I love a good Soulslike and I can’t wait to play every new one that comes on the market. Is a phrase that you’ll never hear me saying. I don’t hate this bitterly difficult genre as a rule, I just value my sanity and as a Roguelike player, it’s fragile enough without making things any worse. Something I do like though, is a really good dollop of humor built into my game. It was for this reason that I decided to pick up Greedvenrty. Is this PC game worth the stress and impending anxiety attacks? Well, we’ll see, won’t we?
Greedventory takes the Soulslike formula and simplifies things a bit. In this title, we’re bringing everything down to a side-scrolling battler with the elements of play that we know and love from the genre brought down to the click of a mouse button. Now, you’d think that this would make everything feel a lot more doable, right? Well, we aren’t lowering the difficulty setting and those mouse clicks need to be twitch-perfect. So, no, it’s all just as aggravating as it usually is but at least it’s funny.
In Greedventory you play a young adventurer sent out into the world to bring magic back, or more importantly to bring magical items back. This is very much a story of well-meaning folk doing what they believe to be the best for mankind and just screwing things up worse in the process. In this case, it was decided that all magical items should be confiscated to stop bad people from doing worse things. This is all very admirable but for the fact that the group doing the confiscating have become the bad people and now nobody has any means of defending themselves. It’s very much the time to undo the do-gooder’s do-gooding and get things back to some semblance of normality.
I love the brand of humor that Greedventory is going for. The first obstacle you’ll encounter is a training dummy. It’s literally a barrel stuck on a stick with an upturned bucket for a head. It also speaks and as you’ll find in the second phase of combat gets rather angry and mutates, a bit. Think of that first boss in Dark Souls 3, now take that second phase and make it silly. That is this and it’s beautiful. Aside from the rather awesome play that I noticed on both Soulslike and fantasy tropes the overall feel of what should actually be quite a dark game is full of mirth. I think the graphic style helps this a lot too. There’s something about the aesthetic approach that reminds me of Discworld. This is a totally different genre and from a very different time period, but it’s one of my favorite games ever so I’m not complaining.
Let’s talk a bit about difficulty. Greedventory is infuriating but I think I’m finally getting the idea of “get good.” First and foremost halflings are savage little bastards and they can go and fornicate themselves with an iron stick. I’m not actually that far into the game, I’ve just completed the Halfling Labs but, this in itself was enough to make me want to break my keyboard against a wall. The little blighters throw things at you and these things do a lot of damage if they hit. You need to deflect the horrible missiles away from yourself while bouncing the healing potions they also like chucking in the other direction. You need an extra set of eyes to do this efficiently because they come in packs and also really want to stab you. It took me over an hour and umpteen deaths to finally master it, but I did, and it felt wonderful. In the past, I would have given up long before becoming victorious but I muddled through and now I want to go and get killed off by something else.
The other interesting mechanic here revolves around death. When you die you get launched back to the nearest wound, (think bonfire,) and set off for another attempt. The thing is, that each time you do this you lose gold and drop gear. Gold is quite important in this game and obviously, you can’t fight effectively without weapons and armor. At the end of the battle, you can get your stuff back but you have to complete the current encounter. This means that every time you die the game gets fractionally harder until you get better and make it through. You can pay a mimic to enchant your stuff so it doesn’t fall to the ground but this is costly. Speaking of cost. Things feel like they cost a lot in this game but then I think that’s part of the point. Don’t expect to become overpowered as it won’t happen.
The other thing that won’t happen in Greedventory is the usual ability to farm enemies. When you complete an encounter that’s it. You can’t keep going back and offing lower-level creeps until you’re strong enough to move to bigger ones. I don’t mind this actually as it prevents tedious repetition if you’re having to backtrack. Empty rooms also help you work out where you’ve been and this is also a good thing as it stops you from becoming lost. Speaking of which … I’m currently lost, but that’s a me problem and not the fault of the game.
I’m going to let you work the rest out when you play. I don’t want to ruin anything before you get involved but if you’re a fan of a good Soulslike and appreciate well-written humor Greedventory is a good way to go. The simplified mechanics don’t simplify the game but it’s more of a case of co-ordination than overwhelming odds or overly powerful enemies. You’ll have to get good with your mouse very quickly or you’ll struggle. You can’t roll or dodge so you’ll want to get the parry mechanic down straight away or you’re going to be in for a beating. This took me a good few tries but it feels great when you nail it. This is a game that I’ll keep plucking away at and coming from someone who usually steers clear of this genre that should be reccommendation enough.
A new take on a loved theme
Greedventory is a brilliant spin on the Soulslike. This is a game that simplifies the genre without dropping the difficulty level. The well-written story and often dark humor add to this to bring us something that feels new and refreshing. This is definitely a good addition to the libraries of fans looking for a change and it’s easy enough to get to grips with for new players. The downside to all of this is the same as it always is. This is a game that will become infuriating quickly for those of you who don’t like a steep difficulty curve. If you can overcome the hardships and get into the swing of things you’ll be fine but if you’re easily annoyed you might want to look elsewhere.