GreedFall review | A janky yet engrossing RPG

Fairly sure pride comes before the fall, not greed? Anyway, here’s a review of the ambitious RPG, Greedfall…


Greedfall is a very Spiders game. As a studio, it is the embodiment of ambition over execution. All its previous titles (Of Orcs and Men, Mars: War Logs, The Technomancer etc) are as defined by their amazing ideas and detailed settings as they are by their underbaked systems and almost non-existent polish. There’s a constant hope the next Spiders will be ‘the one’ – the game that will finally see the tech side of things be at the same quality as the obvious passion the developer has for its projects. Yes, GreedFall is a very Spiders game, but it falls short of the mark by a much smaller margin than any of the games that came before it.

Set in a 17th-century-inspired fantasy world hellbent on colonising the newly discovered island of Teer Fradee, GreedFall puts you in the thick leather boots of De Sardet, an important diplomat new to the island. Said island is home to an indigenous people whose connection with the land grants them control over hulking plant monsters, for a good hit of the supernatural, and it is your job to not only maintain balance between the factions vying for control of the ‘new’ land, but to also find a cure for the disease back home, plaguing the main continent.

With its transparent allegory for the colonisation of the Americas, GreedFall doesn’t shy away from the theme of colonialism. While I’m hesitant to judge if it tackles that discussion successfully or respectfully, it’s impressive to see the depth of culture the indigenous people are given. They’re not just Primitive Magical Elves who are the passive victims of colonialism that need saving, they’re a powerful faction, complete with their own language, accent, culture, and history that is teased throughout De Sardet’s dealings with them.

For all the work put into the wonderful world, characters, and scenarios, playing GreedFall can be best described as ‘serviceable’. Mechanically, there’s more than a bit of the pre-Anthem BioWare – more specifically, Dragon Age: Origins – in GreedFall. Branching dialogue and a reputation system, recruitable NPC companions with their own storylines, and an active-pause combat function letting you pick between real-time combat and stopping to make larger tactical decisions are all here.

The problem is it’s all just fine, rather than matching its subject matter’s quality. It’s a perfectly acceptable delivery method for the best bits of GreedFall, but nothing to write home about in its own regard. There’s a resounding lack of polish that highlights this was a mid-budget game with full-budget ambition. Between the constantly repeating voice lines, poor animations, major spelling errors in the subtitles, weirdly designed UI, dodgy voice acting, limited character creation, weirdly paced quests, and rough AI, it’s easy to see GreedFall as a game whose ambition is hamstrung heavily by its budget.

As a dense, engrossing, original RPG, GreedFall is the closest thing to a mainstream hit Spiders has produced so far, and it’s absolutely worth heading into, provided you can put up with a higher-than-normal level of jank. If you wanted a highly polished game to replace something like The Witcher 3, though, then you may be severely disappointed.


It’s really easy to be swept up by the ambition of GreedFall. the scale of everything, from the vistas of Teer Fradee to the backstories of your companions, is almost overwhelming. When creeping through a forest or delving into a friend’s past, the frequent rough patches that are found elsewhere feel very, very distant.


Inching closer to the bar of quality Spiders clearly wants to hit, Greedfall nonetheless falls short.


Genre: RPG
Format: PC (tested) / XBO / PS4
Developer: Spiders
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Price: £43.99
Release: Out now

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