A long and thrilling journey.
GreedFall review at TGN

GreedFall is a game that filled a gaping void I did not know I had for a new action-RPG experience. Though it lacks some of the polish you would expect from a major game release these days, the game still rewards the player with fun and varied combat, complex story beats, and an overall experience that should make even the veterans at BioWare sit up and take notice. For those of you that have been on the fence about picking up GreedFall, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not go pick it up right now.

It is a tiny bit difficult to talk about GreedFall and not make any comparisons to some of the obvious competition out there. Franchises like Dragon Age and even The Witcher are very clearly games that fit into the same sort of mold that GreedFall was born from. All of these games include varied, sprawling environments that you will get to adventure through. All of these games include huge, lengthy campaigns that can take you upwards of 60 hours to complete depending on your affinity for side-quests and exploration. GreedFall's environments differ slightly from the competition in the fact that the world is only semi-open. They still offer a lot of freedom for exploration but it is not a "true" open-world kind of game.

You begin the game setting sail for the mysterious island of Teer Fradee. This island is home to a number of varied inhabitants, each with their own beliefs. The various groups often times are at odds with one another due to a complex and multi-layered web of political and religious agendas. In this regard, the game does a tremendous job at making this world feel very almost as complex as the interplay between real-world politics, religion, and beliefs. As an outsider, you really do not have much of an affinity towards any one group. You can play as many sides of the field as you desire, which could ultimately lead you down some dark paths. You will also encounter all matter of enemies along the way, some human, some being a bit more fantastical in nature.


The game is often times a visual feast. Surrounding lands can depict far off mountain ranges bathed in the warm orange glow of a sunrise or sunset. Sadly, you may not always get to visit those far off lands you see because of the fact that the game is not fully open-world. However, you may not even care that much when you have more than enough to gawk at right in front of you thanks to the game's gorgeous lighting. The wilderness areas are undoubtedly the game's strongest visual boon, with the towns and cities being a distant second. Though the cities are also visually appealing in a way that seems to take a cue from Victorian-era architecture, they often end up looking just a bit too similar for my liking. These similarities in the main cities of each faction are apparent with the building interiors. For an island inhabited by three very distinct factions, it just comes across as a little underwhelming that they all seem to have nearly identical ideas when it comes to interior designs.

Characters, be they human or otherwise, look decent enough, so long as they are not speaking. There are a few issues I have with how animations, specifically facial animations, still look a little robotic or stiff. That is not to say that they're bad though. In fact, these are probably the best facial animations seen yet in a Spiders' developed game. However, they still come up short of other games out there. The animations were never really the focus of my attentions though thanks to the voice acting being quite high quality for the main characters.

The island inhabitants of Teer Fradee are largely centered within four main factions, one of which are those that lived on the island long before outside influence started to appear. They all have a clear set of objectives and beliefs. One group may idealize religion more than anything, while another faction may be more focused on the advancement of sciences. You do have some impact on these factions based on your social abilities and dialogue routes, but don't expect to see any sweeping changes occur in the game world as a result of these decisions. They will have an impact on what is said and done at the end of the game, but that is pretty much it.


With four different groups at play here, there is no clear case of good vs. evil. There isn't a singular group that is clearly good, nor is there one that is clearly evil. The three non-native groups all want to colonize the island for different reasons. You do not have to align with any of the colonizing groups nor the natives if you don't want to. The only sort of morality system at play here is the one you have within your own mind. There is nothing within the game itself that will tell you whether something should or should not be done. Often times, the choices are not quite as "good" or "bad" as in other games. There are some actual decisions that I would consider morally grey. The game also does not shy away from topics that are more controversial. As an example, the game tackles the topic of "re-educating" the natives on the island. No matter how you decide to approach situations will be rewarded with some well-written quests and dialogue.

When you aren't flexing your social prowess, you can flex your combat stylings against all manner of combatants. You will get to choose what sort of combat style you want to run with. Do you focus mainly on melee with swords? Do you focus mainly on guns? Do you focus purely on magic? Or do you, like me try to mix things up with a combination of styles? Spiders has really stepped up when it comes to the combat in GreedFall, especially when compared to some of their previous offerings. Fire off a quick shot of a gun to damage and stagger an enemy from afar before you rush in for close quarters combat. Maybe you would rather try staying at range while you unleash some devastating magic spells. Do you want to use guns and magic at the same time? You are more than welcome to try! You can specialize in a number of abilities and traits that allow you to create the type of character you are most comfortable playing. The combat feels fluid and allows you to dodge on a whim before unleashing an attack.

Combat is not quite a perfect system, though. Guns do require ammunition in order to fire. If you run out of ammo, you cannot fire your gun in battle until you acquire more. On the other hand, magic makes use of mana. Where mana differs from bullets is the fact that mana is constantly being replenished during battle, making it an almost infinite resource. It can feel a little imbalanced at times and certainly makes for some builds feeling easier than other builds. I don't believe there are any "bad" builds though, so just go with what you find to be the most fun.


Sadly, while you have this huge range of creative freedom with your own character, your AI companions are generally left to their own devices in a fight. For the most part, this isn't too much of an issue. However, a greater degree of control would have been welcome in a few of the more challenging boss encounters. The boss fights will offer up a nice challenge but they probably won't take you multiple tries to conquer. It is a satisfying challenge when playing on the game's harder difficulties. Speaking of which, I do recommend playing on at least the Hard difficulty if you have any experience at all with games in the same genre. There are actually four difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Extreme. I found the Normal difficulty to be just a bit too easy. The Extreme difficulty is there for those that really like a challenge. Enemies hit harder, attack faster, and make far better use of their available move sets during battles.

If you decide to tackle GreedFall's harder difficulties, you will want to make use of its detailed gear system. This system includes the ability to craft new items, customize your existing gear, and even upgrade your gear. If you want to build a set of armor that lets you hit like a truck at the cost of your health, you can do so. The gear actually feels meaningful in GreedFall as it alters your skills in meaningful ways in addition to your looks. I have no doubt that this game has its fair share of fashionistas already. If you are unable to afford the cost of creating a new item or upgrade, then head out into the world. Chances are you will be able to find a nice upgrade simply be exploring in areas you overlooked previously.

When all of its complex systems come together, GreedFall is a wonderful experience. The game manages to create a world governed by believable socioeconomic concerns that most other games seem to be too afraid to tackle. Though the game is not perfect, it is undoubtedly the best offering from Spiders we have seen yet. If you liked any or all of the Dragon Age games, or any of The Witcher games, you need to pick up and play GreedFall right now. Yes, it is honestly that damn good.

4 out of 5 stars

Additional Information
GreedFall – Developed by Spiders, Published by Focus Home Interactive
Starting at $49.99 (USD) (Steam link)
Game was Reviewed On: PC (Also available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One)
Hardware used: i7-6700K at 4.5GHz, 32GB DDR4-2666, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti, Windows 10 64-bit Version 1903
Rated M for Mature: Violence, blood, partial nudity, language, suggestive themes

This game was provided to Total Gaming Network for review purposes.