Tuesday, 28 June 2016

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Technomancer - Focus

Release Date: 28/06/16
Publisher:  Focus


Set on Mars during the War of Water, The Technomancer is the enthralling new sci-fi RPG developed by Spiders studio for PlayStation4, Xbox One and PC. Threatened by the secrets of his past, an aspiring Technomancer must navigate hostile environments searching for answers that could be the key to protecting his future. The Technomancer offers players dynamic RPG gameplay and action-oriented combat along four different skill trees, concentrating on three different fighting styles and the destructive electro-focused powers of the Technomancers. But brute strength won't get you through every situation: conversational dialogue plays an important role in quests, changing the story depending on the decisions you make. Along your adventure, you will craft equipment, weapons and armour for yourself and for the companions you'll recruit, nurturing relationships with these important allies. Confronted with the cruelty of Mars' iron-fist enforcers and alien wild-life, can you survive long enough to uncover the truth behind The Technomancer? Technomancers are "mage-warriors" with an innate talent to harness destructive electricity-based powers using cybernetic implants. Both respected and feared by all, they are formidable warriors trained to fight from a young age. You are one of them, close to passing your initiation rite to become a full-fledged Technomancer.


This title from Focus is a title I’ve had high hopes for since seeing the original announcement back in 2015. I loved the idea of a colonised Mars, with corporations treating their workers as little more than slaves awaiting a time when a rebellion would occur from those beneath them. It’s a concept that’s been used before (with Total Recall (1990) and with the water shortage (Tank Girl, 1995).makes this a world that has little hope.

Into this scenario enters your Technomancer, Zachariah, a person whose training and magical abilities affects technology. It’s a great concept and with three distinct combat styles there is something for everyone. However this is where I start to have problems. Firstly I wanted more customisation for the character as the options were pretty limited and without being able to personalise my character I felt that I was a little disengaged from the story initially and when added to a combat system that had problems for me, left me feeling a little let down. Each of the three styles were unique and whilst they offered strong options for whatever your game style didn’t feel that it was that complete as the controls were not as responsive as I’d have liked with very limited manoeuvring often feeling that what you told it to do would take a second or two to happen, leaving you feeling very exposed and prone to taking damage that you felt you should have avoided. It seemed pretty basic and whilst I can see the use of a shield and mace or even a quarterstaff, I did feel that as a gamer, a gun with a dagger wasn’t a good combo. After all, looking at this logistically a bullet is a one use item and with shipping would seem a pretty expensive item, whereas if they’d equipped them with a one hand crossbow it would have had a more overall cohesive feel or for the rogue style, double daggers would have generated smoother movement. Don’t get me wrong it is a beautiful game and whilst I easily got lost into the story as well as the landscape, with the combat system feeling scrappy and not as smooth as it should have been (for me) or as progressive compared to others like Assassins Creed or ESO, I feel that seeing as this is a combat game first and foremost it should have been the strongest feature.

All round, it is a game that will engage you with the story, you’ll enjoy exploring and with five endings to “earn” it is a title that has replay value however at the end of the day for me, it’s a game that should have been more of a star rather than a middle of the road title that it turned out to be. A great shame.

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