A fabulous island recently discovered seems to be the key to the strange curse that ravages the continent. As explorers of the new world, we will travel to the mysterious Teer Free to discover the mysteries and magical creatures that inhabit it. This is Greedfall, a role-playing game that recovers the classic canons of the genre. We discovered it in his analysis.
What Spiders has done is so intelligent, and in turn so common sense, that even writing these lines I continue to surprise myself. Modern currents have redirected many genres to new territories. Open worlds seem to dominate everything and even the classic studies that created huge epics, such as BioWare, seem to be more concerned with these trends. However, the fans are the same. Yes, of course, we like open scenarios and their possibilities, but they are not mandatory. We continue to enjoy any classic experience, provided you are able to build a fantastic atmosphere in the process.
I did not read the statements of Spiders at the time and they are very revealing. Greedfall intends not to replace, but to fill that void that BioWare has left for many, including the study itself that are fervent lovers of the genre. So if the Canadian was worried about other issues and the big studios were still aiming at the open world, why not resurrect the old 3D role of the past decade? It almost seems obvious, but just play a few hours, while touring the city of Sérene that serves as a tutorial, to realize how much we missed this formula and how little it got deeper into it.
Greedfall tries not to replace, but to fill that void that BioWare has left for many
Because Greedfall is not content to be a role-playing game with a classic structure in the style of Dragon Age, but rather combines the formulas of some immersive sims so iconic like Deus Ex, Dishonored or Prey. What does this mean? That freedom of choice no longer applies exclusively to dialogue options. Not only charisma, friendship with certain characters or intimidation influences our decisions, but many missions can be approached in different ways. Yes in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, for example, we had different options to fulfill our mission through direct action, negotiation, hacking, strength or agility with which to unlock roads … here we can also spend our skill points to develop intuition, the opening of locks, the charisma, the development of traps or explosives, alchemy or crafts. Thus, depending on the evolution of our character, it will be easier for us to address a situation or we will have to explore more thoroughly if we do not have the appropriate aptitude.
It is curious that in a game that reduces the scale to small or large interconnected areas, instead of building a gigantic map, it has practically the same sense of freedom. Spiders have managed to manage its resources well and put the weight of development on the most crucial aspects. And cheaper. Surprising what the French have achieved with just 5 million euros and taking advantage of the previous work of systems created in their previous works. The setting stands out precisely for moving away from the canons of classical medieval fantasy and collecting its inspirations in the Europe of the s. XVII This refreshing framework serves the study, in addition, to address issues of the time such as colonialism, plagues and the struggle of reason against faith and spirituality (in this case supported by magic).
The result is very good, with some well-constructed stories that reveal cultural and political conflicts between the different races that populate the island and the factions that have traveled there. Visually, less is more. These smaller areas reflect a good and laborious visual work, both in the magical natural spaces and in the big cities that represent each of the factions, with a well-differentiated architecture and that, not to be a blockbuster, surprises to achieve his goal of moving to this fusion of fantasy and modern age. It is true that, by spanning their cities, and the corners of the island of Teer Fradee denote a lack of pronounced detail, especially in very empty interiors and recycled designs. But I repeat five million budget.
However, it does not skimp on the detail put in representing the different factions, each with its different clothing typical of its culture and also in the recreation of all weapons, armor and of course the different mythological creatures that ravage the island. The console work leaves us with a lack of detail on the surfaces and remote areas that the computer version compensates much better, with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The sound aspect meets well-integrated melodies that, while not remaining in the memory, accompany. But the deepest work is done in the voices, with a huge amount of dialogues for all the characters that populate the island and we know each of the main and secondary missions.
The island of wonders
I greatly appreciate it when an adventure and role-playing game begins on paper, with screenwriters and designers creating the rules, races, beliefs, and conflicts of the world they are imagining. Therefore, the trips and missions distributed by Teer Fradee are always a great excuse with which to soak up this mythology and not simply carry out missions for pure fun. It is, in essence, what is expected of a role-playing game, after all; and in Greedfall, the characters are well built enough to see us transported to this universe.
It is true that not all missions are of the same quality and although some, such as the main ones or those that have to do directly with the members of our group, are attractive and well developed, there are also filling or minor. In addition (and this is a classic sign, but that continues to occur in the most modern role-playing games) the characters tend to overexposure. That is, they look like Wikipedias with legs because they want to tell you too much about the historical background or customs of each inhabitant. The best moments of the game are achieved precisely when you work implicitly. Through the subtlety and development of the missions, it is when you are most curious to know the customs, the stories of the island and the different cultures of its people.
