Malek Allari | Editor-In-Chief
In GreedFall, the presence of the player in which they intervene with the virtual world of 17th fantasy France is hugely set by their actions and responsibilities. The game starts off with the player being a cousin and nephew of the minister and is considered of royal blood. At the beginning of the game, the player kicks off the story with no knowledge of the social standing, the storyline, or what is the history behind the characters. Unlike other games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, the NPCs of Greedfall strike a conversation with the player.
There are three types of presences a player can experience inside a game. The first is a personal presence, in which a player feels like they are inside the virtual world, and they have to go with the story, living their life like the main character. In GreedFall, the story starts off with something that most people have an attachment to, which is the love for and from the mother. The mother of the main character is sick. In the story, the player has to take a ship to a new island, where it is rumored that there is a cure to the sickness that the mother is suffering from. In that sense, the player might feel personal, since no one wants to see their mother suffering, and make it their personal mission to save the mother and go to that new island, keeping in mind that there is a high chance they will not make it in time, even when they will have the help of other players.
Speaking of other players, there is a high social presence in the game, for all NPCs always strike a conversation with the player, for they are playing in the body of royalty. It would have been “rude” to not address the player, and so, they are programmed to make a social presence to the player. Sometimes, the NPCs have nothing to say, so they say something like, “I have some other business to attend to, sire,” or “I may not be worthy of your presence, your highness.” With that, the social presence is weakened at this point but is strengthened the moment the player moves a couple of steps in any direction of a character.
Sometimes, with a social presence, an NPC might approach the player. For example, when the player takes the ship to go to the new island, he will meet several side quests. One of these quests is by helping a native islander to set up shop for trade. In this scenario, the native is the one who approaches the player and asks for help to issue a permit to set up shop. Another scene is when the player wants to visit their cousin on the new island, he is approached by another native islander from a different clan and asks for help to see the mayor, the player’s cousin.
After meeting the cousin with the native islander, the player receives a story quest in which they need to help the islander end a war. However, after receiving that quest, the story weighs more on environmental presence, where the player can see the forests and ecosystem of the island. The player also starts to engage with other NPCs inside these forests and sometimes kills off wild beasts. In some cases, the player also has to intervene with other people’s businesses so that they can help keep the environment of the game safe and clean.
GreedFall falls into the category in which a player has all kinds of interactions with the game. The players can live through the game with their choices, for there will always be friends and foes in the game.