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3 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Loopmancer on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Loopmancer is the latest 2D/3D platformer out there. An action game with incredible graphics and set in a Cyberpunk world, (how sadly unoriginal, but let's give it a chance)

Year 2046 / Dragon City
Neuro-comp interfaces, bionic prosthetics and nano-biotechnology have all become commonplace. Society is highly developed, but the gap between the haves and the have nots has only grown larger.

Xiang Zixu, a brilliant private eye, is killed while investigating the disappearance of a famous female journalist. Immediately after his death, he wakes up with a start in his apartment bedroom. Before he can process what happened, his phone rings and his colleague at the agency tells him of a new case: the disappearance of a famous female journalist.

This game features 7 finely-crafted large stages, including: Dragon Town, which comes alive with holiday spirit in the evening; the bleak and gloomy Shuigou Village; the luxurious Tang Dynasty Hotel; the maritime Bionic Beings' Training Base; and the Biotech Company...

The word "Loop" in the title is the big giveaway here of what kind of game you are going to play. Every time you die, you reincarnate, you can then improve your skills, unlock countless numbers of weapons, upgrade your prosthetic limbs, and so on. The various enemies have unique behaviour patterns which you will learn in order to beat them.

As this is a roguelite game, despite you playing loops, the areas will change after each "loop", so no two playthroughs are ever the same. And as you make different decisions, you will find different outcomes. And luckily when you do Loop you get to keep all your upgrades. And this is the key to improving and getting further in the game. A death is sometimes welcome!

There is an interesting story to the game also, some years earlier Xiang Zixu was the target of a failed hit, which ended up with his daughter being killed and his wife paralysed, and now he is looping he can track down the culprits and take them out.

Gameplay is what you would expect, chaotic fights and exploration, fighting is both close contact as well as ranged, you unlock weapons after stealing money from enemies you kill, or things you break. Each time you restart you get a selection of weapons and abilities to choose from. You can also check your evidence board for leads and information you previously gathered. And as previously mentioned, death is not always a bad thing, in fact when you die, you know you will restart stronger than before. And with upgraded abilities you can take different routes, which in turn allow you to find more stuff. There are side missions to take on, or ignore, you have to make the choice. Save a loved one, or chase down a lead. 

Graphics in general are very good, but there are some framerate issues, and some enemies tend to blend into the background. The voice work is cheesy as hell, and there is a lot of swearing, but that can be disabled.

The Good
The gameplay saves the day, this is a fun game to play and that is the most important thing. The slight graphical issues, ridiculous dialog and grinding are all part of this games charm.

The Bad
Cyberpunk? Really? Just unoriginal, I wish developers would come up with new ideas, don't get me wrong, everything looks great, but we need innovative thinking in gaming.

Loopmancer is an interesting game, a nice narrative and fun gameplay pushes the score up a few points for me.

I score Loopmancer on PC (Steam) a fair 7/10

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