Yeah, this game is good, like really good. It didn’t really come as a surprise to me since I know what the guys and gals over at Spiders are capable of. Sometime ago they made a game called Mars: War Logs which I really liked and I feel The Technomancer is kinda like a sequel, but do not quote me on that.
So it’s a 3rd person action RPG set in Mars. Mars is a harsh and barren wasteland with a war going on after the only resource that matters, water. Everyone is after it and they will stop at nothing to get their control over this precious resource. You, in the story, are a Technomancer in the making, a breed of super badass lightning powered soldiers, named Zachariah. Everything seems cool at the start, training goes fine, the situation seems stable, but that quickly changes for the worst.
Lies, back-stabbings, conspiracies and twists you will not see coming your way. Helping in this is the Karma system which instead of being just there, it actually works and changes how the story progresses. Be nice to someone early on in the story and you will reap the rewards later on the game. Execute someone without the proper facts and experience the consequences down the road. Complete missions for a faction, tell the truth and lie where needed and see the relations change. Who was once your friend will end up betraying you and who you thought was an enemy might become an ally.
It was quite nice and surprising to see how these different scenarios played out. The same can be said about the relationships you create with your followers. Yes, you can have two other NPCs to follow you and wreck the enemies and creatures you will encounter. And going to the Karma mechanic, if you are loyal to your followers and help them with their side missions, you will unlock new abilities for them to use, but more importantly you will see how they change their stance when it comes to you and your decisions. I had some interesting arguments with two of my followers so I kinda killed both of them.
As I said the main story flows beautifully and will keep you hooked on for its entirety. However most of the side missions are just simple fetch quest missions of the most boring kind: Go there, kill them or take that, bring it back, rinse and repeat. And there’s no escaping them either. You kinda have to do them cause you need the XP to level up.
Leveling up takes some time and with each level you get a skill point to allot into a “skill tree”. There are three main big “skill trees”, one for leveling up the combat stances, one for the skills and the last for the overall build, I guess? Yeah, it’s a strange levelling system and kinda convoluted, but it doesn’t have to be. Since the game is called The Technomancer, I dumped all my combat points into the Technomancer tree, I levelled up the Charisma and Intelligence to the max so I could win at every conversation and in the final tree I just chose the one that allowed me to wear *that piece of armour or equip *that weapon you just augmented.
When you are not talking, you are mostly kicking or getting your ass kicked. Combat is not as fluid as I would like it had been, but it can get satisfying at times. The Technomancer tree allowed me to use shoot bolts of lighting or electrify my staff to deal more damage. I guess I can talk more about how the powers, attacks and combat stances all work, but it would take a lot of time and the next Euro 2016 match is starting soon so yeah. Think the combat of The Witcher 3, how you used the powers there, how they felt, how you locked on to the enemies and how you moved during an encounter. Sure Zachariah is no Geralt of Rivia, but he sure felt like a Darth Maul wannabe with the staff and lighting.
As for the presentation, Mars and its “locales” look great. From the big monolithic and totalitarian look of the main city of Ophir to the Cappadocia inspired Noctis, the world of The Technomancer is filled with small cool details that bring it to life. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the rest of the game. The character models don’t look good, the animations are wooden AF and the voice acting is quite lacking at times. But again there’s something cool to this overall look or maybe it’s just me that likes the B-Movie aesthetic feel.
In the end, I liked The Technomancer. The story was really cool with all the conspiracies, twists and resolutions in the end. I also did quite like the Karma system since it actually catered the experience to my liking. Being the douchiest douche in Mars was kinda cool and extremely funny at times. In respect to the gameplay, while it’s no The Witcher 3, not by a long shot, it has it moments and it can get quite challenging at times keeping you on your toes. I mean, I don’t know, what to say more about this game. I liked Mars: War Logs and I like The Technomancer and maybe you’ll end up liking it too, given enough time. Thanks for reading!