Average User Score: 7.3May 4, 2013Long review short: it's not bad! But it's definitely not good either. It's mostly just "meh".
When I saw this on steam, I was optimistic.Long review short: it's not bad! But it's definitely not good either. It's mostly just "meh".
When I saw this on steam, I was optimistic. It had many of the things I love. Cyberpunk setting, RPG elements, martian colonies and a promise of choosing sides in a corporate war? Awesome.
And the game started out promising, with a narration of a confused youth detailing how he was lured into joining a corporate war in the hopes of money and maybe adventure, but then slowly becoming disillusioned by it all before being captured in battle by enemy forces. For the first few scenes of the game, I thought I was going to be treated to a "rags to badass" story as the narrator goes from a lowly POW to a major player in the war. (I am an eternal optimist.)
Alas; this was not to be.
Once the game starts we're introduced to the REAL protagonist of the game in a scene that really drives home how a character shouldn't be introduced. It's not helped that it goes on for way, way too long. It starts the trend of almost getting things right, but not quite managing it.
The story had promise, and if more time had been devoted to letting things unfold and getting information out it would have been great despite its brevity. (I finished the game in about 11 hours, and I was taking my time.) The game does a good job of things at first, but once you're out of the prison things start getting worse and worse. This isn't helped by the at times ridiculous dialogue, which runs gamut from bad to good.
The setting is interesting, because as I said before I love me some cyberpunk. And Mars. But for a long time I was confused about where to find out information about it. And even then, this isn't exactly Bioware-levels of depth. It was only late into that that I realized that the corporations were actually guilds, and what exactly a 'dowser' was, and by then I had long ago given up hope that I would be told what these things were and resigned myself to seeing where things were going.
The characters are a mixed bag. The companions are, for the most part, pretty bad. They're main function is split enemy attention in battle so that I don't get mobbed, and maybe spit out a funny comment or two. This wouldn't be so bad, but a lot of the time my relationships with these characters doesn't develop so much as I'm informed that it's happened. Like the brother-relationship I apparently had with someone at the end of the first level. On the other hand, a lot of the NPCs are done very well. The brothel madame and her prodigal whore were nice, as were the two bickering prisoners who helped me kill water-seeking mutant mole-bugs. (Because if you can't have mole-people on Mars, mutant mole-bugs are just as good.)
The game's real strong point is combat, as there are few things less enjoyable than seeing the feats, armaments and mods you pick in action. The lack of enemy variety can make combat a bit tedious, but that's not a deal breaker. Some things in it can be frustrating, but they're easily dealt with.
The music is also good, as it's a nicely done techno soundtrack that really works it combat. I can't really remember it much in other places, because I wasn't really listening for it, but when it does appear it does a good job of setting the tone of things. I never once felt that it was out of place.
On the whole, it's a game with a strong start that slowly lets itself down. I don't regret buying the game, but I'm pretty sure I won't be playing it again in the near future.… Expand