Yikes! I’m unaware of a more simplistic way to summarize this game. By god, it’s rough. It’s difficult for me to write this because I’m always hoping that a Spiders game succeeds. They create such fascinating worlds that I just want to get lost in but along the way they forget that they needed to make a playable game to accompany their world. It’s sad more than anything. I tried Bound By Flame and I gave it an honest to god chance since I really wanted to like it but holy cow…
When I see a pile of turd right smack on the doorstep to my house, no matter how hard I try, or how many excuses I give, it’s still a piece of crap.
“It was meant as a gift.”
Still a piece of crap.
“They must’ve meant well.”
I’m sure, but it’s still a dumpster fire.
“They just don’t understand.”
Oh, I’m pretty sure that’s well established since… you know… that’s a piece of crap.
“If only this wasn’t a piece of crap, this would’ve been amazing.”
You’d be very correct on that assessment but sadly it is still a piece of hot trash.
I had the same feelings when I played Mars: War Logs. The concept was solid, it looked so interesting but wow was it awful. Like legitimately abysmal. On par with some of the worst games I have ever played. Just an absolute blight upon the industry as a whole, and the fools (like myself) who believed that this game would be good.
And now comes The Technomancer.
Spiders newest project, taking place in the same universe as Mars: War Logs, is definitely their most refined and polished endeavor to date… who the hell am I kidding? This is the buggiest mess I have ever seen. The things that I have seen in this game are absolutely inexcusable. An unbelievable amount of objects in the game world are unfinished. One side of a rock may be a poorly textured rock, but the other side of said rock is entirely missing a texture. Bugs include hidden objects and walls appearing out of thin air, characters and objects falling through the world, giant gaping wholes in the world that my character, Zacariah Mancer (I’ll get started on that in a bit), can just easily walk over, the amount of inconsistencies with even the bugs astounds me. How something of this caliber made it past any form of quality testing is absolutely beyond me and is, without a shadow of a doubt, freaking bonkers.
I’ve even assembled an album of all of the ridiculous experiences that I had throughout my time with the game.
The gameplay is bad. Simple as that. The Technomancer attempts to mimic the gameplay of The Witcher but fails so damn hard. Everything feels so weightless and your character is so absolutely powerless that it just feels abysmal. You die in about four to five hits, while all of your enemies die in eighteen to nineteen. You’re an ultimate technogod, controller of freaking electricity, master of three different combat stances, yet a couple of goons with some sticks will absolutely wreck you. You alternate between three different combat stances:
- The Warrior (The stance I used the most)
- A staff wielding stance. It focuses on heavy damage and light defense.
- The Rogue (My second most used stance)
- A knife and gun wielding stance. The Rogue mainly focuses on light damage but high mobility and agility allowing you to move quickly around the map.
- The Guardian (Screw this stance)
- This is a lumbering mace and shield combo class that has no purpose being in a futuristic game set in the future. This class focuses on high defense and moderate damage with little to no mobility on the field.
I maintain that this game unleashes some form of psychological torment upon the player because after some time it becomes manageable and, dare I say, fun. But, that was after hours of gameplay. It’s like some warped version of Stockholm syndrome. The more the game tormented me, the more I began to enjoy myself. The combat became somewhat enjoyable after prolonged exposure. It’s a watered down version of well established games which makes for some amount of fun. It also has some good combat encounters that really allow you to play witth the full extent of the mechanics, sadly these encounters are too few and far between. The boss fights are a mess. They are dodge and slash fights that don’t allow for any experimentation with the mechanics. The main talking point leading up to the release of the game was the dynamic and free-flowing combat system but it seems that Spiders forgot entirely about what made their game unique and instead went down a simplistic, button mashing experience for the majority of their boss fights. The most apt way I can describe the combat is as follows: It’s like The Witcher and The Arkham Series had an abomination that maintained the difficulty of Dark Souls minus the fairness and the good stuff.
You run around completing quests and fighting bad guys in order to earn experience points and Serum (the in-universe currency) in order to upgrade Zaciriah. There’s also a terribly forgettable crafting system that is unintuitive in nearly every way.
I’ll be honest, I lost track of the story after a while and what remains is a jumbled, forgettable mess. You play as Zaciriah Mancer, a Technomancer voice acted by one of the most awful voice actors I have ever heard. I’m not sure what the mission was but I’m pretty sure there was a mission (knowing Spiders, they could’ve easily forgotten to add the story). The world is very richly detailed and incredibly cool. There’s definitely an interesting aesthetic to the world and the design is pretty top notch. I wouldn’t mind exploring the world in novel form, or a better game, but beggars can’t be choosers. There’s just so much lacking in the game. The story doesn’t stand out and it falls flat on too many occasions. The world is also a place that is incredibly unique. The world is the main resaon that Spiders failure as a development studio hurts. They put a noticeable amount of time and effort into creating fascinating and well fleshed out worlds that seemed lived in. It’s definitely pulpy sci-fi but since when was that a bad thing.
The visuals and sound is really a mixed bag. On one hand I commend the people at Spiders for creating a very unique looking universe. It definitely has a lot of potential which makes its numerous issues even more difficult to comprehend. But, on the other hand there’s just way too many graphical bugs in the game for it to even be enjoyable. At every turn there is an immersion breaking bug that just pulls you out of the world, making it difficult to appreciate all the time and effort that the art team must’ve put in. In the slideshow I have, there are sixty-four images of awful, immersion-breaking, inexcusable bugs and that barely scratches the surface.
The sound varies between stale, boring technopop and other assorted mixes. There’s nothing blatantly wrong with the music but there’s a lot to talk about from the voice acting department. Whoever plays Zaciriah Mancer is just, straight up-and-down, the worst voice actor I have ever heard in a video game. He is the most amateur voice actor I have ever had the displeasure to hear. He seems to have the emotional range of a withering toothpick. It’s horrid. No one else’s performance is as atrocious but I’m positive that it’s because we have to hear so much of Zaciriah’s voice.
This game is bad. No ifs, ands, or buts. This is just a bad Video Game. I’m done giving Spiders a chance. They’ve had their run of trash games, and I’ve bought into all of them, but it won’t happen again. While Spiders is consistently able to provide interesting stories and worlds, there ability as developers is definitely called into question with all three of their releases. The Technomancer is a buggy, forgettable mess that consistently fails at every turn to provide a fun experience. It’s only after an extended playtime that the game really begins to become enjoyable, and i’m positive that’s only because you’ve been playing it for so long that you just get used to it. What has been created here is an unmitigated disaster that is absolutely unacceptable. I encourage readers to stay as for away from this game as is humanly possible. No one should support such lazy game development with their money. Many have come to call this a charming B-tier game but I can’t disagree more. This is just bad. No one should give it a free pass purely on the sake of its world design. It’s technical issues come at a rapid fire pace, constantly breaking you from the world that they are so set in investing you in. Please, don’t compliment shoddy game development under the veiled praise of it not being a triple-A release, because, as Spiders has taught us, there are such things as bad game. As wise men say:
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me three times, you’re an asshole.
- Interesting World
- Lazy Writing
- Bad Voice acting
- Terrible combat
- Abysmal UI
Don’t buy this game. Unless you really enjoyed Spiders previous work I wouldn’t touch this game with a ten foot stick. Don’t support this type of game development. It’s lazy and half-assed, and I sure as hell won’t be buying a Spiders game for a very long time.