The Technomancer – A game I had no clue on what to expect. I had never heard of this game nor heard anyone else talk about this game so I indulged in this adventure with no expectations. “Ah…just let it happen. Cosby style…” Anyway, moving on, I found out very quickly that this game was going to be rough to say the least. The game is just about as intuitive and insightful as its title. Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?
Blue Ball Score: 11 out of 25 balls
Wow! Holy dear mother of God! I am either a really outdated gamer, old, or just plain bad at video games. All of which is possible, but the first thing I noticed about this game is the extremely overcomplicated control system. I am all for adding functionality and diversity, but you must be realistic with yourself and say “If I add 100 different capabilities, will most gamers use them as we may have initially intended?” The answer is no. The “basic” control system was pretty easy to learn, but in order to survive in combat (a topic we will cover shortly) you had to utilize so many different combinations of buttons and tactics. X + X + Y + (LT + X) + RT + RT + Y + (LT + A to heal) + etc… Yeah that is insanity. Stop it…
So, the controls may take a while to fully learn. So, what? Is that it? Oh no… it gets better! If it is customizations you want, then it is customizations you will get! You can customize your characters looks, upgrade your weapons and armor, unlock abilities that help your character throughout the game, upgrade those unlocked abilities, unlock characteristics of your characters, etc. Once again, I am all for adding in customizations but this game went a little over the top with it. It is extremely overwhelming to say the least. You had 4 “styles” of combat and you could do all the upgrades and upgrades to your upgrades within each style. Yeah… it got a little ridiculous.
Finally, if I hadn’t done enough b&*$#ing already, the combat is even MORE ridiculous. I wasn’t even playing on the hardest difficulty and I cannot tell you how many times I died in combat. Perhaps I just wasn’t using all the 1 million different controls in an effective manner, but it seemed almost impossible at times. You had to hit with some combos, dodge from every possible direction, hit again, etc. I just didn’t find it enjoyable. It was as if you were always at a disadvantage and couldn’t get the upper hand.
In conclusion, this game was over-done by a lot. The controls were overly complicated, the customizations and upgrade systems were overwhelming and hard to understand, and the combat difficulty was ridiculous. Right when you think you are beginning to understand the game and how to play it, then more ridiculousness gets added on top of it. Ya’ just can’t win for losing. 1/5 balls.
As I stated previously, I had no idea what this game was going to be about. The title doesn’t give us much – which is fine. I like a little excitement and mystery in my life because God knows I don’t get it in the bedroom. But, with any game, I expect to be given some sort of context pretty quickly in the beginning of the game. What is this game about? What am I? Who am I? What is the end goal (at that time)? If those goals change throughout the game, which I would expect, then that is fine but at least I have some sort of initial context. Unfortunately, “The Technomancer” failed to give me the direction I craved. I felt like I was thrown into this world and just floating a long until … “Squirrel!” After a few hours of gameplay, I began to realize what this game may be about, but even then, I wasn’t quite sure what I was trying to do.
The storyline itself? Or, at least what I thought it was, was still disappointing. I learned that there is a secret I must keep, other people want to know what it is, and the world I was living in was full of corrupt factions, politicians, and rebellions. It is really hard for me to get immersed in a game when no context is given initially and then the “direction” and point of the game is revealed about as slow as a sloth $hits.
Finally, I will mention that this game offers an abundance of knowledge about the world itself. You can learn as much as you want about the characters, locations, artifacts, world, etc. If you are the type of gamer who wants to learn absolutely everything about a game, its universe, and its characters then this may be the game for you.
So, although the lack of initial context and continual direction is hard to overlook, the option to learn as much as you want and the “mystery” element prevents the “Campaign” section from getting a big ol’ goose egg! 2/5 balls.
Nope. With any game, you want to try and appeal to as many people as possible. Now, admittedly, with this game being a very open-world style of game, there is only so much you can do. But! There are ways to still appeal to a variety of other gamers.
