TECHNOMANCER

PrintE-mail Written by Callum Shephard

It's rare to find a developer which somehow gets worse with every game. Despite having nearly every lesson spelled out for them, all the feedback they could wish for, Spiders managed to churn out one of their worst games to date. This is effectively Bound By Flame all over again, merely dolled up in a science fiction setting after having its every strength surgically removed. Gone are the fascinating enemy designs, the engaging ideas behind crafting system and some of the combat concepts; all chopped away until we're left with a tedious and uninspired action RPG.

The story is set on Mars. You play as a technomancer fleeing from a powerful corporation, going by the name of Zack Mancer. Normally this section would go into greater detail behind the plot, but that name should tell you all you need to know about the storytelling qualities on display here. While there is an admittedly interesting world hidden somewhere in the background, the tale itself is downright insipid and extremely derivative; so much so that you'd have to be asleep not to see half the plot points coming from a mile off.

Still, basic gameplay and a poor story can be forgiven if it just gets one thing right - The core combat. Worse games have gotten away with more thanks to having a solid backbone to a few flimsy ides, but sadly Technomancer isn't one of those. For everything Dark Souls gets right, this one botches entirely, crossing that thin line from "challenging uphill battle" into "relentless curb-stomping" at every turn.

Generic mooks can easily shred Zack's feeble health bar in just a few shots, keep you reeling with an endless barrage of bullets and work in massive groups. You on the other hand can barely chip away at their own defences with your stick, each ability tree offers scant few real benefits in combat. At best you might find a few minor modifiers to make life a little more interesting, but only the last few unlockable powers prove to be of any actual use. Even this might have somehow offered a few glimmering gems of gun were it not for the level designs, which blocks any hit-and-run tactic or kiting strategy which might allow you to whittle down mobs.

Outside of some fairly pretty environments and a good PC build, there is nothing worth praising here. Technomancer is simply an unparalleled failure of game design and an unyielding painful grind to any who make the mistake of purchasing it. There is no moment of joy, no glimmer of hope which breaches any part of this disaster of a title, and no one in their right mind should ever wish to seek it out. Avoid it at all costs, folks.

TECHNOMANCER / DEVELOPER: SPIDERS / PUBLISHER: FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
 


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