The Technomancer

The Technomancer is a third-person RPG set in a dystopian cyberpunk future on Mars, fuelled by all the tropes you’d expect from both the genre and setting. (Ed. It’s almost as predictable as a writer starting their review with the title of the game.) Emulating heavy-hitter genre-favourites, particularly Mass Effect, The Technomancer bites off a quite a lot more than it can chew. The hard work invested struggles to shine through the dull, boggy surface of this disappointing over-reacher. Hidden in this game are interesting stories and promises of a fun, epic RPG brawler, but the foundations are very weak, and there is nothing within this amateurish title to compensate for its myriad of slip-ups.

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Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

I first played Mirror’s Edge in 2009. My friend bought it for PC when it came out and I borrowed it off him a couple of weeks later–this was before the age of Steamworks or Origin activation. Since then, I must’ve played it at least twice a year. It was a short, refreshing campaign that, despite having its fair share of flaws, stood out as an entirely unique experience compared to what else was being released from AAA studios around that time. I challenged myself to complete what I’ve since learnt is known as the “Test of Faith” achievement, in which you finish the game without shooting at an enemy (it’s the way it was meant to be played). It’s one of the very few non-Nintendo games I’d place in a hypothetical top 10 games list. I fell in love with Mirror’s Edge in 2009. For seven years, Mirror’s Edge has helped me through countless tough times and has held a special place in my heart since I first ran across the rooftops of Glass. And, for seven years, I’ve been waiting patiently to see where the franchise would go next. I honestly thought I’d never see the day. But here we are, and Mirror’s Edge has been rebooted–no, it’s not a sequel–as an open-world freerunner, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.

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Some of the set pieces are rather breathtaking (and super over-the-top).

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Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter

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Given Sherlock Holmes is often described as one of the world’s greatest detectives, making a player really feel like they’ve taken on the role of such a genius is no easy feat. While one can’t be transformed into an eagle-eyed observer or a master of logical reasoning by simply donning a deerstalker and overusing the word ‘elementary’, Sherlock’s unique skills do lend themselves to the potential for some interesting game mechanics. Sadly, despite building on seven other attempts to create the perfect Sherlock Holmes adventure game, The Devil’s Daughter still doesn’t quite find that sweet spot. It is, however, filled with the endless frustration that I imagine actually being around Sherlock Holmes in person would bring. So, at least there’s that realistic touch.

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Lost Sea

It’s a warm subtropical afternoon. The sun is beating down on you through a cloudless sky. The ocean gently caresses your scalp as you open your eyes; your wet clothes clinging to your body. You push your hands into the wet sand as you wearily get to your feet.

You are on a beach.

How did you get here?

This is how you begin Lost Sea.

Lost Sea cleverly borrows contextual flavour from contemporary pop-mythology by setting itself on a series of archipelagos within the Bermuda Triangle – a real world area of the ocean where ships and aircraft are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances, often attributed to the paranormal. Soon you meet with a scientist conducting research in the area who will inform you that you were brought to the island through a dimensional rift and that in order to escape you will need to gather magical tablets that can be found on the islands in the area.

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Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book

Femininity isn’t something mainstream games tend to embrace. Masculine, ‘tough girl’ tropes? Sure, Tomb Raider is kind of a thing. Sexualized femininity? Hoo boy, do videogames have that covered. But it’s almost never that we have a game celebrating femininity for its own sake – as a virtue or as a strength. However, one game series that has done a consistently excellent job bucking this trend is Gust’s Atelier games. Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book marks the 17th entry in the long running series, and is the series’ first venture on to the Playstation 4 console. But after so many installations in this JRPG franchise, has Atelier Sophie still got the magic touch?

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Homefront: The Revolution

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I don’t think there’s a single person on the planet who was super pumped for Homefront: The Revolution. A sort-of sequel/reboot of 2011’s largely forgettable CoD cash-in Homefront, Revolution was plagued with development issues and collapsing companies–announced following the original game’s release, Revolution traded hands first from THQ to Crytek after the former’s bankruptcy in 2012, then from Crytek to Deep Silver in 2014 after the latter underwent “internal restructuring.” One wouldn’t have been surprised if this unlucky title never saw the light of day. But here we are–it’s 2016, and the game that nobody really wanted is finally upon us. And, really, it’s not all that bad. No, really.

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