E3 2015: The Technomancer is The Mars RPG We’ve Been Waiting For

Too many games are situating their settings on Earth or some fictional planet; Mars has been left in the cold dark corner, at least until now. The Technomancer comes from the development studio based out of France called Spiders, the team behind creating some of the most charming and intriguing RPGs, such as Bound by Flame and Mars: War Logs. This is their biggest and most compelling project yet, bringing all their hard work from past games, everything they’ve learned and accomplished, and put it into this one RPG.

While it’s not a sequel or a prequel, The Technomancer takes place in the same universe as Mars: War Logs. It does take some elements from the past title, but this is very much its own. The story takes place on, well you guessed it, Mars long after the planet has been colonized, but after a cataclysmic event, water became scarce and war broke out between factions. You play a Technomancer, a special human who has the ability to generate a staggering amount of electricity from your body and discharge it in combat. They are essentially superheroes, but as the story plays out with apprentices and masters, Technomancer seems to have similar traits to the Jedi of Star Wars. It certainly helps Technomancers wield bladed weapons and have super human abilities.

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Similar to that of Bound by Flame, The Technomancer will feature a massive world to explore with various cities populated with NPCs. The idea Spiders had with The Technomancer was to give a whole new immersion to the player, creating a living and breathing world that goes on in the background while you fight monsters and interact with others. The progress of the story is also non-linear, giving the player access to older areas where new quests, items and characters may appear. Story is also very important to Spiders as throughout the campaign, the protagonist will come in contact with five potential companions to accompany them on his journey. Each one will have different interactions and different traits that will add to the overall experience. Two examples that were given were Emilia and the mutant Phobos.

As significant as the story is to The Technomancer, combat is also an important part. If you’re familiar with Bound by Flame, combat looks very similar, but with some alterations. For one, there are three fighting styles that can be changed to on the fly. There’s the staff, which is powerful but can be interrupted easily, the quicker knife and gun combo which has a chance of poisoning enemies, and a traditional mace and shield. In addition, each encounter can be handled differently. You can play it stealthy, booby-trap the environment, or just go head-on.

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There’s heavy customization feature available for equipment. For example, you can upgrade and find gear, such as clothing and weapons, throughout the world that can then be equipped to change your visible appearance and upgrade your overall stats to be able to fight stronger opponents. It’s not just managing your own equipment though, but you have to manage companion equipment, as well. In order for them to be useful in combat, they will need some of the best gear available, so who meshes well with the protagonist in combat is important to deciding companionship.

While only a little was shown, The Technomancer is shaping up to be a compelling tale. Considering how small Spiders is as a development house, they continue to reach for the stars in big ways. While Mars: War Logs didn’t necessarily make it big for the developer, they were able to establish a universe prime to build upon. With three different styles of combat, non-linear storytelling and a large array of customization, The Technomancer could very well be the next big RPG. The Technomancer will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC sometime in Q1 2016.