The AA games sector can be cruel, between ambitions often limited by a lack of resources and players who hope for a quality approaching big productions, the task is tough for these studios which wish to stand out.
GreedFall – Buy on Amazon Immerse yourself in a true RPG experience; Explore a mysterious world filled with magic
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However, games like A Plague Tale Innocence have recently proven that it is possible to create little gems of ingenuity anyway. It is also another French production edited by Focus Home Interactive that is in question today * i since we are talking about Greedfall, the latest title from the Spiders studio. So what is this ambitious RPG worth?
Test conditions: We played about forty hours on the PC version with a “high” configuration (AMD Ryzen 5 2600, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti).
Greedfall: Colonization, Politics, and Fantasy
Despite the flaws of The Technomancer, the previous production of Spiders, we can not take away the originality of its science fiction universe. It must be said that the French have always been gifted in the field and Greedfall is another proof of this know-how. It sets its scene with a large historical base borrowed from 17th century Europe, taking a lot of liberties while incorporating many elements from the realm of the fantastic.
Suffice to say that the mixture gives a surprising but very original result, the title does not claim to be historical at all but is greatly inspired by the challenges of this time, in particular that of the colonial empires. The plot sets foot in full since we will evolve on a huge island where several factions are established with different objectives in mind. As the main protagonist (man or woman to choose from), you start in the Congregation of Merchants: it is a neutral faction which has above all a diplomatic role and which makes the link between the other factions.
An ideal starting point to forge oneself since Greedfall is above all an RPG that leaves us rather broad freedom of action, whether in storytelling or gameplay. The French studio once again takes up its Dragon Age companion system to embody these factions which are six in all. So count on five comrades to help you in combat but also to react in good or badly to your different choices of dialogue.
In addition to giving a certain cachet to the universe, this has the merit of developing the characters who accompany us, and for that Greedfall is inspired by the greatest. We were talking about Bioware, but he also drew a lot in The Witcher 3, which is not to displease us. Although the hero or heroine is much less charismatic than Geralt, we find the same care regarding the quests which are all scripted and which give a lot of substance to the lore. The same goes for the staging, certain “investigative” aspects or even the counter-field of the camera during the dialogues.
This applies especially to the companions who are a good example of this deepening. Each offers its own set of side quests that give us a lot of information on the protagonists, on factions in general, and even on the main plot. In addition to bringing us closer to a faction, these accomplishments bring us closer to our companions to potentially develop more intimate bonds.
The island of Teer Fradee is a land freshly colonized by the six factions but they do not all have the same status or the same ambitions, and some even cultivate conflicts that have started on the mainland. However, there is still a common goal which is to find a cure for Malicor, a fatal disease that strikes the continent. Nothing is really simple since tensions erupt everywhere with the natives of the island, a primitive and mysterious people.
Siora is the representative of the latter in our group and her interventions during the dialogues (which we can let or not) illustrate well all the ways of approaching quests. Since you can only bring two teammates at a time, this requires you to know a minimum of the situation and its actors to understand the events as desired. The other point that complements these choices is the allocation of talents. Charisma, intuition, intimidation, the palette of lines is quite wide.
Greedfall therefore benefits from a rich and coherent universe that we discover in more detail with the many quests, this also allows us to observe the factions under the microscope in order to take sides for one camp to the detriment of another.
Sublime artistic direction
As with A Plague Tale, an artistic direction that has its roots in the paintings of the greatest masters of the century explored is definitely a guarantee of quality. Without forgetting all the cultural and historical inspirations which are felt in the costumes or the architecture of the cities, it is a real pleasure to walk in these beautiful decorations. Greedfall is visually stunning, the technique is to be welcomed and we are entitled to very impressive light effects which allow us to appreciate the complexion at different times of the day. The exteriors even benefit from a very pleasant volume effect although we are not in front of an open world.
Even if the studio has made efforts in this area, we still feel a great rigidity in the facial animations. More generally, the faces are not very attractive to see except for a few handpicked characters. Only natives benefit from a truly inspired character design, but in reality it’s all the fantastic part that is. All the graphic genius of the game lies in this “triforce”: history, cultures and creativity.
We are thus entitled to splendid, varied and above all very detailed panoramas: forests, villages, ruins… Even the bestiary is eye-catching, the only concern is that it has difficulty renewing itself throughout the progression. Since we are in the field of art, let’s talk about the soundtrack composed by Olivier Derivière. Always as versatile according to the title he is in charge of, he does not budge here with quality music. Depending on the city, or more precisely depending on the culture you are exploring, the sound of the bell will always be appropriate in addition to being pleasing to the ear. We also retain the combat themes which have a very pleasant wild character a la The Witcher.
The voices are generally correct, especially when it comes to the companions. Some will regret an absence of dubbing in French, but it must be recognized that a medium-budget RPG can hardly afford it, especially with so many lines of dialogue. If this is a major argument for you, you’ve been warned.
Diversity but not longevity
Like The Technomancer, Greedfall has a solid foundation in RPG-style gameplay. The archetypes (warrior, technique and magic) and the many weapons give a host of possibilities to the player to adopt the style which suits him, the customization is moreover reinforced thanks to a very complete and provided skill tree. Crafting, as well as alchemy, are always serious achievements that we enjoy exploiting. There have been some serious improvements over the previous title, the camera is now much cleaner and the tactical break is definitely a good idea because it must be admitted, it is often a mess on the battlefield.
Many tools are there to vary the games, but they unfortunately do not escape the repetitiveness that wins us over quite quickly. The excellent storytelling addresses this flaw somewhat, however if you are a lot more combat-oriented, you might be disappointed. It’s not too disturbing when wielding a lone Geralt, but here we have partners on our side. Unable to control them or give them orders, they almost act as distractions for the monsters. Our only room for maneuver lies in the equipment they wear.
There is clearly better, but it lacks combos, team play and the animations are still quite rigid between hits. To make matters worse, the difficulty is poorly managed, if you want a challenge, it is better to opt for the difficult mode. Whatever your fighting style, a simple dodge repetition is enough to face anything with your hands in your pockets.
Greedfall: everything you need to know about the next action-RPG from Spiders Games
What we already know about the game
After a nuanced The Technomancer in the critics, the Parisian studio Spiders continued in early 2017 by unveiling the magnificent trailer for Greedfall, a large-scale action RPG.
GreedFall is the name of an unexplored island steeped in magic and mystery, well protected by its natives. It is in this universe with the good taste of Baroque Art and XVIIth century design that the player will find himself, caught in full conflict between these strange natives and visitors not always well intentioned.
Combat will hold an important place during your adventure. But RPG requires, cunning, diplomacy and even stealth will be used to accomplish your missions. And your choices should have an impact on everything around you.
After having been without news for nearly a year, it was early 2018 during the famous What’s Next from the publisher Focus Home Interactive that Greedfall is making a comeback by revealing himself a little more in a 25-minute streak shown only to reporters. To make a little summary, the game has dazzling artistic direction and big ambitions more still lack of punch and clearly needs time to be tweaked as much as possible.
Focus Home Interactive during the presentation: “In this strange universe depicted before our eyes, a human world on the verge of chaos due to a deadly virus. We are in a sort of alternative universe inspired by the 17th and 18th centuries, which means in particular gunpowder and firearms. Men have discovered a mysterious and fantastic island on which magic seems to reign supreme and which may well be Humanity’s last hope. “