PUBLISHER: Focus Home Entertainment
RELEASE: Out Now
FORMAT(S): Xbox One, PS4, PC
RATING: PEGI 16
PRICE (RRP): £39.99
No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible not to feel sorry for The Technomancer. Set on Mars and following on from the events of the yawn-inducing Mars: War Logs, The Technomancer wants to be a grand RPG, with you starring as young Zachariah, as he harnesses his technomancy skills to protect the Martian city of Ophir.
It’s a potentially great story, with a strong narrative that is consistently let down by developer Spiders’ inability to tell it. Dreadful dialogue and characterisations spoil the dark tale of corporations vying for planetary control, but at various points you can make important choices about factions to support, and shape who you want Zach to become.
Combat is a huge problem however, initially overwhelming thanks to three different styles of fighting and ridiculously unbalanced mechanics, and sluggish controls. Zach will frequently ignore controls for the sake of overly fancy animations, while the fighting itself is usually over quickly whether you win or lose: you can finish enemies off quickly and they can do you in fast as well. It’s a strange system that makes fights tense and urgent, but it forces you to spam and dodge, highlighting how shallow each fighting style truly is.
Despite all this, and a drearily designed Mars, The Technomancer can be compelling despite itself. You’ll find yourself pushing through to find out more about the dystopian society and Zach’s story, but it never feels rewarding enough, and ultimately fails to live up to its initial promise.
Review by Martin Wharmby