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Review RPG Codex Review: The Technomancer

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Spiders; The Technomancer

The Technomancer is the new sci-fi B-movie RPG from Spiders, developers of Mars: War Logs and Bound by Flame. If that doesn't exactly fill you with interest or enthusiasm, I don't blame you. Apparently, just like Mars: War Logs, Technomancer takes places on Mars, in a dystopian society controlled by large corporations, and has you play the eponymous technomancer with some kind of electro force powers.

Now, we've never reviewed any of Spiders' games before, and I never imagined we'd end up reviewing this one either. However, somehow, esteemed community member and Codex Gamescom reporter Bubbles has gotten hold of a review key for the game - and has a few things to say about it. So if you feel like playing a low-budget action RPG that's somewhat rough around the edges, or simply reading about one, here's what The Technomancer has in store for you.

As it turns out, The Technomancer is neither a great success nor an outright failure; it's simply a solid story RPG that is hamstrung by an omnipresent lack of polish and a few thoroughly stupid design decisions. Together, all of these flaws and little bits of weirdness infuse the game with a strong sense of character, a character which some people will find appealing and others repulsive.

[...] Overall, I would describe The Technomancer's writing and presentation as “not great, but entertaining.” Going into my playthrough, I was prepared for a low-budget experience with a unique atmosphere; the game not only met those criteria, but also provided a bit more depth than I expected. Still, the quality of the writing by no means comparable to the greats of the genre, and if you go into this story expecting another New Vegas or Alpha Protocol, you're going to be most severely disappointed. If I say that the writing is more interesting than the typical mainstream fare, I mean to say that I liked it more than Fallout 3, Fable, Drakensang, or Venetica – no more, no less. [...] Maybe I've been spoiled by the likes of Age of Decadence, Fallout New Vegas and The Witcher 2, but in this day and age, I simply can no longer see the merit of stuffing so much purely cosmetic c&c into your game. If Spiders could not offer a properly reactive main quest on the budget they had available, then they would have been better off cutting the game down to a more manageable size and providing proper branching. I'd much rather have a 15 hour RPG where my decisions have a real, noticeable impact on the story than a 30 hour game where even murdering a major character will ultimately only affect a side quest or two.

[...] The Technomancer is billed as an action RPG, and thankfully its combat system is fluid and fast paced enough to accommodate some fun, fast paced gameplay. Certain experienced hardcore RPG players have actually levelled harsh complaints against this system; they consider the combat to be far too difficult even on normal settings. Supposedly, the enemies deal far too much damage and have access to game breaking attacks that are not available to the player, which makes the main character feel “normal” and “weak”, and not like the superhuman badass he is supposed to be. Strictly speaking, these complaints are accurate; you have to play carefully and evasively, making constant use of dodge or block moves and carefully timing your strikes if you want to have any success against the many large groups of enemies and the decently dangerous bosses in the game. The controls are also slightly clunky, especially when it comes to locking onto enemies for ranged attacks; it's not enough to ruin the game, but it will force you to adapt to the system. At least one of your abilities even deals friendly fire (!!!), which is a truly bold and dangerous move in a time when even old-school devs like Obsidian are moving away from friendly fire mechanics.

[...] What does all of this amount to? In my appraisal, The Technomancer is a good low-budget game with a few significant flaws that might be alleviated by future patches. As far as the current version is concerned, prospective players should search their souls whether any of the game's positive sides can outweigh the tedium of clearing out endless respawns in the same area again, and again, and again. For me, the benefits still barely managed to outweigh the cons, though I would never consider replaying this game until the respawn rate is reduced.

Of course, I also received this review key for free, so I could afford to approach the game without worrying whether I was getting good value for my money. The Technomancer is currently being sold for 44,99€ on the Steam store, and that price may be hard to justify for a game that was very obviously made on a tight budget. Every player has their own idea of what a good purchase price looks like, but if you want my advice, I'd wait until the game is fully patched and at least 60% off. It is worth playing, but there's no need to rush.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: The Technomancer
 

Crooked Bee

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That was awfully fast. The review of Serpent in the Staglands took over a year.

Blame the first two SitS reviewers who just vanished into thin air.
 

CryptRat

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And right there we have the biggest flaw of this game: the goddamn respawning enemies. The Technomancer is quite insidious about its encounter design: for the first act of the game, it lets you play around in friendly areas, where most violent encounters arise during quests, and many of them can be avoided entirely through alternate quest solutions. Thus, the game lulls you into a false sense of security, making you feel like this is a story-driven experience focussed on multiple quest solutions and choices and consequences. Maybe that was originally the developers' plan as well; maybe it was only a lack of funding that forced them to lean so heavily on respawning enemies to pad out the game. Whatever the reason for their decision, the end result is a repetitive slog that dominates most of the game's second half. Time and time again, the main quest leads you through one certain set of areas that are filled to the brim with enemy units. Once you arrive at your destination, you'll find that most of the vanquished mobs will have miraculously respawned, and you will need to clear your way right out again. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

The side quest design aggravates this problem further, because most of the quests are unlocked by completing other quests. In the first act, this actually feels quite pleasant; you get the feeling that the quests are logically interlinked, and the only trouble is that you have to walk through the pacific city streets to a nearby location. You can also stumble across unmarked quests this way, so it's hard to complain too much. But once the game world opens up and starts sending you through hostile territory, this quest design becomes a near-fatal flaw. You have to go from settlement A to settlement B, fight a bunch of enemies in between, receive no new quests at B, then go back to A, fight the same enemies again, receive new quests at A, then head back out to B… it's ghastly. By the endgame, I could barely tolerate it anymore.
And that was already the biggest problem in Mars War Logs IMHO.
 

toro

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What the fuck is happening!?

