Greedfall was a surprisingly ambitious AA title. In our review, we noted that the game was punching well above its weight. While it did not deliver on all fronts, overall Greedfall had old-school (pre-EA) Bioware vibes to it. It specifically harkened back to RPGs in the vein of the original Mass Effect trilogy. Fast forward 2 years after its release and Spiders has released Greedfall: The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC. It is a bite-sized DLC, that adds a new story arc via a single side quest. Its smaller scope is reflected in its modest pricing of $6.99. Although it is a relatively contained expansion, it definitely warrants revisiting Teer Fradee.
Conspiracy Brewing on the Island
The main star of the Greedfall – The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC is, of course, a member of the De Vespe merchant family, Aurelia De Vespe. She is preparing to wed your cousin, Constantin d’Orsay, which provides the impetus for your meeting. However, the topic at hand is not her impending nuptials, but rather she informs you of a conspiracy that aims to upset the balance of power between the different factions of the island continent of Teer Fardee. This takes you across Teer Fradee to uncover the conspiracy and put an end to it once and for all.
You will meet the island’s different faction leaders from the base game and new characters along the way. The expansion has you hunt down conspirators and track down dead drops, in order to unravel the brewing conspiracy. The De Vespe Conspiracy retains the game’s overall vibes, while does a great job of adding to Greedfall’s already fascinating lore. Especially when it comes to new characters.
Aurelia De Vespe is wonderfully charismatic and with an ambition that would make Julius Caesar blush. She is captivating throughout the entire story arc of The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC and fleshes out dynamics between Greedfall‘s competing merchant families. The DLC is another feather in the cap of Spiders’ fine writing form, albeit in a more contained and short experience. My playthrough clocked in a little over 2 hours. Overall, the DLC’s story arc remained compelling throughout my time with the expansion and tidily wraps things up with no loose ends in sight.
New Location and Enemies, Same Vibes
The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC takes players to a new region in Teer Fradee. The area is known as Aidág ol creidaw by the locals or “The Flaming Blood”. Somehow, it magically appears on the map despite not being there before, but we will forgive Spiders for that. Unfortunately, the new locale looks very much like the rest of Teer Fradee.
The Flaming Blood looks like the rest of the island. It remains in line with the forest landscape found throughout the base game. Though there are lava-marked coastal areas in the Flaming Blood, it is not enough to differentiate it from the rest of Teer Fradee. The lack of a truly new biome seems like a missed opportunity. In addition to the new region, The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC also features a new enemy type, the Egsregatt.
The creatures are fierce and wily, half-human half feline, that have a different look compared to the rest of the enemies found in Greedfall. The Egsregatt are not solitary predators, they prefer to travel in packs. So, expect to fight them in groups when venturing around The Flaming Blood. However, because I booted up the expansion after I completed the game, they did not really present any form of challenge.
Your Mileage May Vary
The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC appears around the middle of the main story questline. However, if you’ve already beaten the game, then the expansion is a breeze. By this stage, I had already decked out my character and companions with the best gear and so the Egsregatt were no match for my party. That is why I feel the expansion feels diminished for players who have already completed the base Greedfall campaign. Given that it is two years after the base game’s launch, some consideration in terms of balancing the difficulty for players who have finished the campaign would have been appreciated.
Meanwhile, players that are still progressing in the story will find The De Vespe Conspiracy as a nice change of pace that could offer more of a challenge. Especially since the expansion is based in a new region with a new enemy type. However, the same technical issues that plagued Greedfall still rear their heads in the expansion.
Same Technical Issues
Greedfall is undoubtedly a AA game, and it shows through its bugs and generally jankiness. Naturally, this continues the trend in its expansion as well. Character lip-syncing still seems to be a tough ordeal in The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC. While HDR brightness performance remains inconsistent. There will be times that you will be blinded when you step outside of a building because of the overly exaggerated HDR brightness. Luckily, you can easily tone it down by heading into the game’s settings. Realistically, I was not expecting the expansion to drastically overhaul the game’s technical issues. However, it seems that the DLC was created to justify the Greedfall Gold Edition. Though, The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC is a good excuse to test out the new current-gen optimizations.
Current-Gen Optimized Goodness
The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC is a great excuse to test out Greedfall’s current-gen optimization upgrades. Players have a choice of what settings to prioritize. You can either choose performance or resolution mode. Of course, both modes will support faster-loading thanks to the SSD drives found in both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. One good thing about the current-gen of consoles is that we can look at 30fps in the rear-view mirror.
In performance mode, the game runs at rock steady 60fps. While resolution mode has better textures and stays locked at 4k resolution. Although resolution mode’s extra texture and details are nice, it is still running at 30 fps. Personally, I would not sacrifice frames for resolution and that is why I stuck with performance mode.
Playing the game at double the framerate is not only welcome but is essentially a transformative upgrade. Greedfall ceases to feel like it’s bogged down in molasses thanks to the 60fps performance mode. It alleviates the general bugginess and jank in the game to a degree. It made me regret completing it on last-generation hardware, but I digress.
Final Thoughts on The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC
Although Greedfall: The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC is both modest in its $6.99 pricing and size, it’s a welcomed addition to the game. Even though it’s obvious that the expansion was developed in order to justify the Greedfall Gold Edition, it’s still is a solid offering. The expansion is a good excuse to test out the new current-gen optimizations. The performance model, in particular revitalizes the game with 60fps. The strong writing continues in fine form and helps flesh out the game’s fascinating lore. The expansion adds a new enemy type and a region, albeit the latter missed an opportunity to introduce a new biome. While the same technical issues from the base game persist in the expansion. Despite all this, The de Vespe Conspiracy DLC is a good excuse to revisit Teer Fradee once again.