Playing Greedfall reminds me of playing Dragon Age or Mass Effect. It isn't quite as good as those games because it doesn't have the budget but it feels just as ambitious.
It is created by the same company that made The Techomancer, a flawed but really fun gem that I loved. It does feel like the developer, Spiders, learned from their mistakes and have done a lot to correct those here. Like capes. If you show that your character can have a cape then you better be able to have a cape. Here there are plenty of capes.
The main character is de Sardet, the niece/nephew of the ruler of the Congregation of Merchants. He (I made my character a male for this play through hoping there would be a good gay romance like there was in Technomancer) is about to become an ambassador and travel to the newly discovered island of Teer Fradee, which has already been colonized by the other two main powers on the Old Continent; the Bridge Alliance and Theleme.
The Alliance and Theleme are at war with one another and have been on the island for a decade or better. The Congregation has only established a presence there a few years back. One of the main reasons everyone is interested in the island is that they hope it contains a cure for a disease called the malichor which is killing scores of people all over the Old Continent.
Just like in The Technomancer, the world building here is fantastic. The Congregation is like a mix of Great Britain and France. Theleme are essentially Spaniards with a Catholic like religion who see it as their mission to convert everyone to their religion and believe Teer Fradee is a holy place. The Alliance is made up of several countries that banded together to advance science and knowledge. They are at war with Theleme.
Then there are the Nauts, basically a sea faring people with their own customs and hierarchy that are powerful in their own right. Lastly there are the natives of Teer Fradee themselves who now have to contend with three rival civilizations setting up shop in their homeland.
Part of your job is to juggle these factions as best you can, especially since they all have differing goals.
There is a lot to love here. The combat is a blast. You pick a classification at the start of the game but you can apply skill points to anything. I picked being a mage but also unlocked the ability to wield long swords. It is a pretty effective combination. I am waiting until I can unlock some more powerful spells. The one I have now, stasis, is a lot of fun.
There is a lot of customization. There are plenty of different armor sets and weapons to buy. Most of these can be upgraded. You can level up your combat skills as well as character attributes like charisma, science knowledge, intuition, lock picking, etc. You can upgrade your overall health bar and magic bar.
You have five companions total (though I haven't gotten the last one yet) and can travel with two of them. The companions are a pretty good mix, much like in The Technomancer. I have already started on personal quests for two of them. What I like is that they will comment on quests I receive and offer up solutions. They will sometimes bicker with each other as well. It is still early in the game so I'll comment on them more in a later post.
The quests are nice and varied. What I like is that they usually go in unexpected directions or will link up to another quest later on. In one quest I exposed an alchemist for a fraud only to learn he was banished from the Alliance from speaking truth to power and has done what he can to make a living. I was given several options to help him, turn him over, or just forget about it and let him figure it out.
One quest wanted me to sneak into a Naut warehouse and get a box of contraband. I could try sneaking in dressed as a Naut but it I was caught it would lower my standing with the Nauts and might make working with them harder later on. I decided to put that quest on the back burner until I could come up with a way to sneak in. Well, another quest had my Naut companion ask me to sneak into Naut HQ to steal information about his past. He offered a way to do it as well: Drug the guards with a sleeping potion. I managed to do that and got the information. I then realized that the guards at the warehouse were also knocked out so I got the contraband.
The contraband itself fed into two other missions which deal with corruption in the Coin Guard (the military force of the Congregation). One mission was from Kurt, my Coin Guard companion, who is investigating the death of a young man he recruited which leads to the discovery of phantom squad among the military. The other quest deals with merchants being terrorized by the Guards for protection money and it seems like the phantom squad might be a part of that as well.
It isn't all good. The fact that it isn't a triple-AAA title shows. A lot of the same building interiors are used though I give them points for at least rearranging furniture and trying their best to make the same interiors look different. The lip syncing is a little off as well which can be annoying.
There's also this weird thing that happens in fights. I guess if you get too far away from the main area where you encounter the enemies then the enemies dis-engage and wander away. They also get all their health back, something that you do not. It has happened several times and made the fights rather annoying.
There is also a fair amount of back-tracking which can get old. Thankfully not as much as in The Technomancer and there aren't the same set of enemies in the same locations that made back tracking tedious and a nightmare so that's something. To be fair, I have only discovered a few locations on the island yet and it seems like there are quite a bit more to find.
Greedfall may not exactly have the polish a big budget RPG does but it does have an engrossing story and world, characters I like, fun combat, and lots of ambition. I'll probably update this thread from time to time as I continue playing.