Game Review: The Technomancer

Image Credit: Focus Home Interactive

Image Credit: Focus Home Interactive

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: 28th June 2016
Developer: Spiders

The Technomancer has everything that your focus tested RPG fan wants. Skill trees, crafting, multiple combat styles, stealth, companions that you can give tactics too. Everything you could ever ask for is there. The issue is that it’s all just kind of… okay. Everything is functional and is objectively useful, but nothing feels that good to use. No feature stands out enough to engage me and it all feels like a slog. Much the same could be said about combat in the early Final Fantasy games but there you got through the combat to take you to the story. The story in The Technomancer is again, however, just okay.

It’s a promising start. Mars is ruled by the powerful water companies that control the most precious resource there is. You are a young initiate into the Technomancer order, the blessed wizard warriors with control over electricity, I think. You want to keep the peace and fight the good fight. Inevitably you soon end up waist deep in factional conflict, power struggles and a search for ancient powerful McGuffins. Despite this promising start it almost immediately turns dull and cliché. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about right near the start you learn the ‘Dark Secret of the Order’. It was given to me with very little context at a time when I had no investment in the world or its characters and it felt so inconsequential that by the time I returned to the chapter house of the order I’d completely forgotten what it was.

The one area where The Technomancer does shine is in its creature design. All of the animals (if you can even call them that anymore) are very unique and visually interesting. Fighting them is far more interesting than fighting humans (though humans are more common). Despite the range of abilities, items and tactical options with your companions the best option is invariably the time-honoured method of hitting them with something until they stop moving.

There’s not a great deal more to discuss when it comes to The Technomancer. The visuals, music, sound effect, voice acting and pretty much everything else are solidly alright. Maybe a few years behind in terms of technology but it’s all there.

If I didn’t know better I’d say this game came out attempting to ape Mass Effect and was released not long after. Sure it plays okay, is perfectly competent and there’s nothing you can say it doesn’t have but there’s no life to it. This game is just fine and that’s not really enough. It does everything but nothing well and it ends up being so dull that I just don’t want to keep playing. If you’re really after an RPG set in space and you’ve played all the big stuff then this may be worth a shot. Otherwise? Probably not worth it.

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