Geneforge 3

RPG 2005 Windows Spiderweb Software Isometric Indie Strategy

Fun and fantasy

The original Geneforge was a pretty cool bit of shareware RPG fun that played out a little like some of the later Ultima games, and which provided some surprisingly deep open-ended adventuring. This second followup continues largely in the same vein as its predecessors but enhances things to the point where this is probably the best entry in the franchise. It's probably best to start at the beginning if you'er new to the series, but you shouldn't have too much trouble if you don't. You are once again thrown into the shoes of a shaper, a secret group which can create life forms with magic and which they use to carry out their commands. The game starts out with your school being attacked and destroyed by rebels but what follows is a complex affair due to the game's open-ended nature. There are literally dozens of possible endings, all of which are shaped by your decisions and actions during the course of the game. The game presents several familiar RPG elements, with character creation offering choices between traditional combat, magic and shaper powers, while combat itself plays out in turn-based fashion using action points. For a shareware project, this really is top notch stuff. The level of detail here is impressive and RPG fans should get a lot out of it. The world is a fascinating one to explore, with some nice visuals that help bring it to life, but it is the open-world aspect which is perhaps most interesting. Your choices have a genuine effect on what transpires, so if you like the idea that your actions have consequences, this should be on your list.

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