Exploring this world is also a hit and miss. While it is wonderful to find campsites in order to change out active party members and create upgrades or discover shrines to get free skill points from, there is not much else to do in this world. You can gather ingredients from plants and animals, but there are few reasons to explore these areas otherwise. This could have been strengthened by the quests you partake in, as there are dialogue options that can be affected by your stats, previous knowledge or which comrade you have with you. However, these boil down to fetch quests with some fighting involved, and it is a shame that more could not have been done with these tasks. I can only remember three times where I had to stealth my way through and even if it worked fine with the ability to cover and enemies’ field of vision being well implemented, they were over before I knew it.

There are some quests that try to be more unique, but they become either solid like saving dying warriors within a time limit, or for the remaining 75% of them; wait until a timer has run out in order to continue a quest. It is tragic that these quests could not have been more creative, especially when there is a robust aspect of creating alliances, where each choice will affect how each faction feels about you. They can be on good terms, loyal or outright despise you if you are not careful. The same goes for your comrades, and they are fantastic supports in combat with smart AI’s to boot. Unfortunately, due to how the world is designed, they are rather good assets than strategic choices for combat. There is a problem when I really do not think about whether I will bring a healer or a tank along for the next fight, and even forget that there is a tactical menu at disposal.

It might sound like I disliked Greedfall, but that could not be further from the truth. The combat is still fun, crafting upgrades and tools is intriguing, and the quests you take on will clearly have an affect. It simply falls flat when the world around you only partly takes advantage of your abilities. Everything feels uneventful, as strategies will be down to hitting one button and dodging from time to time, or walk far distances in order to press X. Fetch quests and rudimentary combat in other words. When elements pick up and challenge your ability to think or to have a keen eye, Greedfall feels like a triple-A title. However, that is at best half of the game, and for an RPG that lasts 20 hours, that is a really questionable use of your time.

Gameplay Score: 5/10

Fashion is important when travelling!

Set in an era based of the 17th century, Spiders clearly had a lot of focus on creating attires to appropriately represent different cultures and status, showcased through the wonderful details implemented. High boots for long travels, armour representing factions, turbans for distinct heritage, and the different kinds of weapons like the varied takes on flintlocks and clubs, are all diverse and memorable by their detailed designs alone, hinting at their origins. I also love how crafted accessories for the attires and weapons, will appear visually on them and be clearly different due to their unique effects. My favourite might be how a bottle hanging from a coat makes the character wearing it scientifically smarter.

It really is amazing how fashionable you can make your party look, with subtle elements to showcase what stats they have improved. It is not all just an authentic representation of an historical era, as this is still a fictional world where magic exists, making the visual setup memorable due to Greedfall’s own take on this concept. This attention on utilising the visuals for highlighting spells like your sword coated in fire magic, is nothing new, but done with great effects here. This is further enhanced by how all attacks have a meaning to them, such as kicks being used to get enemies off balance or how an overhead chop with a blunt weapon will cause heavy damage against their armour bar. Subtle elements like these, go a long way to make the game lovely presented.

This attention to details goes even further with the intriguing NPCs and party members, as all have something that represents subtly their cultures. You have the Naut of your party, Vasco, who has plenty of tattoos with each representing his accomplishments and parts of his backstory, as well as the general scientists conducting chemists and having clear roots to Arabic culture due to Jābir ibn Hayyān. It is great to see that these setups are all clear references for a reason, as nothing is done in poor taste or to evoke a political statement. It is all here just to embrace a setup with clever visual references, and I welcome Greedfall’s creative take on this.

However, while the characters’ models are great with interesting attires to represent their culture and status, their mouth animations are not great. They have severely stiff body languages, and their mumbling mouths do not match with what they are saying, which takes me out of the experience easily. This is luckily hard to notice in fights, as the combat can be visually exciting and strengthened by the different types of fiends to fight against at once, such as priests casting spells and scientists focusing on using bombs and firearms. Unfortunately, the animals are rather unimaginative in this regard.

They are clearly beasts made to represent familiar animals, like ginormous wolfs or huge bats, but they are repeated constantly. A good example of this poor setup, is when the game tries to vary the enemies up with the giant salamanders, as they simply recolour them to provide them an elemental setup or use the same animation they have for a new type of monsters. This feels cheap and when the enemies are very similar in how they approach, it makes the combat less visually interesting. However, the boss fights against the tall monsters and guardians, are fantastic as they clearly have roots on this island with twisted designs and an uncomfortable look to them. Almost as if they are restrained by the nature itself.

