Greedfall 2: The Dying World – The First Hands-On Preview – IGN

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Greedfall is one of those underrated games that punched well above its weight with some extremely unique worldbuilding that really made it stand apart. After going hands-on with Greedfall 2: The Dying World, I’m really eager to jump back into the bizarre and magical island of Teer Fradee, which seems like it’ll be retaining all of its wonderful weirdness, while also making a major pivot in the gameplay department. Playing as a supernaturally gifted native belonging to the Yecht Fradi tribe, I got the chance to meet some interesting characters, explore the labyrinthine woods I called home, make some extremely questionable story decisions, and most importantly, take the all-new combat system for a spin. Even in this extremely early state, I see a lot of potential in this audacious and unabashedly eccentric followup.

Developer Spiders has never been shy about its BioWare influences, but while 2019’s Greedfall really pulled off some unique worldbuilding and characters, its combat left something to be desired. The sequel hopes to correct this shortcoming by doing away with the straightforward hack-and-slash bouts found in its predecessor and replacing them with semi-real-time strategic clashes that feel very reminiscent of Dragon Age: Origins. Now you’ll be pausing the battle, assessing the arena, and queuing up a set of actions for each of your characters before allowing the flow of time again and watching your machinations unfold. This similarity to Dragon Age isn’t accidental, as the studio specifically cited Origins as a beloved game it’s hoping to emulate with this slower, more tactical combat style.

Greedfall 2: The Dying World Slideshow

The early alpha build I played definitely still had its wrinkles, but I could already see the vision for this pivot, which moves it away from the crowded space of fast-paced third-person action games and gives it a much more distinctive, old-school feel. The role-based abilities you’ll unlock and unleash on your enemies do things like cover an area of the battlefield in immobilizing, poisonous bramble like some kind of witchy druid, or let you leap into close range with a melee-based tank character to deal heavy damage, and each has its own cooldown for you to juggle while planning your next set of moves. Meticulously poring over various stat listings and ability effects appealed to the spreadsheet-loving RPG nerd inside me, and the novelty of swapping between characters made me feel like a commander issuing orders to my subordinates from on high. It’s been a minute since I played a game that made use of this type of combat, and it scratched an ancient itch I didn’t know I still had.

“Not only does this new system inject some variety into the mix, but it also helped me understand the characters better”

Toggling between all the characters in my party also helped me better understand how each of them worked and differed in their fighting styles, and how they could prove useful while out exploring the world. For example, learning that one of my party members had a keen eye for tracking animals through the wild and was adept at disarming traps and picking locks led me to favor them while running around the woods. One of my other allies, on the other hand, was mostly just good at thwacking enemies into pulp with a hammer the size of a child, so I made sure to toggle over to her at the beginning of each skirmish. That’s something that the first game could have benefitted from, since playing as just De Sardet could get stale in an RPG that lasts dozens of hours and has a whole lot of fighting. Not only does this new system inject some variety into the mix, but it also helped me understand the characters better and each of their particular quirks, strengths, and shortcomings.

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Thankfully, I won’t have to wait long to play more Greedfall 2, which is slated to hit early access later this year. Here’s hoping they’re able to follow in the footsteps of Baldur’s Gate 3, and turn this ambitious sequel into something really special.

Travis Northup is a writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @TieGuyTravis and read his games coverage here.

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