To begin, let’s look at the open world aspect. With any open world game, it is expected to have at least 1 primary mission and then optional (for the most part) side missions. Well, at times, it seemed as if those side missions were forced on to you as if you were having some drinks will Bill Cosby (I don’t know why I am continuing with this reference. Let’s just see where it goes). I found myself having some extreme “focus” issues when playing this game. A good example of this would be that, as you are doing the primary mission, you would have to stop and do a side mission as part of the main mission. This was very confusing because I didn’t really understand what was going on.
Well, I am not an open world kinda guy, can I still find some sort of enjoyment in this game? It would be hard for me to imagine you would Bill. There are various elements in this game, but they weren’t combined very well (to be discussed in-depth later). There is plenty of combat, action, and mystery, but their presence isn’t strong enough to draw you in the game.
Finally, this isn’t a game you can casually play. “The Technomancer” is a game that, if you want to be good at it and enjoy it, then you will find yourself sinking a lot of time into it. Once again, this really narrows down the audience appeal.
In conclusion, I don’t see this game appealing to a wide variety of audiences. Although there are several different elements present, I only see this appealing to gamers who are looking for an open-world style of game that they can dedicate a lot of time to. This game would be very difficult to “Casually” play due to its complexity and nature. For these reasons, I must give this section a 2/5 balls.
The graphics were decent overall. Some of the animations, such as dirt being kicked up from monsters, could have used some refining, but that is just me nit-picking as I always do in this section. I could tell that the developers and designers paid attention to the small details and for that, I thank you. The little details such as wind affecting the environment, varying times of the day (day, afternoon, evening, night, etc.), were all present. This helped to provide a slightly more realistic and immersive experience.
The audio? Awesome. To begin, I want to mention the soundtrack. Personally, I enjoyed the soundtrack. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it always seemed proper for the moment. If you were in an intense scene, then the soundtrack reflected that. Also, the sound effects were on point. The electric “mancer” attacks sounded realistic and so did the combat noises (swords, guns, shields, etc.). Each character sounded 100% unique and this also helped to provide a more immersive and realistic experience.
Conclusion? 4/5 balls.
With any game, there are always multiple elements presence. The difference between a bad game and a good game is how the developers blend these elements together. For all you chefs out there, this is like cooking foods and marrying flavors together. For all you bartenders, it is like blending together flavors in a “Cosby” cocktail.
So, what elements were present? Obviously, there was a strong open world element, but there were also the elements of: action, adventure, mystery, and suspense. With an open world style of game, you must be very careful of how you blend these together because if you separate them too much, then it feels like the world is open but separated. On the other hand, if you blend them too much, then it seems like it isn’t a well thought out game and it gets messy and chaotic.
Unfortunately, “The Technomancer” suffered from the latter cause. It felt like they just threw all these elements in without much thought and it caused a lot of confusion. For example, the adventure aspect of the game was learning about the universe, characters, locations, worlds, etc. But, the “dialog” to learn about all this was mingled in with the dialog about the primary and secondary missions so it was extremely difficult to decipher and figure out which was which. Another example of “cluttered” elements was the marriage of mystery and suspense. I believe the lack of context and direction in the game was to add to the mystery and suspense, but once again, it was overdone and not well thought out.
In conclusion, there were several elements present in this game, but they were not blended together very well. It felt as if they were just randomly thrown together and not well thought out from an end gamer perspective. This ended in the gamer (me in this case) feeling confused, overwhelmed, and surrounded by chaos most of the time. For these reasons, I give it a 2/5 balls.
So, we arrive at the end of our review of “The Technomancer.” In the words of a famous politician, this game was “A mess!” There wasn’t a whole lot of good things I can say about this game. The controls were overly complicated, the upgrade and customization systems were overwhelmingly complex, and the awful combination of gaming elements lead to this game’s demise. It was hard to find reasons to keep playing this game when no direction, context, or goal(s) were provided. Therefore, “The Technomancer” receives a grand total of 11/25 balls.