GreedFall is an odd game, and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. It might be that it’s just hard to demo a massive RPG like this, but there are a ton of ideas presented that feel quite abstract. The world is inspired by the colonial 1700s with a fantasy twist. This is not an actual history game, and there’s plenty of magic and odd creatures to support that. As the lead, you find yourself caught in a massive war between the native inhabitants of an island and the settlers who have come to colonize it.
There are multiple factions in the game that you can both help and offend, which will change how the people of the world interact with you. Again, it’s hard to showcase the sweeping effects of something like this in such a short demo, but we briefly got to see how partnering up with a member of one of the factions opened up some options later on. Players can partner with five different companions, one from each faction, keeping two with them at any given time. Your choice in companions will undoubtedly impact continued interactions and diplomacy with the various NPCs in the game.
Players will be able to customize their character, which will have a huge skill tree full of more than 100 skills, including those for magic, potions, traps, and more. The tactical fighting system means you can’t just spam attacks during battle. It’s actually a bit tough to get involved in a fight, but succeeding feels quite rewarding. There will be more than 200 pieces of equipment to equip and 14 different weapon types. We got a lot of these numbers and statistics thrown at us, but very little substantive information about what makes GreedFall a unique RPG. Don’t get me wrong, the game looks fascinating, I’m just having a hard time finding the bullet points to sell the game on.
There will be a lot to do in GreedFall when it finally releases. The beautiful game, inspired by French Baroque painters, will have more than 80 missions to take on. Your choices during those missions will impact the final ending to the game. The developers indicated that the game would be about 35 hours long, though it’s not clear if that’s for story completion or actually finishing everything the game has to offer.
The studio didn’t want to lean heavily on the themes of colonialism (at least when we attempted to ask questions about the seemingly blatant themes), but the quite obvious story points seem to focus largely on a bunch of settlers that come in and take land and resources from the natives. I’m pretty sure that’s oversimplifying things, but the demo didn’t really give much in the way of cohesive story. Why am I doing the things that I am doing? The lead character has a mysterious mark on their neck and face, apparently signifying that they have the mysterious disease that everyone is looking for the cure to. This disease seems to be the central conflict in the story, but the demo didn’t really highlight much in the way of story elements.
The setting and art-inspired themes are quite interesting, but hopefully GreedFall is able to find a unique point to show what sets it apart from other RPGs. I’m certain it will be a good RPG when it releases, but it’s abstract ideas need to solidify a little bit more in order to help players understand why they should play it. I’ve got a lot of faith in Spiders though, and as the developer behind this game, I’m certain they are crafting a top-notch experience, even if I don’t entirely know what that experience is yet.