Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

It just so happens that I wrote reviews of almost all Spiders games – Of Orcs and Men, Mars: War Logs, Bound by Flame and The Technomancer. And he always repeated one thought in unison with other critics: the French have talent and potential, they know how to tell good stories, come up with interesting quests and dialogues, but they always lack something, most often the budget, to really make a hit. But, they say, let’s hope that in their next game they will finally make a real breakthrough. So, looking ahead, I will say that GreedFall is the best RPG from Spiders. But she still lacks something.

Between all the fires

The best thing about GreedFall is, as always, the story and quests. The writers came up with a great plot. There are two warring nations – the Bridge Union and Thelema, which are actually at war. There is a neutral Trade Commonwealth. And there is a plague of unknown origin that indiscriminately mows down everyone. And then an island is discovered, on which everyone hopes to find a long-awaited cure for the disease.

Naturally, everyone rushes to the island, and there, in the seething cauldron of difficult relations between different nations, the interests of the aborigines are also mixed in, which for a complete set are divided into different tribes and treat the colonists and each other differently. And in the midst of all this, our hero (or heroine) as a neutral diplomat of the Commonwealth of Trade, an envoy of the new governor of the island (our cousin).

Lord, you are animals!

That is, as you understand, this is an ideal position for winning back. Initially, you are neutral, all (well, almost all) doors are open to you, you can communicate with everyone, you are free to decide exactly how and what to do in specific situations. That is why the character’s reputation is calculated separately for each faction.

And it is precisely on this that the authors begin to put pressure from the very first minutes of the game. The seemingly lengthy introduction actually serves as an extended presentation of this approach. Representatives of the Bridge Union and Thelema ask us to carry out rather delicate assignments, and we ourselves decide whether to send, for example, historians accused of heresy just because they dug up historical truth to the stake, or let them escape, risking worsening relations with fanatical inquisitors from Thelema.

GreedFall game review

Everyone here dresses very elegantly.

The authors immediately show that in this world there are no uniquely good and bad people – everyone has their own truth and everyone has a stigma in the cannon. Here, let’s say, we are asked to investigate the case of the kidnapping of the cabin boy from the ship. In the process, it turns out that his own father abducted him – at one time he actually sold the child into slavery according to some agreement between our Commonwealth of Trade and a faction of local sailors. And now he and his wife missed their son and locked him in a warehouse like a prisoner – the young man doesn’t really know his parents and is not happy with what is happening, he wants to go back to the ship, to his family. For this quest alone, the scriptwriters want to applaud. Moreover, the situation can be resolved in different ways – to kill the father, to negotiate, or even leave everything as it is.

Nonlinearity for show?

Another thing is that in the future, when we sail to the island, the concentration of such situations decreases. They happen, but they turn out to be spread over the expanses of the big world, where there are many cities, settlements, forests, fields and rivers, but quests most often have one ending. But you can always come to him in different ways – using charisma or intuition, intimidating, bribing or giving the floor to a partner. In many cases, there is a choice: go ahead and fight, worsening the reputation of one faction or another, or act covertly, dress up in the costume of this group? And you can even add sleeping pills and put everyone to sleep.

Yes, the non-linearity here is largely ostentatious and primitive. If the door is closed and your lockpicking skill is too low, there is bound to be a weak wall nearby that can be blown up with other skills. Or there is a key in the next room. If the mechanism that opens the door lacks a part, then a chest with its blueprint lies a couple of meters away. A little further away, a merchant sells a part for little money.

It is worth pumping at least a little charisma and putting on an almost free cloak that gives a bonus to it, and from the very beginning of the game, almost all difficult situations can be resolved with the power of words – the chance of success is almost always at the level of 75-100%. And I would like the mechanics of using conversational skills to be more complex and interesting.

GreedFall game review

In each city, the hero has his own residence, where you can store things and immediately go to the global map.

I hurry to help my friends

On the other hand, why bother? Clearly, Spiders is not BioWare at its best. But the studio is trying hard again. And it does it better than before. The main thing here is that GreedFall has a lot of interesting, big quests that can be solved in different ways, sometimes even getting different endings.

We protect merchants from racketeering, arrange negotiations between natives and colonists, and then between different tribes, search the houses of the inquisitors, help the natives to return their fellow tribesmen from captivity, we are engaged in smuggling and the devil knows what else.

Particularly successful were the personal assignments of partners – GreedFall is a party RPG after all. A tattooed captain of a ship; our mentor and martial arts teacher from the Watch; a priest from Thelema who imagines himself a gray cardinal; daughter of the queen of one of the local tribes; bridge union scientist – everyone has their own interesting story, which is never limited to a simple assignment.

