Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PS4
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Distributor: Apex Interactive
Release Date: 28 June 2016
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As much as the Technomancer tries to fit into the space between Mass Effect and The Witcher 3, the game suffers from some rather frustrating combat, dead character growth, and an overall sense of confusion. Although its locations are well designed, and the environments give you that feeling of being on another barren planet, you cannot help but feel that it all just does not gel together.
The Technomancer takes place on Mars during the war between various corporations. You play as Zachariah Mancer who has just become a Technomancer, a group of powerful humans who can wield powers beyond the other inhabitants. Zach is not a very exciting character to say the least. He has little to say and there is minimal character. He can make decisions around certain missions, but they vary from killing someone or letting them go. Nothing too drastic or game-changing.
In general, characters you meet aren’t entertaining. Speech compared to lip movement is completely off which is annoying to say the least. At times you will be running around a main town hub trying to figure out what to do next, and overall UI is just no user friendly. All this does not help that it is an RPG and that almost every RPG mechanic, is either poorly designed, or just missing. Everything you would expect from a lore story and character driven experience, is just confusing and most of the time, not told very well, leaving you in the dark.
You could have the poor character development and dialogue, if everything else was fun, but it is not. Combat in the game sees you taking on different stances depending on the battle and enemy you face. A shield and mace, a staff, a gun and knife. Combos are foiled by the enemy, dodging attacks are bugged out and result in you getting hit anyway, and all your powerful Technomancer attacks always put you in a tough spot for damage.
One wrong move and you are killed instantly, no matter what gear you have on, or weapons you are using. Not to mention the firearms which enemies use to basically two-shot you and then leave you staggering to be finished off by an enemy next to you. The worst part about armed enemies, is that they will shoot you while you are right in front of them trying to hit them, this again just leaves you dead, or almost.
Enemies have double the health than you have throughout the game, which already ruins combat for you. Even when you are trying your hardest to not die, the combat mechanics never work in your favour.
Your skill tree in the game lets you focus on various routes like health, new Technomancer abilities, being more agile and defensive. This however does not compliment your character. You never feel powerful once throughout the 30-hour campaign, more like a weakling trying to make his way through a bully-ridden high school. Gear can also be upgraded, which is a good attempt to try to balance combat, but again the upgrades do so little that we almost always just left our weapons alone.
There is no beating around the bush here. The Technomancer looks great on paper, and its environments are the best thing about it. Everything else in this game is a hot mess, one which left us disappointed and frustrated most of the time. Its combat is terrible, and the characters and story in the game are something best left unopened.