- Developer: Spiders
- Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
- Genre: Roleplaying
- Release Date: 28.06.2016
- Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
- Game Supplied by: Xbox
The concept of this game appealed to me just purely by the name and what little premise I had heard of. A role playing game set on Mars in the future, this has got to be pretty cool! However….
You play as the character Zachariah Mancer who is essentially a guy from the slums with the power of a Technomancer. These people have the ability to emit an electrical discharge from their body - however the general definition is someone who’s in tune with technology and machinery.
The game starts just after he’s graduated and about to go outside on his first mission with his Master. There’s a quick introduction to the different stances you can choose from, Warrior, Rogue or Guardian. The warrior will use a staff, the rogue will have a dagger and pistol, the guardian will use a shield and a blunt weapon. The concept behind the fight mechanics is quite good yet it just doesn’t feel right. At any point you can swap between stances by holding LT and either X, Y or B. Button A will sheath whatever weapons you have. The abilities you have can be assigned to the buttons, and then to change this, or activate a non assigned ability you can tap RB. It took me quite a while just to work out what button to press when during combat!
Combat is another issue altogether. I understand it has been created to be more realistic, yet if I shoot the bad guy in the face with a gun from 3 feet I expect them to stagger back, not continue their pathetic stab with a rusty knife which knocks me off my feet. I found the best way to defeat more than 2 opponents is simply to roll, shoot, roll, shoot, roll, shoot rinse and repeat. The guns don’t have ammo, only over-heat if used in quick succession.
The graphics are actually very good, the textures are well detailed, the characters do have a spark of individuality, however most of the game seems to be set under roofs, as of course the Sun on Mars is a sure way to a quick death, so everyone lives under metal roofs or even underground. The RPG element has been put together nicely, you can see on the map who has a mission for you, where to go next and which missions to follow or hide. The voice acting is very good, every character will have something to say, crowds will be complaining about what is happening which all helps to add a nice level of immersion to this type of game. It wasn’t limited to the main quest, all side missions have the same detailed voice acting, including whatever response you choose to say.
Companions are available to accompany you during your missions. If you speak with them they’ll offer advice and also speak to each other. They can be outfitted with equipment and armour and there’s a simple means of giving them commands too. Trying to identify what equipment I found is better or worse was quite tricky as some icons were not too easy to discern their meaning. Generally I just went for whatever has the most green up arrows and went from there! Crafting is quite basic too, once you level up enough you can approach a work bench, choose what part of the item you want to modify and add whatever modification you’re able to craft, that’s it.
The Technomancer has a good baseline for an RPG, the story flows well and the quests are easy to follow. Unfortunately the combat mechanics are quite tricky, especially when there are multiple opponents, it makes dying a frequent event. Graphically it has a lot going for it, but most its hard to see because a lot of the game is quite dark.