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Geneforge 4, Eschalon: Book 1 Indie RPGs Of The Year


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:02 AM

GameBanshee recently released it's list of the best RPGs of 2007. Spiderweb Software's Geneforge 4 won the top spot for Independent RPG of the Year, managing to edge out the newly released Basilisk Games' Eschalon: Book 1 which took second place.

In a year when several promising newcomers are making noise on the indie market, it might be hard for our readers to forgive us for returning to that “boring old pick” of Spiderweb Software. For the first time in recent history, Spiderweb’s indie RPG throne looks threatened, but it won’t be 2007 that it's toppled. Regardless, you could say the veteran's product is not a popular favourite, even though it seemed like it would once again be the most likely - if not only - candidate earlier this year.

But despite the incessant and perhaps growing criticism of indie champion Jeff Vogel, Geneforge 4 is still the logical top pick. With few graphical or mechanical upgrades from the previous title, Geneforge 4 shines exactly where indie RPGs are supposed to shine - great storytelling, intricate branching plotlines, strong dialogue, and a deep setting.

While the old indie argument of “you have to get past the graphics to enjoy it” still applies, there’s a true gem to be found in Geneforge 4 – the result of Jeff Vogel’s experience as a crafter of worlds. Perhaps the independent RPG market is changing and maturing and this is the swan song of Vogel’s generation of independent RPGs, but nevertheless the crown still belongs to him.
To read the rest of the awards head over to the site linked below.
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#2 Marble

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 04:50 PM

Why do people think that Spiderweb's RPGs are going out of style?  His latest games, Geneforge 4 and Avernum 5 (in particular Avernum 5) have stories that are more complicated, increasingly subtle, and their gameplay continues to improve.  I see nothing out there to rival Vogel's imagination—perhaps people are tiring of the gameplay?

#3 Eric5h5

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 05:31 PM

I think there might be enough of them now that they're starting to seem slightly same-ish, as involving as the stories are.  There's a certain element of comfortable familiarity, but at the same time, there might also be a desire to see more advancement in the games.  Not necessarily better graphics or anything superficial like that, but different mechanics.  I have to admit that if Geneforge 5 came out next week, I'd play Eschalon Book I first, just because it's a different experience, even though the story is probably not as involving.

--Eric

#4 Marble

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 05:53 PM

Fair enough.  Here's to hoping that Spiderweb's next big thing has some unique gameplay.  The spell system and skill system in particular have been the same or similar since the original Nethergate.

(And battle disciplines don't really count, imo.)