GreedFall review for Xbox One, PS4, PC

Platform: Xbox One
Also on: PC, PS4
Publisher: ?Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Spiders
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

In its own way, GreedFall is actually kind of impressive. It?s incredibly generic, and it doesn?t do anything particularly well — but, at the same time, there?s nothing really bad about it, either, which is a pretty remarkable achievement when you consider where it?s coming from.

See, it?s the most recent RPG from Spiders, whose track record is…not great, to put it mildly. They were behind The Technomancer (which was terrible), and Bound By Flame (which may have been worse), and Mars: War Logs (which was, again, not very good). By those low standards, being half-decent is actually not too bad.

I know that I?m damning GreedFall with faint praise, but ?half-decent, not too bad? is basically exactly where the game lies. The graphics aren?t going to blow you away. The dialogue is incredibly heavy on the exposition. The characters are all entirely forgettable. The setting is mostly like every other quasi-medieval RPG you?ve ever played before (except maybe fast-forward to an age that allowed for guns). But there?s nothing here that?s outright awful, which, given that previous games from the same developer never even achieved that minor level of success, constitutes a monumental achievement.

In fact, if you just go with it and don?t expect too much out of GreedFall, you may even have a little fun. Even if this isn?t quite an open world, the map here is still pretty sizeable, and you?ll find plenty to do as you set out to colonize a newly-discovered land. There are lots of side quests on top of the main story, and the game gives plenty of opportunity to explore and do things at your own pace.

I also enjoyed the combat much more than I would?ve expected. Adding in guns is kind of a cheat, since those tend to beat swords pretty easily. Nonetheless, when you find yourself battling a big boss, it?s nice to have the option to pull out your pistol, rather than endlessly hacking away with a sword and/or firing magic balls at your enemy.

I even appreciated how the story makes use of the fact that your character is a diplomat by giving you fairly free rein to conduct diplomacy between the many groups that populate GreedFall?s world. I wouldn?t say that the diplomacy that nuanced, but it still gives the game more depth than I would have expected going in.

Mind you, what I expected going in was absolute, bottom-of-the-barrel garbage, so that?s not saying a lot. Still, GreedFall deserves credit for avoiding that fate, since Spiders never achieved that much before. You?ll definitely need to enjoy RPGs to get the most out of it (or anything at all out of it, really), but sometimes, simply being a solid genre game is all you can ask for out of a game.

?Focus Home Interactive provided us with a GreedFall Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: B