Friday, October 7, 2016

Poor man's blogging

The designation 'poor man's' is not always a bad thing, right? Poor man's lobster is still pretty good. Poor man's beer will still get you drunk, you just won't enjoy the process nearly as much. The Technomancer is either poor man's The Witcher (on Mars!) or poor man's Mass Effect (on Mars!). Either way, the new Mass Effect is still off in the hazy distance and there is no new Witcher planned at the moment. Take what you can get, right?

Spiders, the developer, has a history of middling offerings, one of which was the thoroughly mediocre Bound by Flame, a game that I only remembered playing because I looked up said developer on Wikipedia. The Technomancer has the exact same problems: big ideas but not enough experience and technological prowess to make them stick. Some very good visuals, the parts of Mars I have seen so far are right out of the dingier sections of Total Recall, and other terrible ones, characters models from the previous generation and facial movements from the pits of hell.

And then there's the combat. The stinky, stinky combat. A man I respect called Witcher 3's combat 'whiffy and unsatisfying' and I resisted the urge to call him names. The Technomancer has bad combat, regardless of which of the three stances you try to use. There is little to impact, visually or otherwise, when an attack lands and enemies will ignore block stun to apply cheap shots. Guns are ridiculously overpowered, at least when enemies have them, so death can come quickly and without notice.

But you can save scum and I have been save scumming like a motherfucker. Before every fight, before going around a corner, before every conversation I click that safety checkbox and feel no remorse for it. When a game's combat feels as random as this one there is no shame in using every advantage available.

Still, somewhere about the game has me hooked. I can tell what the story wants me to do, to shift from buttoned up soldier guy to being sympathetic to 'the resistance' and I am intentionally choosing the opposite. This may be like by KotoR 2 run: all dark side points, all the way.

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