Chris Privitere had the chance to check out a couple of publisher Focus Home Interactive's upcoming RPGs at E3. He reported back on the time he spent with Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom and The Technomancer.
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom
Shiness is a Kickstarter RPG done by French developer Enigami (formerly Ynnis Interactive). Tucked into the Focus Home Interactive booth, the game shown at E3 was in French, with English subtitles. The game is an action-based, narrative RPG where the combat is based off of fighting games like Virtua Fighter.
I took control of the main character, Chado, who is an anthropomorphic puppy/bear, as I explored rolling green plains filled with block puzzles. Chado's special ability allows him to manipulate blocks, while other characters will have their own perks. Puzzle solving was intuitive, but a little boring due to a lack of challenge.
Overall, the puzzles felt a little out of place in such an action-oriented game; Zelda-style games merge together action-based combat with puzzles, but they also tend to have solid combat systems. While Shiness teaches the user how to parry and dodge in a quick tutorial, these moves are challenging to perform and combat as it stands feels extremely clunky and not very fun. The game is due out later this year, let’s hope it gets some polish before it launches.
The Technomancer is a new RPG by the team behind Mars War Logs, a 2013 dystopian sci-fi RPG. Following in the same vein, The Technomancer drops players into a world where the secrets and technology of Earth must be protected by the Red Planet's Technomancers.
I entered the demo being initiated into the Technomancer Guild, which involved squashing a whole lot of bugs. I had a bo staff that was electrified and it was extremely satisfying to smush many many insects. I had three different stances to choose from (which affected my offense and defence depending on which I used), as well as multiple weapons – but with a lightning-charged bo, do you need anything else?
The boss in the demo however was much more challenging than the squishy bugs leading up to it. I had to quickly learn how to dodge, pick my attack timing, and be more aware of my surroundings. It took a few tries to take him down, but eventually the giant bug of doom was successfully swatted. Once I did so, the secret of the Technomancers was revealed, but that’s a mystery for players to discover when the game launches at the end of June 2016.