Through out the game you realise why the island was barred. A powerful artifact was created, the Geneforge, and the shapers on the island could not handle it, and knowing its affect, did not want to use it, and so they left leaving the island barred, yet the Geneforge intact. What the shapers did not think of when leaving, were the servile creatures. The shapers never gave the servile any respect or freedom, now the serviles were faced with a whole new chapter in their life, freedom and self care. A lot of serviles died through the winters, but eventualy they learned to survive on their own.
The serviles, now thinking on their own without any shaper authority, were divided into several groups of believes. One of them stayed loyal to the shapers, believing the shapers left the island for good reasons, and that one day they will return for them. Another group decided on their independence, they will no longer be commanded by the shapers, and if the shapers were to return, a peace offer would be made. The third group were the revolting ones, they decided against the shapers, and hate grew in their hearts.
Your appearance in the island will have a great effect, and you will have to choose how you treat those serviles. Will you command them, treat them as equals, or kill them? You will always have the choices to support any one of the groups, and even join them, but know that such decisions will change the course of the game completly, and that is what makes the game so amazingly open. Whatever you choose will have a great effect on you and your quest, dozens of different manipulative options, various different endings and free map roaming makes the game very non-leniar. What is very original is the fact that the choices you have to make, the sects you can choose and join, they are all honest and true ? there is no good and bad, there is no wrong and right, they are all serviles who were deserted to die by their masters, they all have good reasons to their actions... its up to you to decide if serviles have that right to be free, you know that the outside shaper world would never accept it, but will you? While the final goal remains the Geneforge, it?s the minor quests and plots that make this game a great roleplaying experience.
The combat interface is good and turned based, though the battles tend to get quite hard and repetitive. The weapons selection is great and original, as some of the weapons are actualy living tools - shaper creations. Lots of optional side quests and a great plot make this game one of Spiderweb?s best games yet, and most certainly the most original one of them all.