The mentioned issues do not hinder what an imaginative world Greedfall offers, and I was always immersed wherever I was. Be it the harbour town New Serene still under construction, barracks made by the religious group Enlightened set up nearby a village of natives or the Arabic inspired town of scientists known as Hikmet, all were sights to behold. It is wonderful to come across such diverse landscapes with subtle differences, as you might stumble upon dangerous mines or a small camp that for some reason has a dead body, making simply travelling around intriguing.

All of these details make this world truly feel alive, and I am fascinated by how every building and environment look. That is, until I go inside the few places I can. The decor is magnificent, whether it be the woodwork inside the homes of the natives or the glorious tapestry inside the mansions, all feel authentic with small details to highlight what function each room has. Unfortunately, the taverns, De Sardet’s residences, and even the mansions, all have the exact same setups with minor exceptions or removed assets, to the point that déjà vu gets a whole new meaning. This tragically will break the immersion.

Luckily, you will be out in the open for the most part, making this only an occasional issue. There are some minor technical oddities of models clipping into each other or textures being off, but I can only recall four times I noticed this happening, and the lighting is generally solid. It also helps that the vegetation and naturalistic elements are different from one place to another and gradually changes the further you explore, adding to the atmosphere. Although, I cannot praise nearly as much when it comes to the sound effects. Swords being drawn, firearms shooting, spells containing strange auras, everything is functional, but lack any unique punches. I might be slightly harsh on this, but for such a unique fantasy RPG, more variety at least could have been provided in terms of the audio. 

As for the music, however, it is simply gorgeous. Olivier Deriviere is the composer for this title, and his music gets to shine here with lovely symphony being provided for the peaceful towns, light organs used for when goodbyes are said between loved ones, and log drums being played on nearby native settlements, just to name a few examples. It is a vast soundtrack that combines different cultural styles with the tension of the events occurring, making each song memorable for whenever they are utilised. All tracks contain clear variety in tones, rhythms that reflect the moments, and highlighted notes to make each song effective. It is simply a wonderful soundtrack with all the instruments getting to shine and not just being used for complimenting a song’s rhythm.

The audio is further strengthened by the fantastic voice actors who make every scene of dialogue feel sincere and carry emotional weight to them. It is interesting how these formal dialogues can contain subtle undertones on how the characters are feeling towards the occurring situations, such as whenever De Sardet restrains him/herself from resulting to aggressive behaviour despite witnessing unfair treatment, or Constantin’s uplifting tone to lighten the dark moments to make sure his friends do not worry too much.

Everyone in the cast is excellent and I am surprised that it consists of mostly newcomers. I am not familiar with actors like Benjamin O’mahony, Kezia Burrows or Ben Lloyd-Hughes, but all are splendid with their performances and convey clear personalities, emotions, and directions, carrying the acting wonderfully. In fact, the only actors I am truly familiar with are Timothy Watson and Steven Hartley, due to their impressive track record and they give fantastic performances yet again here.

Presentation Score: 7.5/10

A quest? Well, it is on my way

While there is a sense of replay value with harder difficulties and varied ways to customise your playable character, it is hard to justify this when the world does not react differently to this. Playing as a hard hitting warrior, will not be too different from a gunman with pinpoint accuracy or a mage with imaginative spells. The side quests do fare better, but that is because of how diverse and strongly told the stories within these tasks are, and not from what you actually do in them.

Exploring the world and uncovering the map is rewarding, both through providing upgrades and new sceneries, but the upgrades are not necessary at all due to the game’s lack of interesting ways to challenge the player. Doing all of the quests will add up to give you with the best ending, but there is not much else to them. To summarise: if it had not been for the impressive stories and the lovely areas you can come across, there would really have been no reason take on the fetch quests, as nothing makes the gameplay exciting.

Extra Score: 3.5/10


There is a solid groundwork here, but Greedfall is not fully satisfying. I can definitely see clear efforts being put here and I am happy for how far Spiders have come, but this title needed better designs around the abilities you can acquire, and the story and presentation can only do so much for an interactive media. However, I believe with this title that Spiders might be able to become the next Bioware. I am at least now more interested in trying out my copy of Technomancer. As for Greedfall, it should only be for those who value story and atmosphere, and can get over troublesome designs. If gameplay is important to you, you might want to get Mass Effect instead.


Published by slionr

A guy who likes to talk about video games and loves tabletop gaming. Writer for, you can always follow me on twitter @GSlionr if you ever want the latest article from me :)

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