Greedfall 2’s announcement means it’s the perfect time to play Greedfall if you missed it
When IGN talked to Jehanne Rousseau, the CEO of Spiders, the company that made the original Greedfall and is now working on the sequel, she comes right out and admits what we always knew — Spiders is trying to make games like the BioWare of old. BioWare was the studio that made Jade Empire, and Dragon Age Origins, and even Baldur’s Gate. With each game Spiders has made, they’ve gotten better and better at it, with Greedfall itself being one of my favorite games of 2019. It honestly felt like it could have come out after Dragon Age Origins and the original Mass Effect, while also feeling distinctive and unique and not like a game that BioWare would have made.
Before the next game comes, you should check out where it came from
Greedfall 2 is going to be a bigger game than its predecessor, dealing not with the island of Tir Fradi/Teer Fradee but instead with the continent of Gascane, the land the people who are invading Tir Fradi in the first game come from. It reverses some of the storytelling choices of the original — instead of a colonist exploring their new home and realizing their complicity in its exploitation you play as someone stolen from their life and enslaved in a foreign land who needs to escape and try and find a way home. It sounds like a fascinating departure from the typical fantasy RPG, just like its predecessor was, and one that’s poised to take a hard look not at the land being colonized and the people being exploited, but instead on the land that is doing the colonization and exploitation.
Tir Fradi itself felt like fantasy Ireland melded with fantasy North America, and the Gascane colonizers were definitely inspired by Age of Exploration European powers, and I think if that sounds interesting to you — a game where the Age of Sail meets dire plagues and ancient magics, where great powers work to expand their influence no matter the cost in lives, and a sickness overwhelms the land and dark forces rise up to reject these actions. Greedfall didn’t always stick the landing when it explored these topics, but I’m very curious to see if Greedfall 2 manages to get more mileage out of exploring the sick culture of the colonial powers of Gascane through the eyes of a Tir Fradi captive.
Now is the time to journey to Tir Fradi
However, I really think this announcement that Greedfall 2: The Dying World is coming in 2024 gives people who haven’t yet played the original Greedfall an opportunity to correct that mistake. When it came out in 2019, Greedfall was a very adroit combination of old school and new school CRPG styles and mechanics. It played like a modern open world RPG, but it wasn’t open world, instead having a series of maps you could travel to and explore like Dragon Age Origins or DA2. Those maps were large and expansive, but they had a more episodic feel to them — you traveled to one to complete quests and experience chunks of the story, an approach that reminded me of DA: Inquisition mixed with old stalwart Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Greedfall sold a million copies, which is great for a small 20 to 40 person company like Spiders was when the game was made. The company was bought by Nacon just before Greedfall released, so I don’t know if it’s grown much since then or what its current size is. Regardless, while a million copies sold is great, it pales in comparison to modern RPG giants like the Fallout games, the Witcher series, even relatively smaller studios like Obsidian managed to sell 4 million copies of The Outer Worlds, which is a game that Greedfall should definitely be compared to. Both games are a return to an older style of computer RPG — the Outer Worlds hearkening back to the Fallout style isometric games, Greedfall taking its cues from games like Baldur’s Gate or the original Neverwinter Nights in addition to the BioWare third person games.
I don’t imagine that Spiders has the ability to really do the kind of advertising that a game studio owned by Microsoft does, but I do think that if you’ve played the big titans of the modern computer RPG, you should definitely play Greedfall.
Greedfall feels like a game from a timeline where Anthem never happened
It straddles the line between indie and AA game production and AAA game ambition, it’s got a surprisingly deep and interesting story which yields more depth and complexity if you complete all of the companion quests and really interact with the people you’re adventuring with. It tells a complicated and nuanced story about colonization and cultural impact which, while not always hitting the mark, dares to say that some of the tropes of the fantasy genre need to be explored again and seen for the biases they carry. It touches on identity, choices, and the consequences to others in a way very few fantasy RPGs ever do, while also having a fun combat system and companions you can actually grow to like as well as seeing them as romance options.
But wow, there are definitely romance options. Come on, they admitted they wanted to make BioWare style games, of course there are romance options. In a lot of ways, this game feels to me like it came from another universe where BioWare didn’t go down the Anthem live service multiplayer shooter well chasing after Destiny players.
You’ve got two years before Greedfall 2 comes out and I definitely think you owe it to yourself to give its predecessor a shot. It’s a fun, thought provoking, active RPG with a lot of heart and a lot of cool surprises along the way, and it shows how Spiders has been setting itself up to make the kind of games BioWare seemed disinterested in back in 2019. This game isn’t an Age of Sail Dragon Age or a fantasy Mass Effect — it’s a very specific experience all of its own. While it owes a debt to games that came before it manages to tackle them in a new way.
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