For example, with Kurt, a mentor who wants to investigate the death of one of his recruits, we generally had to go against the vicious system that operates within the ranks of the Guard. And you need to fulfill all these personal assignments – a partner who has become a friend gives a bonus to some kind of talent like intuition, charisma, dexterity, and so on.

Talents and Opportunities

This is especially important, since GreedFall gives out talent points on very big holidays. More often you have to rely on the help of partners or on equipment that gives bonuses to talents. Or, on a workbench, add the appropriate upgrades to weapons or armor.GreedFall game review

Of all the potions that are tied to hotkeys, only the health potion is really needed.

There are also characteristics (strength, agility, endurance, and others) that affect, among other things, the ability to put on something or use pistols / guns / swords / two-handed blades / long swords or magic rings. Plus a system of skills with which you can improve your skills in owning one or another type of weapon, as well as unlock new combat abilities like bomb throwing or advanced evasion.

At the same time, there are three base classes – a conditional warrior, shooter and mage. But we are free to develop the character freely. The main thing is just to take into account the characteristics that will determine which weapon you can use. In general, the role-playing system is not outstanding, but not the easiest either. Normal, I would say.

The world is like a decoration. But beautiful

The same can be said about the big world. He, of course, is far from the most lively and open. There is a lot of “copy-paste” here (especially in cities) and even outside the settlements, among the picturesque forests and meadows, there are a lot of corridors and invisible walls, behind which the exit to the global map begins. Monsters and bandits that come across during the exploration of the territory are tightly tied to one point and just stand (or sleep) and wait for us to be in the area of ​​​​effect. Get out of it – and they immediately return.

It is clear that Spiders, perhaps, for the first time showed such scale in its game, but by and large there were no resources for the full-fledged implementation of the living world. However, it is impossible to say that studying this world is completely boring. There you can find another chest or an altar with a bonus skill point, stumble upon the body of a traveler, and nearby pick up a note indicating where the treasure is hidden. Or come across a board with contracts to kill someone. In general, the island creates the necessary illusion of scale and atmosphere of adventure – and with it, even with it, it’s better than without it.

GreedFall game review

The plot is very dramatic and violent.

Strike first, Freddie. Better yet, shoot!

My main gripe with GreedFall, as with previous Spiders games, is balance. In battles, even on the Hard difficulty level, I rarely received a distinct resistance from the game. No, strong enemies, of course, come across, especially bosses at later stages, but they are perceived rather as an exception to the rule.

And all because there is a clear bias towards firearms. Not only do the shots take away a lot of health, but they also throw the enemy to the ground. And so you can quickly shoot even a crowd of strong opponents. Yes, cartridges tend to run out, so it’s better to finish off those who have fallen with swords. But you rarely experience problems with ammunition – in a huge number of all kinds of boxes and chests there are potions, and cartridges, and money.

As a result, it got to the point that I had nowhere to put my finances. I didn’t buy anything but ammo, because cool weapons and armor can always be either found or received as a reward – for example, for becoming friends with some faction. The only thing that really matters (well, aside from finding ammo) is crafting gear upgrades. Resources for this, again, are almost always in abundance.

All this is all the more offensive because the combat system in GreedFall itself is not bad. Dodges, kicks, the need to first take down armor with heavy weapons and then hit with the main one, the ability to accumulate rage and carry out especially powerful blows – and all this with an active pause and convincing choreography. But this bias towards the “firearm” … It’s no joke – I have never used a pause at all. Never. On the hard. Draw your own balance sheet.

Sometimes it’s very beautiful here.

***

Of course, you can write the obvious – Spiders again tried very hard, but again they didn’t succeed. Because for almost every plus in GreedFall there is a minus, all mechanics are implemented with one or another omission or simplification. But at the same time, we have a really big, cute and quite diverse RPG with an intriguing plot and a bunch of interesting quests and events.

And in the end, while playing, I often caught myself thinking that all this is similar to Dragon Age (especially the Inquisition) – it falls short, of course, to the same level, but nonetheless. And think about it: if today, when such games are almost never made, we get a classic and trying to be non-linear RPG in the spirit of Dragon Age, then should it be rotten for shortcomings and budget, or is it better to give it a chance, relax and just play? The answer, it seems to me, suggests itself. Just play better immediately on a high level of difficulty.

Pros: intriguing plot; a lot of interesting quests that can be completed in different ways; charismatic partners with their own problems; working reputation system; good role-playing system; useful craft; big and beautiful world.

Cons: imbalance in battles; non-linearity in quests is often implemented too primitive and obvious; the world is too static; weak facial animation; there is nothing to spend money on, except for cartridges; the music is too pathetic and intrusive.

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