Technomancer feels like it's a game lost in time- sometimes that can be refreshing and evoke a sense of nostalgia that can make you realize what you've been missing for years....and sometimes it reminds you of why games evolve the way they do. Unfortunately, in developer Spiders' newest game, Tehcnomancer shows us how far we've come.
The premise is straight forward enough, you are a part of a special group of individuals with [force?] powers inhabiting Mars long after it has been colonized and you use your abilities to help out...but thats pretty much all the story you get for the first 6-10 hours, depending on how many side quests you want to do. The way the game is set up is similar to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic in the way that you collect missions and travel around the game world. You're also presented with different dialog options that can influence your karma affecting which groups of NPCs trust you. Mix that in with the combat from the Batman Arkham games. Sounds pretty great right? Well, on paper, yes, it does. The combat is some of the most frustrating, inaccurate, and obtuse combat that I've ever had the displeasure of experiencing. Unlike in the Arkham games where there is almost a rhythm to the combat, and rules in place that prevent every enemy from attacking you at once; none of that is present here. The normal "cannon fodder" enemies, no matter how much you upgrade your character or gear, will continue to severely punish you if you mess up once and you will. Sometimes there are 6 or more enemies coming at you at once. Add that in with the lack of flow between moves, inaccurate attacking, and awful dodging mechanic and you're in for one hell of a frustrating ride. Luckily the game includes a save anywhere feature so you can save after every single enemy encounter.
Thats not to say there there is no fun to be had, when there is only an enemy or two you can find a decent rhythm. The exploration is one of the game's strengths. When I said that it is similar to KOTOR, I meant at it's best, it feels exactly like that. These moments caused me to become conflicted throughout my time with Technomancer. For every three miserable hours I spent with it, there was one hour where I felt like I could have been wrong and maybe this time it was finally "clicking". Each time I was proven wrong.
Visually speaking its all fairly mixed. There are some decent textures here and there, but they just look out of place on the low poly character models that almost look ripped straight out of an early PS3 game. The environments are fairly small and bland and feel completely devoid of any real life.
Technomancer is a game out of time that still needed another 8-12 months.
*Reviewed on PlayStation 4