Asking when humanity ends and machines begin in augmentations is a fascinating subject. As we all look to technology to strive, we may be losing what makes us truly human. The Technomancer wants to explore these scenarios, but the dull dialogue and an infuriating combat system makes it a game that’s an absolute chore to even attempt to get through.
The Technomancer is actually a follow-up to the developer’s previous title, Mars: War Logs. You don’t need to play Mars: War Logs to understand what’s going on as it simply takes place in the same universe but doesn’t follow the same narrative. Probably the most exciting part of The Technomancer is the world itself. By inflicting a violent and helpless dystopia where the benefits are only seen by few while the rest suffer makes you question a lot and realise things aren’t simply black and white in this world. Unfortunately, the world-building and sense of place is marred by stilted dialogue that diminishes any impact in both the plot and interactions between characters.
There’s a lot of small problems with The Technomancer that culminate into a much more sour experience that would exist if there were less problems present. It’s influences are quite clear when playing the game. Games with much larger budgets like The Witcher 3 act as a template for what was hoped to achieve in The Technomancer but it just isn’t good enough in every facet of the game. The visuals though look pretty good. There are some decent lighting to be seen as well as texture work in some places. From the moment to moment experience, the visuals hold up well against its contemporaries. As each area is semi open-world, there are some stunning vistas to take in, especially considering most of the locations you explore is underground due to toxic weather. You will enter massive caverns with structures sprawling in every direction. Getting to a good vantage point truly shows that this game has some visual chops.
Despite its positives, the combat is simply frustrating and will truly test your patience. While the game’s intention is to be fast, fluid, and challenging, the truth of it all is that its much more along the lines of, cheap, sluggish, and frustrating. When facing a single enemy its manageable. As soon as more enemies enter the fray it becomes impossible to enjoy. No matter how far you get into the game, a couple of hits will take you down and when you can be cornered by a few enemies and spam-attacked into a cycle that results in death, you just want to turn it off and never play it again.
Despite its list of problems, there’s still a light shining through the cracks, one that feels rewarding, offers freedom, and variety rarely seen in Role Playing Games anymore. There’s an extensive skill upgrade system, and a surprisingly deep and enjoyable combat system that offers some enjoyment, when not being spam-attacked. It needs a lot of tweaking but it’s salvageable but currently not in the state it should be to be recommended.