E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy: Lost In Translation

-By Mike Bezek

Akira, Blade Runner, Deus Ex, The Matrix. We have all been exposed to the oft-overused, fan-fiction filled universe that is cyberpunk. In these worlds, mankind has submitted his own humanity to accept the higher calling of machine assimilation in order to achieve a supposed greater plane of existence. E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy is a game that tries to mesh these worlds together by injecting a bit of philosophic zealotry and extensive back-story, which rarely seen in games nowadays. And much like real-life zealotry, it is hard to get on board with a game that shouts its rhetoric at the user, but never gives a reason to stay convinced and convert.

I’m Putting The What In The Where?

E.Y.E. places the player as a high-ranking member of the organization call Secreta. You do not have a name, nor do you have an identity, as your face is shielded by a mask that seems to borrow a lot of inspiration from Dead Space. This lack of identity allows the player to create your own character, allowing them to truly fill his shoes, as any game claiming to have RPG elements should.  The first thing you will encounter is a character interface which allows you to dole out attribute points and to decide how you are going to perform in the game.  Some options include a stealth camouflaged hacker/sniper, or a heavy gunner capable of mowing down anything in your path.

The opportunity to choose how you want to play your character is always a welcome system in games; however, when the game presents it through a horrid, ill-advised user interface, it becomes near impossible to understand how to use this effectively. Instead of being presented with in-game tutorials on how the mechanics of the game work, you are instead given 23 badly translated video tutorials that leave you with more questions than answers. While you may get a basic grasp of the game from these rudimentary tutorials, a large amount of the game is left for you to figure out through trial and error. This seems to be an acute case of the developers trying too hard to focus on other areas of the game instead of core mechanics, which presents the player with an aggravating experience from the start.

I figure that a game with such heavy focus on the ability to customize your character and play experience would also have a highly polished combat system. Unfortunately, the combat fun is all but diminished by an incredibly sloppy AI system that is seemingly omnipotent to your position unless you are using the invisibility ability. Encounters boil down to you pulling out your long-range weapon and picking off enemies before they have the chance to blindly charge at you, Serious Sam style. Melee combat relies on your ability to be able to pinpoint the small area the developer decided to use for collision detection, leaving you looking like a hulking behemoth attempting to swat a fly with a sledgehammer.

If you like, you also have the ability to hack literally everything in the game to provide you with some benefits. If your character is geared toward hacking, then you can go right ahead and hack enemies minds and create you own personal army. Unfortunately, the interface is never fully explained and seems to come down to a measure of your own patience, as it is unintuitive and confusing. But as mentioned before, the AI in the game is so sloppy that your mind controlled minions have a habit of standing around doing nothing, rather than fighting the 20-odd combatants running at you.
Level design is another area that could have made E.Y.E shine.  The developers instead decided to line the empty streets with bright signs of scantily-clad women holding guns. Most of the areas in the game are overly massive and hollow and offer no real indication on what direction they should be headed. The game offers waypoint indicators that can be seen at all times, but that is no excuse to fill the maps with recycled hallways and streets in excess.

The Dissonance Of Satisfaction and Depression

E.Y.E uses the Source engine for the graphics and while it still produces some great textures and atmospheres, it is also starting to show its age. While the character models are sharp and hauntingly designed, the world textures are bland and stitched together. Every part of the game appears to be painted upon a huge shadow, and I was forced to turn my gamma setting as light as possible just so I could see where I was going. While I commend the small development team for being ale to provide such a large and detailed world to play in, it likens the gameplay to a blind person bumbling down halls firing a gun in hopes of hitting something.

The visuals are somewhat redeemed by E.Y.E’s very impressive sound design. The impact sound your suit of armor makes after a jump is incredibly satisfying, and the gunplay is supplemented with a visceral, violent resonance. While a large amount of shooters nowadays focus on the realism of a gunshot, E.Y.E provides a deep, guttural explosion that truly translates the power of the weapon.

Maps are supplemented with a very dark and melodic overtone that really brings players into a universe depleted of all flora and fauna, replaced with the oppression of an over-reliance on technology. Streum On Studio really understands what it is like to audibly convey such a depressing and mysterious atmosphere.

Asimov and Card Are Amateurs

E.Y.E. offers a back-story in spades. Almost from the get-go, you are presented with names, places, people, organizations, locations, factions, and lore at a dizzying pace. Thankfully, the developers provide a large library in the main hub of the game, where instead of playing the game, you can spend time reading about people, places and things that may or may not even be integral to the storyline. It is way too easy to get completely lost and confused by E.Y.E.’s massive and lengthy story while playing the main game. I was often unable to understand actions to take because the game relies on terms and phrases that are not properly explained (or the shoddy translation muddles the explanation). This results in the completion of many objectives without any grasp on why you are completing them. I found myself constantly revisting the Library to try to eke out a small understanding of what exactly was transpiring in the game. Yet I came to the ultimate conclusion that key storytelling elements in a game such as this should not be forced reading.

