Geneforge 5: Rebellion is the final chapter in SpiderWeb Software's Geneforge series.
The game world of Geneforge is ruled by the Shapers, a group of mages who have learned to create and shape life itself through the power of magic. Their influence has been felt all throughout the civilized world: both crops and domesticated animals have been created using their powers, as well as an entire race (named, appropriately enough, the Serviles) of humanoids created for the purpose of working at menial labor. The Shapers tightly control the practice of their art, lest a wayward mage cause unimaginable destruction and chaos: those found practicing Shaper arts outside of official sanction can expect nothing but a swift, painful execution. Creations deemed too intelligent, willful or out of control can expect a similar fate.
Eventually, however, some tire from being under the yoke of Shaper rule. A group of humans, along with Serviles, Drakons (an intelligent, draconic humanoid race), and other creations band together to overthrow Shaper rule. The continent is soon engulfed in chaos, with both Shapers and rebels clashing violently and bringing ever more radical and destructive magics to the field in order to dominate the other. Even so, the status quo soon settles into an uneasy stalemate, with neither side able to overwhelm the other.
Meanwhile, in the far north, far from much of the fighting, lives a servant who spends their days looking after creations for a member of the Shaper council. One day, the stables are suddenly engulfed in chaos as creations go rogue and attack, and the servant's latent powers begin to emerge amidst the carnage. This marks the beginning of their journey, one that will change the balance of power on the continent forever...
Like its predecessors, Geneforge 5 is an isometric, third-person RPG. The player navigates the game world, clicking, fighting, looting, and
interacting as needed across the game's 80 zones. While some areas are initially blocked off until certain quests are completed, the game is fairly open in structure: the player can cross the map at will, completing quests and even starting fights in towns if he or she so desires (although like in many open-world RPGs, "can do" and "is a smart idea to do" are not mutually inclusive). Most of the game occurs in real time, switching to a turn-based mode when enemies are encountered and combat begins. The player selects from six classes, each with its own preferred strategy: the Lifecrafter relies on his creations to fight for and protect him, while the Servile must rely on his own magic and skill with the sword to compensate for his (relative) lack of allies to watch his back.
The major mechanic separating Geneforge from many other RPGs is Shaping magic: the PC--rather than recruiting various characters to join his or her quest--must create them from scratch. Essence is used to create monsters that will do the player's bidding, from the tiny Fyora to the mighty Ur-Drakon, and the player can spend essence above the minimum amount to make his or her creations even more powerful. However, essence is also used for many magic spells, and essence used for creations is essence that cannot be used for magic: the player must strike a balance between having an army at his or her beck and call and having the essence necessary to support that army with powerful spells.
Another major mechanic is the faction system. Many areas in the game world are either Shaper or rebel aligned, and the player's quests and choices will affect how warmly they are received in such zones (assuming the welcome doesn't involve torches in pitchforks). The player's actions will also determine what factions they can join: too many rebel-friendly choices and the Shapers will turn their noses up at the PC, and vice-versa. Faction allegiance plays a major role in the ending the player receives, as well as some of the spells and abilities he or she can gain access to.
The Shaper Council is composed of some of the most powerful Shapers dwelling on the continent, each of whom is responsible for a large swath of territory. While ostensibly a unified front, below the surface several of the council members conspire to deal with the rebellion in the way they deem best.
The first council member the PC meets, and the first council member the PC works for (whether he or she wants to or not). Isolated from the southern rebellion in his mountain territory to the north, Rawal maneuvers and schemes to increase his own power and influence in the aftermath of the conflict.
This council member maintains the region of Mera-Tev, a region just south of Rawal's mountain stronghold. Astoria desires to end the rebellion through striking a truce with the rebels, a move that has made her considerably unpopular amongst her peers and the target of assassination attempts.
A council member responsible for a large swath of territory on the southern half of the continent, Alwan has earned considerable fame for blunting the rebellion's advance and driving them back behind a ring of Shaper fortresses to the east. Although his body was badly crippled during battle, his will remains undaunted and he will accept nothing short of total military victory.
Taygen The last member of the Shaper council that the PC meets, Taygen is an embittered and aging council member tasked with overseeing a mostly desert region located on the southern half of the continent. Taygen has secretly been hard at work engineering his own solution to the rebel problem, but his methods make him a radical even amongst his peers.
Trakovites One of the rebel factions fighting against shaper rule, their belief that Shaping magic should be abolished has them branded as radicals and heretics. They currently operate from a base in the northeast, with a formidable perimeter of traps and creations to safeguard their borders.
An alliance of humans, serviles, Drakons and other shaped creations headquartered in a mighty stronghold to the southeast, the rebels seek to end the tyranny of absolute shaper rule. Led by the powerful and politically wily Drakon Ghaldring, the rebels have dealt serious blows to the Shapers through their powerful shock troopers and unconventional guerrilla attacks. Such successes, however, have failed to dampen the growing tensions between the various races inside the movement...
- Operating system:Windows® XP / Vista™ / Windows® 7
- Processor:1.6 GHz CPU
- Memory:512 MB
- Hard disk space:300MB
- Video: OpenGL compliant graphics card
- Sound:Sound card