Greedfall may fall a little short in the formation of our group of adventurers. Our protagonist is De Sardet, a member of the Congregation of Merchants who serves as a neutral point of view to the different factions that exist. Our mission is to accompany our cousin to take office as governor of the island of Teer Fradee, a magical place and discovered 15 years ago (a little surprised how much the colonizers have built on the island in such a short time). Together, we will seek a cure against the strange disease that is ravaging its inhabitants. The members that accompany us will represent each of the factions that have a presence on the island with the merchants: the Alliance of the Bridge, the Guard, the Nautas, the Natives and the inhabitants of Theleme. As in Dragon Age, his attitude to us will be represented by our answers and decisions, so that the reputation with each faction and fulfill his personal missions allow us to gain his friendship, enmity or even a possible romance.
Everything in Greedfall is at the service of history.
The first time you go out to explore Teer Fradee is shocking if you don’t know its structure. You expect those huge spaces already so familiar in the genre and you come across closed areas, something labyrinthine and loading screens. But little by little you begin to realize that this is not an impediment, far from it. The areas are well worked and, of course, there is no such fatigue in the exploration that happens in some open worlds that are not criticized enough. In Greedfall, in general, missions take place quickly and that helps to gain pace. Unfortunately, this is not all good news, and navigation and exploration are somewhat tedious. First, because the game, as a classic role it is, needs a minimap instead of the modern compass it proposes. When presenting areas with borders and barriers, without an open exploration, it is difficult to trace the routes and that forces a constant and frustrating consultation of the map on the menu. The movement of our character does not help much either since the inaccurate actions and sometimes we see something stuck with the objects or having to tune the camera too much to collect the objects from the ground or fallen by the enemies.
It is with these enemies that I have had the biggest problems. It is not that your combat system is a disaster. Look for a variety in their actions, combining weapons that attack life and others that attack armor (something similar to The Banner’s Saga), while guns and magic rings play a vital role in ranged attacks. It also relies on traps, creating potions with alchemy and even allowing a little tactical pause. and order ideas. However, the central problem remains latent. It is an insipid combat system, something routine, that does not end up opting either for the classic role-playing system focused on statistics or for the action more based on the skill of the player. Therefore, in many occasions, it becomes a mere procedure of which yes, you can raise the difficulty to make it something more challenging, but the response to the controls is still quite awkward. Only the final bosses, with only one enemy and more dangerous, are where things get more interesting and you can play better with dodges and blockages avoiding the temptation to crush the attack button.
In short, everything in Greedfall is put at the service of history. It even has a relatively well-implemented stealth system. I would have liked to take more advantage of all these mechanics because sometimes the missions are based too much on “going to the point marked on the map”, which (not to repeat the witty tracking system of The Witcher) could have been solved by encouraging more skill system that the game has. All in all, the result is more than enough to create an experience that has surprised me. I think Spiders has finally hit the key after his attempts with The Technomancer and Bound by Flame. It is clear that he has gained experience, has had more resources and has taken advantage of this gap in the Western role. Greedfall has managed to roll me back to an era of the RPG that I did not realize I missed so much, in which the square kilometers of your extension map is worthless, but the pen and imagination that permeates the entire work. In my opinion, this game marks a turning point in the studio and, although it has urgent issues to resolve, especially refining the fight, I can only wait to see what they would be able to achieve from now on.
Greedfall is a surprise and classic role-playing exercise reminiscent of Dragon Age Origins’ solid BioWare. Sacrifice modern approaches of the genre to the open world by creating a series of connected areas, to focus all its resources on its interesting history and its original setting, as well as the development of the missions and the different ways of fulfilling them. The combat, sadly, is not up to par, being functional and too repetitive in the long run, along with some somewhat questionable navigation decisions. But still, it is still a triumph of Spiders that from this moment will have to pay special attention and expect great things in the future.
- A fantastic setting thanks to the mixture of fantasy and inspiration in the Europe of the s. XVII
- The different skills that allow us to tackle some missions in different ways
- Some missions
- The combat is tasteless and repetitive. Although there are possibilities, Spiders needs to improve in this aspect
- Navigation and exploration can be somewhat tedious or frustrating
- Interiors too empty or too repeated