The Technomancer (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 06.02.2017

Review for The Technomancer on PlayStation 4

Games just keep getting big. Sure, that's a fairly vague claim, but its meaning is obvious. Set-pieces get bigger. Stories get bigger. Combat gets… You guessed it. The problem with bigger is that often, size can be used to artificially stretch goals out into longer affairs. Also, it's much easier to run out of ideas when you have to come up with enough to justify the scope of a big game. Big studios have a hard time pulling this balance of massive scope and consistent engagement off, so could Spiders, a studio that is smaller in size, manage it?

Let's not mince words; no, it couldn't. The Technomancer is a game that is almost always brimming with something great around the corner, only to fall flat on its face. It's not fair, though, to just say it's not a good game, so let's look at why.

First of all, as previously mentioned, it has all the potential to at least be really fun. The player is, in fact, exploring Mars, while fighting enemies, taking on giant behemoths, and tailoring the combat to their own individual liking. Along with a nice choice system and a fully voiced cast, The Technomancer should have been an action RPG juggernaut.

Screenshot for The Technomancer on PlayStation 4

The first sign of trouble comes in the form of combat. There are three combat choices, and to Spiders' credit, they vary fairly well. You could wail on foes with a staff, or even blow them back a few feet with a gun. There are plenty of choices, and in this instance, plenty means three, with Technomancy being a fourth. Players can ram an enemy with a shield, shortly before knocking the feet out from under them, then blasting them with lightning. The controller is perfectly mapped so that each play style is effectively controlled the same, though there are differences. Sounds like a lot of fun, right?

Unfortunately, every combat style feels like moving sandbags with only your pinkie. Everything feels intentionally heavy, and nothing ever feels fluid. The only one that feels even remotely liberating is the Technomancy, and even that is unnecessarily cumbersome. Still, over time, controlling the character is gotten used to, but it's still annoying trying to struggle with subpar controls. It wouldn't be surprising if, while taking on a group of vagrants, you found yourself looking more like a gymnast than a threat.

Screenshot for The Technomancer on PlayStation 4

It's all okay, though, because at least there are clear objectives that are easy to come across, right? No. What you'll have is a lot of quests marked on a map, seemingly dead set on getting you lost for no good reason. It's hard to determine where the icon highlighting the goal is sometimes, and even when the objective is found, sometimes it's unclear what is supposed to be done. As a good example, early on, you have to look into a missing cart in a shopping area. On the map, you are pointed to an area highlighted by several question marks hanging over each other. Once arrived, it takes a few moments of feeling really dense to realise what you need to be doing is actually a short distance from the question mark. It all seems trivial, but it adds up for the final blow that The Technomancer suffers.

Graphically, it's sad to say that, while the game is very pretty, it's no prettier than anything else on the market. The opening cinematic sets up two expectations: that the game will be beautiful, and that the story will be true sci-fi gold. The narrative will inevitably be inspiring for some and trite for some others, but the graphics will inevitably be called "stunning" and "true next gen." Those adjectives may, in fact, be true, but it's no more realistic or awe-inspiring than any other game.

Screenshot for The Technomancer on PlayStation 4

While it may be easy to attack a game for all its flaws, there are some interesting things in The Technomancer - for one, its soundtrack. It's a beautiful score that really seems to match the intensity of moments through and through. The other is that there is quite a bit to explore in terms of levelling your character. In fact, with a tree for each skill set, you can actually find cool combos of each of the four styles, even if the controls aren't great. The only drawback to the skill tree is the running problem The Technomancer faces throughout.

The truth of the matter is The Technomancer isn't a bad game; it's just not very exciting. In fact, there are times it's downright boring. The heavy controls could be made much more fluid, and it still wouldn't be very exciting. For those who want to play this adventure, don't be deterred by negative reviews. Just don't expect this to be anything more than a subpar RPG that will occasionally irritate, but never really inspire.

Screenshot for The Technomancer on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The Technomancer is, after all, a video game. It had time, energy, heart and soul put into it. It never feels lazy, and it never feels like a cash grab. It just never manages to feel inspired or fun. In fact, it manages to be frustrating more than it is fun. Perhaps you'll find a nugget of charm underneath all the tedium. Unfortunately, The Technomancer only really manages to feel bland, if not devoid of life all together.

Developer

Spiders

Publisher

Focus Home Interactive

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
hinchjoie, Ofisil, Phoenom, Sasari

There are 4 members online at the moment.