Unique and enjoyable RPG
The Geneforge series is a pretty extensive one, which concluded with Geneforge 5. This is the first entry in the franchise and actually stands as perhaps the best one, making it a good bet for RPG fans who like their games open ended and flexible. The game is set in a world where magic is real, and you are an apprentice in the Guild of Shapers, the most powerful of all the guilds. Shapers are able to create creatures which they can command to do their bidding and it's towards this goal that you are heading. However, as you are on the way to the colony where you will start your training, your ship is destroyed by unknown parties and you are forced to land on an abandoned island. What follows is a pretty epic quest through a bizarre world which is intriguing in its originality. The game is a mix of open ended adventuring and turn-based combat where you get to choose your own goals, rather than following strictly defined missions and where you also get to pick your allies and Shaper-defined creatures. The game is played out via an effective isometric view, giving it the feel of a later Ultima game, while the depth of the character customization also brings to mind this classic franchise. Geneforge really is quite a little treat. It's both ambitious and bold, with its open ended nature proving the perfect tonic for overly linear games. There's plenty to get your teeth stuck into and the sense of freedom is genuine and rewarding. Add in some some nice visuals and you have a nicely enjoyable adventure.