Jump to content

More Thoughts on Geneforge 4

Recommended Posts

After going with the wrong character class for my build and eventually giving up on Geneforge 4 in Chapter 3 (in the Fens), I revisited the game over the past few weeks and finished it. Here are some thoughts.




This time, I played on Tricky with an Infiltrator who I ended up just treating like a Lifecrafter. I started by boosting Leadership and Mechanics (more Mechanics), so I made a pack of fyoras who I traded in for artilas fairly early on in order to boost my character's damage. I ended up repairing Moseh and finishing Chapter 2 with only artilas, because I went pro-Rebel too much at first and was unable to get training in other creations (and I went no-canister). Then, once I traveled to the Fens, I started getting Wingbolts and boosted Intelligence basically to the exclusion of everything else. I finished the game with four Wingbolts and had enough Essence for a fifth, but I decided not to sacrifice the spell ability at that point. One more level and I probably would've gotten a fifth (I ended at level 38, I think).


What was striking was how odd this build progression was, as it seemed remarkably good. If you're a Lifecrafter or Infiltrator, you get plenty of Essence, so you should end up with lots of creations. No matter what you are, you get lots more experience and loot if you boost Leadership and Mechanics pretty high really early on. I may not have hit the exact right progression (you can probably be a bit more gradual than I was with the two skills), but it was notable that I never increased Leadership or Mechanics after Chapter 2 (though I did get a lot more equipment that boosted those skills). Few encounters were difficult this way.




The optimal mission choices were likewise a bit surprising. This was a very different game from what I remember of Geneforge 3, where it was difficult or impossible to play both sides. In Geneforge 4, it seems as though you're supposed to play both sides against each other, and then betray them both in the Trakovite ending. Lots of seemingly sane and rational people, such as Khyryk and to some extent Litalia, suggest to you that the Shapers are bad but the Rebels are as bad or worse, and the Trakovite way is the only way to find something better. (Most of the endings also imply this.)


In this vein, I was able to continue playing both sides almost all the way to the end. Even in Chapter 4, I aided all the infiltrators and then killed them. Doing all the quests for both sides seemed to be the best way to see the whole game all at once. It required somewhat delicate balancing; I found it was best to complete all the quests for one side (so as to build up my reputation for that side and get more quests), then do all the quests for the other side, but this required fairly high Leadership from the early game.




The one thing that I noticed about the plot (other than that it was well done, as is typical for Spiderweb) is that it felt very strongly like a sequel (in a good way). Maybe I'm just forgetting older games, but I suspect that there's something different about the way that GF4 is a sequel to GF3. It has virtually the same characters and virtually the same sides following through on the actions that took place in the earlier game. A2 is in the same setting as A1, and the background involves the consequences of your actions in A1 (the Empire War), but the vahnatai, who are very much the center of A2, are new and not foreshadowed. A2 feels like another Avernum, but it doesn't feel as closely tied to A1 as GF4 does to GF3. Similarly, GF2 involves the same factions as GF1 and some of the same characters, but in many ways, it feels like a do-over and expansion of GF1, rather than the next step.


This was a nice touch, really, and it makes me look forward to playing GF5 whenever I next have some spare time. The progression of events in the Geneforge world really looks like it's going somewhere, and it'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geneforge 4 is definately my favorite of the series. It might not be the msot 'open' of the series, and it might not tell as personal a story as geneforge 3 (my second favorite), but it strikes a great balance between all of the great things I have come to love the series for. Most importantly, the game really flowed well. There never really was a time in which I felt unclear on what my options or objectives were, and at the same time I never really felt railroaded. Most importantly, my characters actions felt natural no matter what I chose. After Finding out the canon ending to Geneforge 3 and what that meant for my geneforge 3 character, I was a little upset, and desided that I would stubbornly play the game as pro-shaper, I honestly wasn't expecting a lot. However, I was suprised with just how natural it felt, in contrast to how playing a rebel-sympathizer felt rather contrived at times in Geneforge 3. It also did a good job of making me feel like an important asset to the war effort rather than jsut an errand runner, and I liked the way that the front lines shifted over the course of the game, with characters reloactating to new areas, it gave the game a definate sense of progression, passage of time, and impact of player chocies. whiel there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way, I felt that overall it was one of the most memorable rpgs I have played.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...