GREEDFALL PS4 version Focus Interactive
Easy. Normal or Hard ? That's what you get asked as soon as the game screen looms into view.
Easy: Best way to play if you like story mode games. You get a chance in combat, 60%/40% I would guess in the player's favour versus opposition.
Normal: Combat about 50%-50% with possibly more opponents per fight; they certainly hit harder. Gives you a little less time to explore.
Hard: Forget the subtleties. Fighting is without doubt something you either need to avoid or to finish quickly - longer fights against stronger opponents isn't the best for the player.
Character choice is not quite as progressive as with online MMOs but is more than sufficient for a console based game. Male or Female, then Face shape and skin colour, Hair Style, Hair Colour, Eye colour etc etc etc, as I said, more than enough to keep players happy with their appearance. The game plays the same (as far as I have so far ascertained) whether you are Male or Female, Black or Pink, with Long, Short or Curly hair. This is set in the late 1600's and so Green Hair, Face markings and similar modernities are not included as options. You do get to modify (by one point) a Skill/Talent at the beginning and will slowly gain more as you progress.
I have seen GREEDFALL referred to as aRPG (Role-Playing Game) but it really isn't. It's an action adventure with a story that is already written but where you have to find the clues (via missions and tasks) and link them together, weaving them into the tale. It does have RPG type Attributes: STRength, AGility, MENtal power, ENDurance, ACCuracy and WILLpower and Talents; CHARisma (I would have thought this more of an attribute personally), VIGor, CRAftmanship, SCIence, LOCKpicking and INTuition. These are required for various tasks throughout play, meaning there are times when you cannot do something, such as open a locked door, unless you find another way round it.
Your character is Le Sardet, a person of fairly Noble standing and reasonable Rank in the City State. You have been chosen (ordered) to sail to the Isle of Teer Fradee (Free Trade +e ?) and explore it. Your ship is due to leave soon but every you are currently one person short in your party - he apparently went out for a drink the night before and hasn't been seen since - so the first thing (you would think) is to find him. However, the game has other things on its mind for you to do. There are many ways you can create how Le Sardet will appear in the game, I have shown a few below plus, a little lower down, My version of her.
Everyone you speak with, so it seems, has a 'little' task they need help with and you are just the person for it, lucky you. I did find it hard to keep up with all the tasks I picked up on my way through the plague (called the Malichor) ridden City and after several hours of play I seem no closer to getting on the ship to Teer Fradee, but I have had a lot of fun and a lot of fights and discovered a lot of wonderful town, buildings, streets and people, as well as a number of different city sectors (Serene, the Docks etc) to explore as well as those where I am not welcome.
As I wander around trying to finish my tasks I often end up fighting mercenary types who think I look soft. I do have a companion with me, a Captain, who is very good with his sword, which together with my use of Magic make us quite a formidable pairing. When NPCs die they often drop 'loot' and you have to decide if you want to pick it up or not - I would have preferred an auto-loot function (perhaps there is one to be turned on in a settings or similar menu and I haven't found it yet?) - and amongst this loot you will find the usual coinage and odd stuff but also crafting material and more importantly clothing.
In most games when you pick up clothing it is to make your character better armoured than they are at the beginning, and this may be the case at times here, but the main use of the clothing you find is as disguises to allow you to pass through into the 'unwelcome' sectors and of course within their boundaries you will find some of the task completions.
GREEDFALL is very much like, in my opinion, the later editions of ASSASSIN's CREED games, though more by visual style than game play. I haven't managed to get Le Sardet running across rooftops and climbing high towers but she still reminds me somewhat of the main AC character (at least it does in my mind as I try thinking back to the last time I played AC). The scenery of the City is fabulous and to me (again tryiong my hardest to remember when I was there, and no I wasn't there in the 17th Century) it looks to be something like a cross between Venice and Florence in building and canal design. Certainly a city full of character (and characters).
I will admit that after a couple of hours I was beginning to get a little bit tired of everyone (okay, nearly everyone) I spoke to giving me yet another task, and unlike some RPG style games I haven't found how to use the compass to point towards the task I wish to do - it does point the way and show distance to one quest/task at a time, but I don't know how to select the task I want to be doing; I must spend more time reading the text extras and not just going Tally-Ho into the fray without first setting up a plan of action, though it's more fun to be Cavalier about things than all prim and proper (in my book anyway).
There is a good map of the Island which I hope to use once get there, but until then there is the City map which does show me where I am and also has the majority of places and people on it that I need to visit, I just wish (being rather a lazy so-and-so) that I could click on the map and my character would run off on their way to it - so much easier than trying to find a route that continues in the right direction; nearly all paths and roads end in walls, places I cannot go through, or steps going up or down, perhaps North or South, when I need to travel West or East. The map is rather like a printed London Road Map - it shows you where the roads are but doesn't show you which are one-way only and which are closed for maintenance.
Overall I am very impressed and am having tremendous fun with this game. I managed to take screen shots off the television with the camera on my phone, so they might not be quite as sharp as you are used to seeing, but I think they convey the likenesses and even the atmosphere, quite well. I have already said that I haven't completed it after several hours play, so for me that bodes well for there being enough game to be found and enjoyed.
There is a considerable amount of dialogue with the people you need to speak to that it is unlikely you will begin or try to begin a conversation with mere Townies. Threats and Charismatic charm can also get you further than violence (threats of) when wanting someone to do something. Often if you have already spoken to someone else or done something that affects you knowledge in a good way before you speak to an tasked NPC then that knowledge can help you get them on your side.
Hopefully, when I have achived greater success, I will be able to revisit this review with additions of knowledge I have yet to possess, but in the meantime, the above should give you enough of an idea of what you will be letting yourself in for of you immerse yourselves in the murky canal waters and sea voyage that await you in GREEDFALL.
GREEDFALL from FOCUS INTERACTIVE is OUT NOW in the UK at a very reasonable cost of around £44.00
Developer: Spiders It is solo player only Link: Official site
The developing company, Spiders, has created several top games already for Focus Interactive and have a very impressive resume:
Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack The Ripper 2009
Faery: Legends of Avalon 2010
Gray Matter 2011 (not for Focus Interactive)
Of Orcs and Men 2012
War Logs 2013
Bound by Flame 2014
The Technomancer 2016