The game is shit. Not even worth of codex's attention (as you can simply deduce from the low number of participants in the game's thread). And from what I see Bubbles is the only one praising this piece of shit.

Then you link the ign review which is more accurate than yours!? Bubbles you fucking retard, the joke is not on ign, the joke is on you. Even those idiots were able to spot correctly that this game is shit while you are praising it because of free game !?

Congratulations for wasting your time and everyone's else.
 
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Kindo

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This reads a lot like your typical Bethesda game to me.

I liked Faery, actually, but also that felt unfinished or at least unpolished.
 

vonAchdorf

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Quite short for a Bubbles review.

Thanks - the game wasn't really on my radar. I won't be rushing to buy it right now, but might wishlist it. Sometimes I appreciate a B-movie game - and respawns, well, I play JRPGs (but even FF allows to deactivate random encounters now in their PC ports).
 

Tito Anic

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The Technomancer has more stats than Mass Effect 2. Does that make it a superior game?

:lol:
 

prodigydancer

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So, skipping optional fights when you don't expect to get any decent reward is a degenerate way to play ARPGs now? Since when exactly?

Because that's simply how you play every ARPG from Diablo and D2 (especially D2) to Borderlands and TW2. (OK, in ME2 and DA2 you kill everything but only because you have to. There is no way to circumvent combat in either, otherwise I'd definitely skip some fights.) If shit respawns indefinitely, why should I kill it every time? Fast-running through zones you don't care about (anymore) is exactly the way to go and has always been. Actually, decent ARPGs give you waypoints to cut down on pointless running.
 

Mortmal

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This reads a lot like your typical Bethesda game to me.

I liked Faery, actually, but also that felt unfinished or at least unpolished.
Thats the same feeling i had when reading. A nice review,as if the reviewer who receives the game from a team of disabled/poor people was trying to be as nice as possible. A bethesda like game but without the budget. Wait for -60% ? Nope! -75% or bust. That probably wont take long nothing goes faster on sale than a rpg.
 

Mustawd

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Fuck this. Why does this review even exist?

EDIT: I seriously feel like I logged into IGN or RPGwatch. This is shit is total :decline: guys.

EDIT2: At least it's not RTwP...:incline:
 

Mustawd

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aweigh was right. The shit that goes on the front page is pure garbage. I look forward to reviews of God of War and Gears of War. Fucking popamole shit...
 

Mustawd

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ITT we learn that Cyber Whale thinks the codex should review popamole mainstream AAA games.


I guess it stands to reason since we reviewed Fallout 4, an FPS with lite RPG elements. :negative:
 

CyberWhale

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>The Technomancer
>mainstream AAA game

:lol::lol::lol:

Codex should review any kind of games with RPG elements in them, and that includes both isometric turn-based indies and 3D mainstream real-time ones. If you want a particular title to be covered, write your own review and post it to the staff. This is how the Codex publishes not only reviews but content in general and it has been pointed out multiple times over the last few years.

TL;DR - if you aren't satisfied with games RPG Codex covers, it is your own goddam fault.
 
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Mustawd

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any kind of games with RPG elements in them


Review of Heros of a Broken Land incoming then. Let's hope the RPG Codex staff isn't too busy eating doritos and drinking mountain dew to post it...Also, does that mean all the Madden games as well since they have a story mode with progressive stats?
 

SausageInYourFace

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Whats worse, the existence of this review or mustawd exploding in such histrionic butthurt about it that he has to express it five times in a row?

:philosoraptor:


Anyway,
Blame the first two SitS reviewers who just vanished into thin air.

One was tuluse and the other one was..?
 

Mustawd

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Whats worse, the existence of this review or mustawd exploding in such histrionic butthurt about it that he has to express it five times in a row?

I'm on my period. Sue me.

EDIT: Part of this is partial butthurt and part of this is annoyance that blobbers and other good CRPGs get shit coverage on here. I mean technoasshole plays like DA:Inquisition with one main character.

Man..go fuck yourself with this lame piece of shit. Seriously. In the meantime, have we heard anything about Fallout: Resurrection coming out in 2 weeks? No, of course not. Because for some reason the powers that be don't like that kind of game.

Well fuck you.

*Inserts tampon*
 
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CyberWhale

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:retarded:

Un-fucking-canny. Creatures like Mustaweigh simply can't accept the fact that they've made a mistake so instead of posting reviews about blobbers/news about Fallout mods/whateverthefucktheywant they simply keep dumping their mental diarrhea on samaritans who waste their time and energy trying to enlighten them.
 

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