GreedFall is a a unique take on the RPG genre being developed by Spiders and published by Focus Home Interactive that was originally announced in 2017. Although Spiders’ most recent titles, The Technomancer and Bound by Flame, received mixed reviews from critics for their mediocre gameplay elements and weak combat systems, the studio has continued to build and sustain their fan base, and as GreedFall‘s release date of September 10th draws closer it appears that they have done their best to take prior criticism to heart.
Set in the middle of the 17th century during the height of the colonial era, GreedFall tasks the player with exploring a newly discovered island continent in order to find the cure for a deadly disease that is ravaging the old world. The island won’t be uninhabited, however, and the game promises quests and problems that can be solved with either combat, stealth, diplomacy, or deception as the fully-customizable player encounters multiple tribes, treasure hunters, and mercenaries across this new land. These interactions, whether trivial or important, will influence the relationships between the player and among the different groups themselves.
The game won’t be all muskets and swordplay, either. Like many of Spiders other works, GreedFall is a fantasy game filled with magic and monsters, which the team says is crucial to the RPG genre. A previous trailer showed gameplay and conversations very similar to BioWare’s not-quite-yet-forgotten Dragon Age series, complete with the requisite monster fighting, and in a recent Sony video diary Spiders developers described how important it was that such enemies felt like they were a part of the world, stating that they can’t just be there for no reason:
To create the world and feel of GreedFall, developers studied the stories, maps, and writings of explorers, naturalists, and scientists from the 17th century. The sense of optimism and wonder they discovered in those works is something that they think will show up in the final product, and Spiders hope that players will enjoy discovering the old stories of their universe while crafting new ones, much like those original explorers themselves.
Truly, there are surprisingly few games that take place around this particular period of history. Nioh, the SoulsBorne-esque samurai game from Team Ninja, is one, and then there is the Monkey Island series and perhaps even Bloodborne itself (just judging from the hats alone), but other than that the 1600’s remain an unsullied setting for video games, and even in film Netflix has abandoned the era for its new Three Musketeers movie. Although their pedigree may not be as strong as some other developers, this is definitely Spiders’ most ambitious game to date, and the unique blend of French colonialism and historical fantasy coupled with open world exploration makes GreedFall different enough to stand out from the crowd, even if it doesn’t claim the title of best RPG of all time.
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