The best that is in GreedFall is, as always, the plot and quests. The scriptwriters came up with an excellent plot. There are two warring nations – the Bridge Union and Thelema, which are actually at war. There is a neutral trading community. And there is a plague of unknown origin that indiscriminately coughs up everyone. And then an island is discovered on which everyone hopes to find the long-awaited cure for the disease.
Naturally, everyone rushes to the island, and there, in the seething cauldron of uneasy relations between different nations, the interests of the natives are mixed in, which are divided into different tribes for the complete set and relate differently to the colonists and to each other. And in the midst of all this is our hero (or heroine) in the role of a neutral diplomat of the Trade Union, the envoy of the new governor of the island (our cousin).
Between all the lights
Gentlemen, you are animals!
That is, as you understand, this is an ideal position for wagering. Initially, you are neutral, before you all (well, almost all) the doors are open, you can communicate with everyone, you are free to decide how and what to do in specific situations. That is why the character’s reputation for each faction is separately calculated.
And this is exactly what the authors begin to put pressure on from the first minutes of the game. A protracted, seemingly introductory introduction actually serves as an extended presentation of this approach. Representatives of the Bridge Union and Thelema ask us to carry out rather delicate instructions, and we decide whether to send, for example, to the stake of historians accused of heresy only because they unearthed the historical truth, or to allow them to escape, at the risk of worsening relations with fanatical inquisitors from Thelema.
The authors immediately show that in this world there are no uniquely good and bad ones – everyone has their own truth and everyone has a stigma in the cannon. So, let’s say, we are asked to investigate the case of the abduction of a young man from a ship. In the process, it turns out that his own father abducted – at one time he actually sold the child into slavery by some agreement between our Trade Union and a fraction of local sailors. And now he and his wife are bored with their son and locked him in the warehouse as a prisoner – after all, the young man does not really know his parents and is not enthusiastic about what is happening, he wants to return to the ship, to his family. For this quest alone, the writers would like to applaud. Moreover, the situation can be resolved in various ways – to kill the father, agree or even leave everything as it is.
Non-linearity for the show?
Another thing is that in the future when we sail to the island, the concentration of such situations decreases. They happen, but they are spread out over the vast world, where there are many cities, settlements, forests, fields, and rivers, but quests most often have one end. But you can always come to him in different ways – using charisma or intuition, intimidating, bribing or giving the word to a partner. In many cases, there is a choice: go ahead and fight, worsening the reputation of a particular faction, or act secretly, change into a suit of this group? And you can completely 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 hacking skill is too small, there is always a weak wall nearby that can be blown up if you have other skills. Or in the next room, there is a key. If there is not enough detail in the mechanism that opens the door, then in a couple of meters lies a chest with its drawing. A little further away, the merchant sells the part for little money.
It’s 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 by the power of the word — 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.
I hasten to help friends
On the other hand, why grumble? It’s clear that Spiders is not BioWare in its best years. But the studio is trying hard again. And does it better than before. The main thing here is that in GreedFall there are a lot of interesting, big quests that can be solved in different ways, sometimes even getting different finals.
We protect the merchants from racketeering, arrange negotiations between the natives and the colonists, and then between different tribes, search the houses of the inquisitors, help the natives return their fellow tribesmen from captivity, we are engaged in smuggling and what the hell knows what else.
Particularly successful were the personal instructions of the partners – GreedFall, after all, a party RPG. Tattooed ship captain; our mentor and martial arts’ teacher from the Sentinels; a priest from Thelema, imagining himself a gray cardinal; daughter of the queen of one of the local tribes; a scientist from the Bridge Union – everyone has their own interesting story, which is never limited to a simple assignment.
For example, with Kurt, a mentor who wanted to investigate the death of one of his recruits, we generally had to go against the vicious system operating in the ranks of the Guard. And you need to carry out all these personal instructions – 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 the talent points in GreedFall give out on very large 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 appropriate upgrades to weapons or armor.
There are also characteristics (strength, dexterity, stamina, and others) that affect, among other things, the ability to put on something or use pistols / shotguns / swords / two-handed blades / long swords or magic rings. Plus, a system of skills with which you can improve your skills in owning a particular type of weapon, as well as discover new combat abilities like throwing bombs or advanced dodging.
There are three basic classes – conditional warrior, shooter and mage. But we are free to develop the character freely. The main thing is to take into account the characteristics that will determine which weapons you can use. In general, the role system is not outstanding, but not the simplest. Normal, I would say so.
The world as a decoration. But beautiful
About 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” (especially in cities) and even outside the settlements, among the picturesque forests and meadows, it is full of corridors and invisible walls, beyond which the access to the global map begins. Monsters and bandits that come across during the study of the territory are tightly attached to one point and just stand (or sleep) and wait for us to be in the zone of action. Came out of it – and they immediately returned.
It is clear that Spiders, perhaps, for the first time showed such a 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 absolutely boring. There you can find another chest or 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 an atmosphere of adventure – and with it, even with this, it is better than without it.
Beat the first, Freddy. And better – shoot!
My main complaint to GreedFall, as well as to past Spiders games, is related to balance. In battles, even at the Hard difficulty level, I rarely got any clear resistance from the game. No, strong enemies, of course, come across, especially bosses at later stages, but they are perceived more likely as an exception to the rule.
And all because there is a clear bias towards firearms. Not only do the shots carry 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, the cartridges tend to end, so it is better to finish the fallen with swords. But you rarely have problems with ammunition – in a huge number of all kinds of boxes and chests there are potions, and ammunition, and money.
As a result, it came to the point that I had nowhere to put finances. I didn’t buy anything except ammunition, because cool weapons and armor can always be found or received as a reward, for example, because you became friendly with any faction. The only thing that really matters (well, besides finding ammo) is crafting improvements for the equipment. The 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. Evasions, kicks, the need to first use heavy weapons to tear down the armor, and then hit the main ones, the ability to accumulate rage and carry out especially powerful blows – all this with an active pause and convincing choreography. But this bias in the direction of the “gunshot” … Is it a joke – I have never used a pause at all. Never. On the “hard”. Draw conclusions about the balance yourself.
Of course, you can write the obvious – Spiders tried hard again, 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, pretty and quite diverse RPG with an intriguing storyline and a bunch of interesting quests and events.
And in the end, playing, I often found myself thinking that all this is similar to Dragon Age (especially the “Inquisition”) – it does not reach, of course, to the same level, but nonetheless. And think about it: if today, when there are almost no such games, we get a classic and trying to be non-linear RPG in the spirit of Dragon Age, then do we need to spread rot for its shortcomings and budget, or is it better to give it a chance, relax and just play? The answer, it seems to me, begs. Only play better immediately at a high level of difficulty.
Pros: intriguing plot; a lot of interesting quests that can be done in different ways; charismatic partners with their problems; working reputation system; good role system; useful craft; big and beautiful world.
Cons: imbalance in battles; non-linearity in quests is often implemented too primitively and obviously; the world is too static; weak facial animation; there’s nothing to spend money on, except for cartridges; the music is too pathetic and intrusive.