GreedFall Takes you to a Fantasy Themed New World – Hands-Off Preview
Spiders, as a developer, are one of those that I've had mixed feelings towards. The first game I played of theirs was Of Orcs and Men which was co-developed with Cyanide Studios. Still, I stuck with them and tried out Mars: War Logs, Bound by Flame and The Technomancer. The first two were more than worth trying out as budget RPG titles, Bound by Flame being the better of the two and a compelling game in general, though rough around the edges. The Technomancer, the less said, the better. There was a passion that was visible even through the negatives, one that was made even clearer when I spoke to the CEO and lead writer of Spiders, Jehanne Rousseau about their upcoming title GreedFall.
However, this isn't about the interview but my impressions of the game from what was shown at the recent 'What's Next' event held by Focus Home Interactive.
First and foremost is the fact that what was shown of GreedFall was all hands-off, though I did get to see a good 20 minutes of gameplay footage set across two different areas. Knowing that it's hands-off and relatively curated, there are going to be aspects I'm not privy to. Primarily these are going to be on the same lines that marred the enjoyment of previous Spiders titles for other people, how enjoyable the combat system is, are the characters in the uncanny valley and general functionality of such as cameras, etc.
Knowing that I, and others, know essentially nothing about this, we can look at what we do know. GreedFall is an RPG in a world where a disease has taken hold, spreading across your homeland. You, taking on the role of De Sardet, will be leaving your home city of Sérène and going to an island across the sea with your cousin who is going to be a governor. You, in particular, are going on a quest to find a cure to the disease of which you are also affected.
Even though you're taking on the role of one particular character, you will have a range of character customisation options at your disposal. Still, you are De Sardet, male or female, which enables a more personalised story. Fortunately, this still won't take away from some of the options and personalisation you can achieve in modern day RPG's, there are a wealth of options at your disposal in the new world of Teer Frade. Is it wrong that all I see is "Free Trade" when I look at that name?
Your personalisation will be both in character development as well as the story. On the character front, the options are said to be extensive. The skill tree was shown during the hands-off demo and it was wide and sprawling, to say the least, with you having the ability to go down whatever path you would like, be this weapon skill related, abilities like lockpicking or science, even improving on your dialogue options. The latter of these will look to particularly influence the development of your story.
Especially so as a result of what was explained will be on offer within the continent of Teer Frade. This is a continent that is seemingly designed to be more open than any other Spiders game so far. You won't find that each and every area is now segmented from the others, but the game will be considerably more open. The new continent is split into three different regions - with dungeons and such as those. These regions feature a city each and multiple outposts. The control of these outposts will vary from faction to faction, depending on your actions and your interactions with these factions.
A lot of the game is said to be based around these factions and the politics between them. More than that, in keeping with the background story of there being a horrible disease taking hold on people, there is fear. With this fear comes inquisitors, ones wearing plague masks of all things, running inquisitions to root out demons. You will be able to gain and lose reputation points for all factions based on your actions, all likely spread across the games reported 80 plus quests. Each of these with multiple ways to approach them, both in direction thanks to the more open map as well as action due to your varying skills. More than that, even the time of the day has an impact, there is a day/night cycle in the game
Should you take to battle, rather than going for a more diplomatic approach, then you will have a large number of options at your disposal. During the preview, it was said that there will be over two hundred armour pieces to equip to your character and, possibly, the multiple companions that you meet and can join you throughout the game.
One thing is clear, Spiders have made a massive push on the aesthetic quality found within GreedFall. Compared to their previous titles, GreedFall looks great and comes across as being more engaging. Especially when you consider the fact that the game is considerably more open, though not an actual open-world. From what I saw, the animations, both facial and general, were also a large improvement.
GreedFall is looking like the best game Spiders have made by a long shot, provided the combat system is superior to that of their previous titles and the story and world building looks as good as what has been shown and stated. However, with the lack of any hands-on anything said about it would only be conjecture. GreedFall will be launching on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime later this year. I'll certainly be giving it a go when it launches, as I have every other Spiders RPG. All I hope is that the quality is as good as the initial impressions.