It is such a shame that such a massive and detailed universe never seems to rise above high-grade fan fiction. Some sections and plotlines feel as if a struggling freshman in college produced it, and characters often suffer from this faux aggression and immaturity that would give the impression a younger crowd was attempting to convey very adult themes they did not know how to express correctly.

Somewhere in this game is an excellent and intriguing story, but it needs some serious trimming and streamlining in order to keep the player engaged. I could have enjoyed the story if I was not bogged down with the staggering amount of information that was thrown at me left and right.

Final Thoughts/Is It Worth Your Money?

E.Y.E presents like a game that was rushed out of the door before any polishing and preening could (and should) have been done to make the experience a worthwhile one. There are a lot of great and interesting concepts that exist in this game, but they are overshadowed by game-breaking bugs and the atrocious user interface.  When I first played the game, I saw the promise of an interesting story, and fun combat system neatly wrapped up in a dystopic future. What I was left with was a bad taste in my mouth that made the experience never rise above utter mediocrity.

What is needed right now is a large patch including fixes on translation issues, world lighting, plot objectives, and a total overhaul of the UI. But until then, it’s hard to not point users in the direction of the latest Steam Sale on Deus Ex. -End

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy Summary:

  • Time Played: 7 Hours
  • Widescreen Support: Yes, up to 1920×1080
  • 5.1 Supported: Yes
  • Bugs: Many
  • Control Scheme: Customizable Keyboard
  • Acquisition Method: Review Copy
  • Worth Your Money: No

If Streum On Studios releases a major patch that addresses the issues within this game, we feel it would only be fair to re-visit the world of E.Y.E.  

We do things a little differently around here at TPG.  Read more about how we score our reviews.

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17 thoughts on “E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy: Lost In Translation

    • If I spent money on this game in its current form, I would have been very upset. Sometimes the truth hurts. Like we said, if they patch the game, we will go over things again. That does not excuse the fact that the game was obviously not ready for prime-time.

    • I tried my best to play this game with an open mind after being totally confused and forced to rely on the forums just for basic gameplay mechanics. There is alot going on in this game from the beginning, and not given any type of thorough explanation on seemingly complicated systems begets any type of enjoyment.

      Like I said, there is an excellent game in here, the developers need to sit back a re-evaluate their approach on releasing a game that suffers so meddled that even seasoned players of this genre a scratching their heads.

  1. I spent my 19.99$ on it, This is my favorite game.

    (They probably say that it isn’t worth your money because they are paid to bash indie games >.<)

    • Nobody at TPG is paid at all. I run this site out of my own pocket and do not profit monetarily nor do the other staff members.

      If you liked the game and feel it was worth your money, that is great. We do not “bash” any games. We give you the honest opinion of our experiences with the games we review. Mike gave you legitimate reasons as to why the game was not up to par. There are some games we love and some we dislike. Just like any other review site, this is the opinion of one person and is therefore subjective.

      As for the indie crack, our content is 98% indie, so that is just a silly thing to say.

    • Nope. I’ve played a couple hours of EYE and it’s pretty forgettable. This quote hits it on the money:

      “When I first played the game, I saw the promise of an interesting story, and fun combat system neatly wrapped up in a dystopic future. What I was left with was a bad taste in my mouth that made the experience never rise above utter mediocrity.”

      There are great concepts here, and if you can see through the flaws, Sir Derp, then by all means enjoy the game. But there’s no denying the serious issues with the mechanics and technical side of things here. Spot on, TPG.

    • I read some other users reviews around the ‘net and I find this game to be extremely polarizing. There are just as many who lean to our side and say this game was not very good as there are who say EYE is great fun.

      It almost has a Fallout 3/New Veags vibe to the reception EYE has gotten.

  2. This game was not made for reviewers like this, they just don’t “get it”. This game does not spoon feed you like other average games, YOU are meant to spoon through the game. The game was designed with a large part of the appeal being that YOU are to figure out the story, game play and mechanics.

    I’ve got 35 hours and haven’t gone past the 4th level because its so darn amazing at all the many ways to approach your goals.

    Those that can overlook the obvious flaws will find a genius game under the hood, you just need to open your mind and use your brain…hard.

  3. Pingback: E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy Updated | truepcgaming

  4. Pingback: Major Update For E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy | truepcgaming

  5. Another reviewer who A) doesn’t understand you can only get out what you put into these old school games. and B) always asks for the same $50 million to spend on “polishing” (meaning Crysis graphics) and “interface” (meaning typical hand-holding)! When will we get the media we deserve gamers? Because we haven’t had it since around 1998!

    • The fact of the matter is the game was broken and stayed broken for quite a while. Some people expect a game to work as advertised instead of having to jump through hoops in order for things to work.

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