Geneforge 5

RPG 2002 Windows Spiderweb Software Isometric Adventure style Indie Strategy

Satisfying conclusion to an epic series

The fifth in the pretty epic series of fantasy RPGs that feel a little like the Ultima games, this one is perhaps not quite as good as its predecessors but which remains a lot of fun for genre fans. The story here continues directly on from Geneforge 4 so if you haven't played that one, you might want to check it out but it's worth it. This one continues in the same vein as earlier games, and throws the player into a world where shapers can create life to act as their minions and which is currently in the midst of a terrible civil war that is threatening to tear apart the land. What follows is a complex plot revolving around genetic experimentation, but which is difficult to describe due to the game's main draw, its wonderful open-endedness. Like earlier games in the series, and things like Baldur's Gate, this one offers extensive opportunities to engage in dialogues with NPCs but which have multiple outcomes depending on your choices. These offer some pretty intriguing moral decisions which really make you think and which provide one of the game's strongest points. As a concluding part to an epic series, this is decent stuff. It's hard to live up to what's gone before and as such this feels ever so slightly like a let down, but perhaps this is being overly harsh. The gameplay mechanics remain as solid as ever but haven't changed much since the early days, although there are improvements to the UI to help streamline things. Visuals are as decent as ever but it's the story that's the key thing here and in this respect, this largely delivers the goods.

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