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Technomancer, The Review

Technomancer, The Trainer
 CHEATfactor Game Reivew by: Joe Sinicki
Reviewed on: PC

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of The Technomancer. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

Hype is a subjective idea. While The Technomancer, the new sci-fi action RPG from developer Spiders, most well known for games like Bound by Flame and Of Orcs and Men never received AAA hype on the level of games like Call of Duty, it's unquestionably the studio's highest profile game to date. It promises action, intrigue and romance. It promises a huge open world that your actions and allegiances will shape. While there are some interesting ideas here, The Technomancer fails to deliver much more often than it succeeds and the result is incredibly underwhelming. If the game were $30 cheaper than it's asking price it may be worth a look, but with so many games on the market that do everything The Technomancer tries to do so much better, there really isn't much reason to play.

...there's little to no character building...
The Technomancer Review Screenshot

You likely wouldn't know it but The Technomancer is technically a semi-sequel to the developer's little known 2013 game Mars: War Logs. If you didn't play it (don't worry, I didn't), here's the rundown; you're on Mars and you play as Zachariah, a new Technomancer (think a Jedi but with more brooding and tons of cyberpunk) caught in the middle of a war for water between corporations and the people. In truth, the story of The Technomancer is the real star here. There are some very cool ideas put into place here and there's no black or white in terms of who's good and who is evil. The disappointing aspect of this is that there's little to no character building throughout the entire experience. Most of what you do is built on if you have the right amount of combat experience to take on a mission or if you think you should take on a certain mission from a certain faction based on their standing in the world. There is a morality system here but it never really manifests itself beyond the game letting you know that it's there.

That's really the theme with The Technomancer, missed opportunities. I lost count of how many times the game seemed to be going down the right path only to seemingly get lazy on the way there and end up disappointing. Take the game's version of Mars for instance; it starts off as an incredibly realized cool version of the red planet. There are cities, villages, markets, ecosystems; only not really. The Mars of The Technomancer feels like a set from a play. It's great to look at from far away but when you get up close you start to see the flaws and that there's not much depth to it.  The same thing can be said for the game's NPCs and companions, most of which are voiced to an almost laughably level of bad and their animations aren't much better. It's clear that Spider's wanted this game to be thought of along the lines of games like Mass Effect and The Witcher and while they got the framework, they failed to incorporate nearly anything that made those games so special.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the game's mission and combat systems. I've long painted that there's a difference between a game being difficult and a game being cheap and The Technomancer is very much in the later camp. Take a game like Dark Souls for instance, it's hard and it forces you to learn from your mistakes and get better while playing but the only thing The Technomancer has that's similar to the Soul's series is that a single enemy can deal out tons of damage and one wrong move can kill you in an instant. That would all be fine if there was absolutely any sense of rhythm, form or strategy to the combat. It's perhaps easiest to compare the game's combat system to that of a game like The Witcher 3 or the Batman: Arkham series but take out anything that even resembled strategy. You're supposed to be learning how to balance moves like rolls and counters with your attacks but it boils down to a simple button masher. Combine this with the fact that the game is constantly having guys offscreen attack you with high powered riffles and you begin to get an idea at how frustrating it all can be.

The game's missions are also similarly disappointing.
The Technomancer Review Screenshot

The game's missions are also similarly disappointing. I never felt like any of the missions truly took advantage of the setting and the game's promising story. Things are very point A to Point B in The Technomancer and there's little room for exploring or adventuring in between. You'll also be doing a ton of backtracking and fetch quests here, which makes the already disappointing world even more. There's actually a pretty deep RPG system here complete with multiple classes and skill trees, my favorite being a cool unlock able armor system but it too feels unremarkable since the game's tedious battles and fetch quests rarely reward you with enough XP to make it worthwhile.

Take a game like The Witcher 3, strip away everything that made it an instant classic. Strip away all of it's depth, all of it's class and you have The Technomancer; a game that feels like it could have been so much more than it is now. Sadly though, The Technomancer is a shallow and uninspired attempt and I'm not mad, I'm just really, really disappointed.

Overall: 5/10
Presentation:
7
Gameplay:
5
Lasting Appeal:
5
CHEATfactor:
8
CHEATfactor
The Technomancer itself is one of the most disappointing games I've played all year but the trainer is surprisingly deep and allows for a lot of cool options. There are options here where you can literally change your character or the world around you in nearly any way you want to. Nearly every aspect of your character is customizable, which will help with a lot of the game's actual gameplay issues. Sadly though, the trainer does not fix the game's bigger problems, which it couldn't. If you're going to play The Technomancer, you'll want to play it with the Trainer, trust me.
Joe Sinicki
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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