Indie Review: E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy
An in-depth first person shooter RPG that will have you questioning whether it’s actually an indie title at all.
- Worth The Time?I’m still killing a few hours with it.
- Things LovedIn-depth back story, great character models and weapon selection.
- Things HatedBuggy ‘hacking’ mechanic and unforgiving game missions.
- RecommendationIf you are a fan of RPG’s and like to jam the occasional FPS, this is definitely a game to try.
- Name: E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy
- Genre: RPG/FPS
- Players: 1+
- Multiplayer: Co-Op & Player-vs-Player
- Platforms: PC, MacOS & Linux
- Developer: Streum On Studio
- Publisher: Streum On Studio
- Price: $19 - Roughly R150
- Reviewed On: PC
Divine Cybermancy, the name is actually a play on words and refers to Dante’s Divine Comedy (Just Wiki it, I know you heathens don’t know what it is). The storyline loosely follows the Divine Comedy, but to explain how, I would be ruining the story for you. However, a better back-story and storyline I have not seen in a long time. Sadly, all the voice acting is done in French, but you can still read the English subtitles.
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The story starts rather strangely where you wake up in a dream and see your mentor dead on the floor. There is a large green portal to be walked through. Every time you load up your character this happens, it’s rather trippy and intriguing as you immediately want to know who killed your mentor and why. Having walked through the portal you are taken back to the last area you had visited. Having started a fresh game, your character has been knocked out during a very important mission and can now conveniently not remember a thing. You catch up to your mentor (yes the dead mentor from the dream) back at E.Y.E headquarters and he immediately enlists your character to betray the organization. There are so many plots within other plots posing as sub-plots it’s rather intriguing. It all went to hell for me when my character received a message from myself stating to never trust your mentor. That’s a massive eye-opening twist.
The game rewards your curiosity if you decide to delve into the organization’s library, a place where you can read texts that describes how humanity got to where it is now and why your organization exists. I’m going to give you the abridged version, just to give you an idea of the great back story: Basically your organization, E.Y.E, is an elite fighting force consisting of cybernetically enhanced agents with psychic powers. E.Y.E was created to fight off malevolent creatures that exist on a different plane of existence that seem to bust through into humanity’s conscious world to well, kill us off. To top things off, your organization is currently in the middle of a cold war with a rival organization. While fighting of the creatures and conducting secret operations against the other organization, you’re also trying to overthrow the existing government — ambitious I know. Oh, and humanity has had a run in with an alien race and the subsequent battle is what unleashed these creatures into the conscious world. Now, before your brains explode let’s talk a bit about game play.
You start off creating a character and deciding what genetic code you would prefer. These codes augment certain character traits, like strength will negatively influence mental balance for example. These stats being:
- Psi Force
- Mental balance
These stats influence your character in various ways. If you don’t have enough mental balance your character may become anxious or paranoid when fighting the creatures. This has the rather annoying effect of making your character fire off random shots if you’re holding a gun or randomly swiping at thin air with your power sword. Hacking gives you the ability to steal money from ATMs or even abuse agents with implants. The hacking mechanism is a mini game where you must choose when to attack or defend by watching the appropriate bars fill. This mechanic is by far the most frustrating as the AI of the game is able to attack or defend at precisely the right moment often leaving you counter-hacked. Other than that, the rest of the stats — if levelled correctly — can lead to some rather interesting play styles.
There’s quite a few ways you can go with your character as the game gives you a lot of freedom with how you want to actually play it. You may be a war hammer wielding, heavy armoured, juggernaut or a high jumping, agile, psychic powered ninja. Whichever way you want to go with your character, you may bolster your abilities by researching or buying cybernetic implants. Implants will often give you abilities like being able to see cloaked agents at certain distances or give your character the ability to jump really high. As you take more dangerous assignments the research function of the game enables you to research stolen technology from the rival organization unlocking new weaponry and armour.
Visually, the game looks amazing — considering it’s an indie title. The developers made use of the Source engine and spent quite a lot of time on the character models and style of the world. The game has a very dark style to it and draws inspiration from early Japanese and English cultures.
And for those reading and shouting: “This is just Deus-Ex but worse!” You, my friends, are wrong. Yes, there’s cybernetic implants, rival agencies and the future of humanity has a lot more orientals in it, but I still don’t see the connection. E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy has somehow used all those elements and managed to create a unique world with its own intricacies. At its core it is just an FPS game but at the same time allowing you to control your FPS experience using RPG elements.