You’ll dis­cover a land of RPG op­por­tu­ni­ties, reveals Spi­ders’ CEO Jehanne Rousseau

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTEN -

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Any­one who’s had a Mass-Ef­fect-shaped hole in their life for the last few years will wel­come Spi­ders’ new RPG. While it may not be a space opera, GreedFall’s 17th-cen­tury-set role­player prom­ises the sort of choice-led depth and nar­ra­tive scale we’ve come to love from BioWare.

“We tried to in­clude in the universe and story a lot of dif­fer­ent ideas in GreedFall,” ex­plains Spi­ders CEO Jehanne Rousseau. “[…] Ex­plo­ration and dis­cov­ery, but also dis­ease, loss, pol­i­tics, diplo­macy, en­vi­ron­ment, and even colo­nial­ism.”

Set on a myth­i­cal is­land, you’re one of many new set­tlers to ar­rive and reap the spoils that come from be­ing part of an in­vad­ing so­ci­ety. That’s not to say the in­dige­nous peo­ple are com­pli­ant. While you can tap into mag­i­cal as well as pe­riod weapons to loot the land, its na­tives will call on the pro­tec­tion of the Earth it­self. Nat­u­rally, there are par­al­lels to the Euro­pean dis­cov­ery and coloni­sa­tion of Amer­ica.

“We’ve tried to avoid lec­tur­ing the play­ers, and we have no real his­tor­i­cal am­bi­tion. It’s a videogame, and it’s a fan­tasy universe,” qual­i­fies Rousseau.


Ground­ing the nar­ra­tive themes and pe­riod styling is a unique art di­rec­tion that calls on the tra­di­tions of Flem­ish painters, draw­ing on the late gothic and early baroque pe­ri­ods. Rousseau says the team didn’t want to cre­ate an his­tor­i­cal game, but the cos­tumes, ar­chi­tec­ture, and pol­i­tics of the time were a per­fect fit for the themes of ex­plo­ration and coloni­sa­tion.

Rousseau says: “We wanted the ren­der­ing to be dif­fer­ent from pho­to­re­al­ism and we looked at the paint­ings of the same era – the Flem­ish paint­ings, but also the chiaroscuro from the Car­avag­gio school are so mag­nif­i­cent and sounded like a log­i­cal choice based on our universe that we de­cided to use them as much as we could as a ref­er­ence for the colours, shapes, light­ing, and con­trasts.”


It’s a de­sign choice that af­fects the kinds of crea­tures you’ll face. Some are based on the types of an­i­mals ex­plor­ers of the pe­riod would have dis­cov­ered, or per­ceived. So you’ll battle beasts like the Ulg, a gi­ant wolver­ine, or


the Le­wola, a large rep­tile that re­sem­bles a ko­modo dragon.

“Some oth­ers are huge crea­tures that the na­tives of the is­land call Ná­daig, which means guardians in their lan­guage,” says Rousseau. “These crea­tures are not only im­pres­sive, they have their own his­tory that play­ers will be able to dis­cover dur­ing the game.”

This sense of im­mer­sion re­calls the best of BioWare. Rousseau ex­plains the team has cre­ated a con­sis­tent world of in­ter­con­nected fac­tions, ge­og­ra­phy, his­to­ries, magic, pol­i­tics, and re­li­gions.

“Even if the play­ers can’t see ev­ery­thing in this one game, it helps a lot for writ­ing the char­ac­ters and dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios of the main and side-quests,” reveals the CEO. “So yes, the world of GreedFall is a broader world than what the player will ex­pe­ri­ence. And who knows, maybe it won’t be only use­ful for this game but also to de­velop an­other in the same set­ting?”

While the game draws on real his­tory, there’s a good dose of magic to liven up the world and its story.

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