The Technomancer – Game Review (Xbox One)

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The Technomancer, a Sci-Fi RPG set on the baron wastelands of Mars. You take the role of one of the legendary Technomancer’s, a being with the power to control electricity and bend it to their will, set out with the task of protecting the colonies of humans on Mars, all whilst trying to uncover a conspiracy against your very people and reconnected with a long lost Earth. Was that a dramatic enough opening? I’ll give it a pass. The Technomancer is a game that completely slipped under my radar until I randomly stumbled upon it no more than 2 months ago, and I am so happy that I did.

The game is a Sci-Fi RPG set on a now colonised Mars that draws a lot of parralells to games such as Mass Effect, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and The Witcher series, when it comes to how the game plays, looks and feels, but not so much that it doesn’t feel like something new. The combat and movement of the main character is similar to that of those games, but again different enough to be something on it’s own. The controls also feel good with a number of different button placements and combinations put in place in order to fully utilise everything that The Technomancer has at it’s disposal. The combat is difficult but satisfying, with a number of different ways to progress through the game when it comes to the challenges that are presented to you and the different ways you can overcome them depending on your play style and the actual enemies in front of you. The game throws many different curve balls from many different angles, that require you to switch your style of play in order to accommodate and retaliate against whatever obstacle may be in your way, which is something that I really like about this game. Usually when it comes to video games a lot of people will find a style they like and stick to it from start to finish, and although that is possible when it comes to The Technomancer, the games presents opportunities and scenarios that allow you to change and explore other areas of the games mechanics that you would not normally do.

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With the different style of combat also comes a lot of different options and attributes for you to upgrade and develop, again in order to accompany the style in which you play the game and the obstacles that the game throws at you. There are 3 main areas to upgrade, some more littered with upgrades than others, but those areas allow for attribute points to come at an easier rate, as opposed to the areas with fewer but arguable better upgrades on offer. There is also a fair amount of customisation throughout the game, with a great number of different armour and clothing sets, each with their own benefits and disadvantages that again require you to plan your next moves in order to fully maximise each area whether it be through combat or exploration. When it comes to the role playing side of this Sci-Fi RPG, The Technomancer certainly does deliver by offering you a number of different combat styles, upgradable attributes, and armour and clothing sets which you will have to carefully plan in order to overcome different areas and quests of the vast lands of Mars.

The Technomancer is set across a number of different locations on the surface of Mars, and as the game progresses past the initial few hours of the campaign, it really opens up to an array of different main locations which you can travel to, each with their own quests and side quests, merchants, items, and NPCs. All of the side quests are completely optional, but do offer different rewards that may or may not be worth your time, again depending on the style of game you adopt. Some of the quests can be a little repetitive, and some can be a little tedious in the form of basic fetch quests, but a lot of the side quests require you to use your skills and knowledge of the game, and some even require you to know real life history of Earth’s interactions with Mars, which was one of the most meta and unique side quests I have ever came across. Although the game has a number of different locations to explore and a number of different side quests, I reckon it could last you roughly about 30 – 50 hours depending on the type of player that you are. Although that time span is good for an average game nowadays, RPG’s are expected to last a lot longer than that now, which may be a little disappointing for gamers who are looking to invest another 100 hours into a video game.

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Now although I do like a fair bit about this game, there are also a number of issues that I have with it. The first thing that annoyed me and put me off right away was the voice acting of some of the characters, especially the main character you control throughout the story. The voice acting was pretty poor and flat for the majority of the game, but that’s not for every character, with some colourful characters introducing themselves throughout your time in the game. When I also first tried the game, in all honesty, I wasn’t too sure how to feel about it, to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it all that much. The initial few hours feel rather repetitive and linear, and didn’t feel like an RPG in a freedom sense of the genre. I also did’t initially enjoy the feel of the game and how it played, but I put that down to my personal preferences when it comes to games that are similar to The Technomancer, as I’m not the biggest fan of Mass Effect. You could look at the initial few hours of the game as a type of tutorial section, getting the player used to how the game feels and plays, what the world is like and how the quest system works along with the combat, but to me it just didn’t have that hook. After I played for a bit longer, started to explore the world some more, discovered different type of enemies and became more familiar with it, The Technomancer really started to grow on me, to the point where I was hooked and it was my go to game for the 3 – 4 weeks that I’ve had it.  The music in some areas of the game as well can be rather dull and repetitive, but in other places remind me of some of the best 80’s Sci-Fi movies soundtracks that got me really invested in the atmosphere. The initial few hours of the game are also somewhat predictable in regards to story and progression, but after the game allows you to explore some more and throws more and more quests your way, the plot becomes unclear (in the good way), exciting, and a lot less linear.

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One of my biggest gripes with the game though is the lack of choice when it comes to dialog and how little the opportunity for you to use your charisma skills in order to convince someone to your way of thinking. You encounter quite a number of NPC’s throughout your travels on Mars and have quite a few conversations, and just when you think you’ll have the option to respond with one of a number of different options hopefully leading to different outcomes, your characters starts speaking automatically with no choice in what you say whatsoever. Now that’s not to say that happens every time, you do have the option to choose what you want to say and what to do to some characters that can effect how other factions throughout the game perceive and respond to you, but for me it just doesn’t happen as often as I would have liked, and the opportunity for you to try and convince someone using your charisma skills is a lot less than I would have liked as well, almost making it feel like a little bit of a waste when investing points in this particular skill.

Overall, The Technomancer is a great Sci-Fi RPG that offers great game play, great combat, in an open and hostile world with a number of different quests and story-lines for you to explore. The level of customisation an upgradable attributes is vast, which is required for you to overcome many of the different trials the game throws your way. Although the game may be on the slightly shorter side for an RPG, with some issues when it comes to some voice acting and the lack of choice when it comes to dialog options, the game certainly delivers on every other level and should keep you hooked and excited for hours upon hours and you desperately try to find a way back to Earth. The game also looks pretty stunning in areas, which only prompts you to explore more areas and attempt to find different and more intriguing enemies in order to see what it throws at you next.

Pros:

  • Great game play and combat.
  • Many different enemies and situations that require you to switch your style of play in order to progress further which keeps the game fresh.
  • Deep level of role play and customisation that can drastically effect your game and the way you progress through certain areas.
  • Vast locations with a number of different quests, items and NPC’s in each.
  • Game looks stunning in some areas.

Cons:

  • Some voice acting, especially for the main character is terrible.
  • First few hours are repetitive and linear which may put some people off, but the game does open up and become more like an RPG after 1 – 2 hours.
  • Lack of choice when it comes to dialog and the use of charisma skill in convincing characters to your way of thinking.

Score: 7.5/10.

I also made a video review of this game which you can find below, and you can also find all my other social media outlets under the ‘Social Side’ tab.

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