GreedFall takes some of its cues from history, not only having an artistic aesthetic based on the Baroque period from the 17th century, but also following some narrative threads that sound uncomfortably familiar, and seem ripped straight out of a history textbook. With the finished game still some ways off, there was unfortunately no actual gameplay to put through its paces, but I sat down with some of the good folks from Spiders to get the latest news on the game's development.
See if this sounds familiar. Large numbers of individuals, belonging to various groups and factions, sail away from the old world to settle on a vast, unexplored new continent. There they encounter a race of natives living in harmony with the world around them, and promptly try to force their science and religion on them. Being in a state of constant conflict with the natives and with each other, things quickly turn to violence and bloodshed. Not all that hard to imagine.
This is the world GreedFall will take players to. In this case, the reason for the exodus from the Old Continent is an incurable disease that's run rampant. As a member of the merchant faction, players have traveled to this mysterious new world in order to find a cure for those ailing back home. The settlers are split into five factions: those who have found religion, others whose god is scientific fact, a caste of sailors, another group made up of mercenaries looking to make their fortunes in the wild unknown, and the largely neutral merchants for whom trade and profit are the most important things. The natives whose lands have been invaded make up a final, sixth faction.
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As the game unfolds, tensions between some of the factions — especially the religious and scientific groups — build, requiring constant diplomatic efforts to keep the peace between all. On the search for a cure, players will complete quests and tasks for one faction or another, leading to uneasy reactions from others. The factions are always in flux; in fact, choices made during gameplay have short-term and long-term consequences, and it's possible that a faction can ultimately cease to be present for the remainder of the game due to the player's actions. There will be multiple possible endings to the game, not necessarily just "bad" or "good" endings, but rather taking into account a player's overall gameplay style.
Joining the protagonist on his quest will be members of each of the other factions, each of whom has his or her own characteristics. Science types, for example, have access to the 17th century technological gadgets — with a few creative tweaks — that befit their station, while being religious comes with a faith-based magic system. A crafting system will also be included, for both weapons and armor.
Much of the game is still shrouded in secrecy. Outside of some screenshots, no new assets were on display yet at E3. The release date is also still just a vague 2018. When the game does release, it will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.