French developer Spiders' latest title sees it return to the Red Planet and setting for Mars: War Logs. The time out, however, players take on the role of The Technomancer and Emanuel Merino got to see what awaits RPGamers on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One early next year.
The Technomancer is the fifth RPG from French developer Spiders and the first one developed exclusively for the latest generation of consoles. The game takes place in the same universe as 2013's Mars: War Logs, but is more of a spin-off than a proper sequel. The game centers around Mars in the distant future. A cataclysmic event has caused the Sun's radiation to become lethal and all contact with Earth to be cut off. In the power vacuum, the two largest mining companies on Mars sized control and began to wage war against each other for now scare resources like water.
Over the course of the adventure players will team up with five companions, including a mutated human. In the Mars universe, mutated humans are instantly enslaved or killed. This is important because the game's titular Technomancers are actually mutated humans who are so augmented with technology that they can generate electricity and use it in combat. The fact that the Technomancers are mutants is a closely guarded secret and source of conflict in the game.
This is easily the best looking game yet from Spiders and the combat looked smooth and responsive in this early stage. Players have a number of fighting styles to choose from in the game. The first uses the primary weapon for Technomaners: the staff. While watching the Technomaner fighting I was reminded of a Jedi Knight game. The way the main character moves while swinging a staff and shooting lighting at enemies makes him look and feel like a Sith warrior. Other fighting styles include the quick gun-and-knife combo, the defensive shield coupled with a mace, and finally the Technomancers' lighting abilities. You can freely switch between any style during combat to mix things up and players can gain new abilities for each style by assigning points in the corresponding skill tree, one for each style.
The game is not linear, with players able to go back to old areas at any point you like. For example, a new companion character may enable you to open up previously inaccessible areas in zones or cities you have already visited. There is also some freedom and choice in how quests are completed. Not every quest requires violence and if the palyer character's charisma is high enough they may be able to talk themselves out of certain situations.
There is a full crafting system in the game and all of the equipment can be upgraded, all the way from new weapons to shoulder pads. Players also have full control over their companions' equipment, which can also be upgraded. The Technomancer is shaping up to be a large, customizable and player choice-driven action RPG. The game is on track to be released in early 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.