Greedfall actually starts off really strong. You take up the role of De Sardet, The Legate of the Congregation of Merchants, as you are about to embark on your voyage to the newly discovered isle of Teer Fradean.
The opening setting of the town of Serene is beautiful and artistic. The cobbled stone streets, the rickety buildings make for an immersive, bustling, sepia-tinted world.
The Dialogue starts off strong as well. Crafting the factions of Theleme, The Bridge Alliance, The Naughts and the Congregation of Merchants together. The politics, backgrounds and goals become clear almost straight away and don’t feel forced in any way.
Within the first hour of gameplay, you are deeply involved in the well-constructed world and its nuances. The storytelling is strong and well crafted. Leaving you with heightened anticipation for the deep, rich, RPG to come. Alas, it never seems to arrive.
Once you leave Serene for the isle of Teer Fradean Greedfall begins to let you down. Quests become a chore of running between people and talking to them. Action is very short on the ground. The open-world is in fact small stretches of corridors in jungles. Exploration doesn’t really amount to much more than finding campsites that can be used for fast travel.
The combat itself has a serious bug too. Dodging enemies can often result in enemies losing their line of sight on you so they will reset their health. This got so bad I was actually scared to use magic and health potions in case the enemies reset and I have just completely wasted them.
The tactical pause is a nice addition that works well in Greedfall. Especially as you begin to build your character out, begin crafting multiple potions etc.
The companions you meet and recruit to join you are well rounded and developed characters. Their motives, stories and relationship with you add weight to every choice you make.
Poor lip-syncing that is so bad the character’s teeth look like they don’t fit in their mouths, At first, I could ignore this in lieu of the deep immersive game that was unfolding. Over time as the game, I was excited for didn’t appear the bad lip-syncing became more of an issue and more noticeable.
An action RPG that promises big adventure, deep and complex political relationships and monsters bigger than buildings. In reality, will have you running back and forth to complete a conversation before setting for yet another conversation.
Greedfall isn’t bad. It is in no way atrocious but it falls short not just on what it promised to deliver but on being enjoyable too. It is possible there is a really good game to be saved here but the thought of running back and forth having conversations actually repulses me from launching Greedfall again.