Video Games

GreedFall (PS4)

I started writing this over a week ago, but have had trouble getting around to finishing it. A lot can change in a week, so I’ve just hit the delete button and I’m starting over. I’m also in a bad mood because the Blackhawks just blew a 2 goal load and cost me a lot of money, so I’m not in the mood for any of my dumb jokes that were in the previous draft.

GreedFall is an action adventure game (with some RPG elements) that was released in September of 2019. It released on PS4, Xbox and Windows. I find it interesting that it was released on console at the same time, because it did not feel like it was designed with a console in mind. Everything about this game felt like it was meant to be played with a keyboard and mouse. The menu system, the character creation, the tactical pause, the dialogue…all of it felt like it was a PC game that just got ported to console. That’s not to say it was terrible with a gamepad, but it definitely wasn’t great.

I find my thoughts toward GreedFall to be neutral. I played about 20 hours and that’s enough for me. I won’t be going back to finish it and I will be very surprised if I ever play it, or even think of it again. Some people really loved GreedFall and if I squint, I can see why some people would really dig it. For me though, it was just bland and repetitive.

I guess we will start with your character creation, because that’s when the game starts. I thought of a great tagline for GreedFall when I was making my character. “Beautiful world, ugly people”. The characters you make are at best, goofy and at worst, downright hideous. As you guys know, I always start RPG’s a good 5 or 6 times. GreedFall was no different. I tried a few different builds, which meant I needed to make a new character every time. They were always hideous. Male or female. It didn’t matter. You were just an ugly person, in a world full of ugly people.

Regardless of how you choose to appear, you are named De Sardet and you are every bit the loser your name suggests. You’re a bigger loser than the Chicago Blackhawks. Sorry, I’ll try and keep it professional. You are a dork though. I wish I wrote some more quotes down, but the only one I can remember him saying is “Justice cannot wait!”. Not in a cool Batman way mind you, but in a real, whiny, goody two shoes way. In short, I don’t like De Sardet.

Who is De Sardet though? Well, asides from being a massive nerd, De Sardet is also the Legate of New Serene. Bully for you. Basically, De Sardet spends his time whining at talking with people more important than himself, then relaying the message back to someone else who is more important than himself and then relaying the response.

Such was my experience with GreedFall. Go here and talk to person A. Go back to your starting point and talk to person B. Then finally, back to person A and end the quest. You’re just a glorified messenger and most of the quests involve you just walking between people and talking.

I could get past the fact that all the quests sucked were the same, if the time between the quests was fun. It’s about the journey, not the destination. But the journey wasn’t very fun either. The world was pretty, but it all looked the same. Travelling through it wasn’t particularly enjoyable. Combat was borderline horrid. The looting system wasn’t great. And that was about all there was to do.

Let’s talk about combat, that’s the main reason a lot of people play games for. It’s pretty clunky. You can pick to specialise in swords, guns or magic. Or any combination of. I didn’t enjoy playing with swords, magic wasn’t bad but it felt out of place in the world (you know immersion is important to me), so that left me with ranged combat as my go to. I think it was called “technical”. I specialised in pistols/rifles and traps. I enjoyed this most of all, but still had my complaints.

My main complaint was the price of bullets and supplies. I ran out of bullets pretty quickly. Nobody told me at the start that they would be that scarce, but no matter. I’ll just go and buy some more. I’m rich, not a problem. Wrong! 10 gold coins for a bullet. 1 bullet! I tried to do some research into inflation and calculate how many dollars that 10 gold coins would translate to in today’s currencies, but had no luck. Regardless, I feel it’s ridiculous. Are they just marking the price up to take advantage of my status in society? Do they think I won’t notice? Do they think because I’m well off, that I will just pay what they ask without question? Wrong again, assholes! I refused to pay and I couldn’t craft my own (I’ll get to the skill tree later) or have the merchants beheaded, so I just went without.

So it was back to a sword for me. I tried to make use of the tactical pause menu to make combat more fun, but it wasn’t. The traps were cool to use, but they were just as scarce as bullets. Half the time they wouldn’t go off anyway. I also tried to utilise potions, but they were often ineffective. The healing one worked, but other ones didn’t seem to do anything. You were often outnumbered dreadfully, so combat was usually some variation of “parry, parry, parry, parry, parry, heal, parry, parry, parry, strike, parry, parry”. It was a lot of parrying.

Maybe it was my own fault. I did play on the extreme difficulty level after all. That being said, it wasn’t that hard. Everyone else was just way faster than you. To be fair, the game did warn you that that would be the case when you select the extreme difficulty, so I can’t complain about that. Your companions were absolutely useless in combat. They’d get knocked out almost instantly. Not to mention that they’d say the same dumb catchphrase every single time. “A bit of poison on my blade and away we go!”. Ugh. The game did not warn me about either of those things, so I can complain about that.

Speaking of your companions, I noticed that they were all suspicious of you. Not neutral, suspicious. Even Kurt, the man who trained you for the entirety of your life and a man you proudly call your friend in the prologue is suspicious of you. What more can I do to earn your trust, Kurt? Have we not known each other long enough? Have we not served together long enough? I thought it was weird that his relationship status with you started at suspicious. Shouldn’t we be friends by now? Or at least trusted colleagues?

I said that I would go back to the skill tree and although I don’t want to, I’m a man of my word, so I will. I don’t have a problem with the skill tree. It seemed interesting enough, but I don’t think I played the game long enough to get to the good aspects of it. It was a pretty slow levelling up system, which is fine. That doesn’t worry me, I just lost interest before I could really level up. I liked how the game seemed to make your choices matter though. If you didn’t have a high enough skill in lock picking, there were areas that you could not access by other means. I like that. I hate it when a game lets you access absolutely everything, it diminishes the choice of selecting a skill.

One problem I did have, was on a certain side mission. I needed to create a sleeping potion and spike some alcohol to get the guards to fall asleep. Easy enough. I had all the ingredients, so I went to go and make it. I couldn’t though, because I didn’t have any skills invested in science. Cool! I’ll find another way to complete the mission. Later on, I found myself at a merchants and they were selling a sleeping potion and the alcohol the guards drank. I purchased them both, but my character did not have any skills in science and couldn’t figure out how to pour the sleeping potion into the rum. I didn’t know you needed a scientific background to mix drinks.

Lastly, there is the menu system. It is massive, which once again made me feel like I was supposed to be playing with a keyboard and mouse. I could find everything I needed ok, but it was awkward to control. Now I’m just being picky. Maybe it’s time to wrap up.

I can’t in good faith recommend GreedFall. At least not the console version. It definitely had it’s moments and was an intriguing world, but I couldn’t get past the dull gameplay. If you are interested in diplomacy and walking, I’m sure you might get a kick out of this game. Just make sure to get it on PC.

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