Whenever a press event contains a mention of an unannounced game, all eyes immediately turn towards that one. Focus Home Interactive's "Le What's Next de Focus" had several, and one of them came from the makers of Bound by Flame and The Technomancer, Spiders Studio.
A short teaser trailer (check it out below) shows a woman running from a musketeer in a forest environment shortly before being shot in the back. As the man closes in for the finishing blow, the lady is shown to have a face that's not quite human. Suddenly leaves start flying, and shortly after a mystical forest creature that resembles a deer appears.
It's certainly something different, something that comes across as fresh. The game's setting is inspired by the 17th century, with themes like colonialism, while the art style has been inspired by the Baroque movement. Add to that many fantasy elements and you've got something interesting. The story is focused on a newly-discovered remote island, rumoured to be filled with secrets, magic and, as you might expect, treasure. This gold rush causes all sorts of people, from treasure hunters to settlers, to flock to the island, however, the island is already inhabited, and the part-human-part-nature locals aren't exactly happy about having to share their island with the newcomers.
The tension between the locals and the newcomers is mounting, and the player sets out to resolve the differences with diplomacy, or if the player so chooses, more lethal methods, however, there are repercussions and dealing with issues head on isn't the ideal way to solve most issues. Relationships with the locals, the settlers, and the other factions will shape your adventure, and naturally depending on your choices your journey and its end will play out accordingly.
You will get to create your own character, choose a gender, and customise your appearance in Greedfall. You will have access to over a hundred different skills, which vary from magic and alchemy to stealth abilities such as sneaking and backstabbing. You will also gain access to various weaponry, ranging from firearms to swordplay, and there will be various forms of armour and magic types too. There's no class system locking you in either, so you're able to freely shape your character into something that suits your personal playstyle and preferences.
It was emphasised that the game is heavily exploration-oriented, with large open areas you will visit as you unlock them on a world map, much like traditional games such as Dragon Age, and unlike open world games like Skyrim and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. During your journey you'll run into five different companions, and you can have two of them accompany you, much like in The Technomancer. These companions will be tied in with different factions and will surely voice their opinions about decisions you end up making, so the way you deal with decisions and your companions will feed into the faction system directly. Mistreating or mishandling them might cause them to leave your party, betray you, or even end up dead. It's going to be interesting to see if you're able to keep the entire party intact throughout, or if you'll be forced to make some hard choices on who to please.
Through your travels visiting various regions on the island, you will encounter various quests. They can be solved non-violently by using, for example, stealth, crafting skills, or even a pinch of charisma. The way you choose to handle them also affects your relationship with your companions. Also, the level of the enemies in a specific area don't auto-scale to your level, so sometimes, if you are under-levelled, you might not even have the option of escalating things to an armed conflict. Exploration also rewards you, as clues found around the world can provide useful information or even key items that help you solve the quest in alternative ways with different outcomes.
There's definitely a lot of promise here with Greedfall, even if it is early days. If all the promises are kept, then Greedfall can definitely be a truly unique experience, however, it should be noted that while The Technomancer also showed a lot of promise in terms of its premise, it didn't deliver fully in all aspects, so it's healthy to keep your expectations in check. Greedfall has been announced just six months into development, but what we've seen looks very promising and hopefully Spiders Studio is allowed to fully exploit all the potential held in the concept as Greedfall sees release (hopefully) in 2018.