Reply 5020 of 5312, by newtmonkey
I've been getting pretty addicted to this one, similar to how I got addicted to the first game in the series last year. I've ended up putting a good 8 hours into it over the last week, while also playing Dragon Quest III (FC).
It's very similar to the first game, though that's not a bad thing; after all, all the AD&D Gold Box games, and the first three Wizardry games, are very similar, but all of them are awesome. The Geneforge formula just works. You have a large (mostly open) world to explore, factions to join, and an entertaining mystery to solve. Geneforge 2 doesn't add anything at all to this formula, but the world design is even better and the mystery is even more interesting.
At this point in the game, I've finally settled into my character build, and the great mystery has revealed itself (though I of course have not solved it yet).
I must praise the Geneforge engine and UI. Once you get used to it, it's very intuitive and, for lack of a better word, comfortable. Exploration is in real-time, but the engine switches to turn-based mode once you encounter an enemy. You have a little automap on the bottom-right of the screen that draws itself in as you explore (in decent detail), and you can click anywhere in the automap to move the camera instantly to that point. You can drag the mouse to select multiple party members, and can easily split your party up to send your creations out on hunt-and-kill expeditions while your weak main character stays back near the entrance.
You also have a quest journal that gets updated automatically, and on top of that you can click an icon to copy any screen of text to a separate journal. The only thing the game is missing, is the ability to add notes to the automap.
It's a fantastic game so far! I definitely plan on playing through this one by the end of the year.