GAME: Mars- War Logs
GENRE: RPG, Action, Choices Matter
During the wars of the past the technology we once had is scarce. In this new world an authoritarian government has taken over and the people under it suffer from the cruelty of this regime. You must go through this world and change it to suite your desires. Fight those above you to bring change to this barren world in a story that is shaped by your choices. Use weapons you craft yourself, and fight with your own style of combat. In Mars: War Logs you must tread through the scraps of the world you are dropped in and use your power to shape the future. The man you will do this with is Roy Temperance.
MARS: WAR LOGS
STORYYou begin the story and are introduced to your character, Roy Temperance. Roy is a prisoner of war and now labors away in the horrid conditions of the labor camp he now calls home. The planet you inhabit has been riddled with conflict and Roy found himself captured by Abundance. Eventually Roy meets another prisoner named Innocence. Innocence is a young man that was also captured and after a few incidents Roy and Innocence plot the escape their prison.
After fighting your way out of the prison the tutorial ends and the mysterious Roy reveals something. He's capable of using the powers of a Technomancer. Technomancers are an elite group of combatants who wield pre-war technology that allows them to be cut above everyone else. They are very secretive of their power and as a result their power makes them hold a high status in society. These near divine beings hold incredible influence in the government and are some of the most dangerous combatants out there.
Unfortunately this means the Technomancers aren't on your side. While you were in prison your faction known as Aurora won the war. But the leader of this faction took power into his own hands and created an authoritarian government. A government that doesn't hesitate to kill, torture and experiment on its own people. The very militia that helped win the war was systematically taken apart and members were killed. The government rules on pragmatism and as a result morality and freedom suffer. Once you escape your prison you must decide what kind of world you want. With multiple rising factions looking to overthrow the current regime you must choose who you side with. Your decisions decide who survives and who will rise,
Plenty of games give the illusion of choice and in the end the game more or less ends up being the same. In this case the decisions you make really do change the course of the story. The entire final chapter is different depending on what choices you make. And the choices aren't obvious. There isn't an objectively right choice where everything goes your way. Everything from your combat style, to your companions will be decided by the choices you make.
Mars: War Logs doesn't have the greatest combat in the world but it is serviceable. You are unable to cancel animations and your attacks are rather clunky. As a result in most fights you can't change in head on. You have to constantly move so you're not surrounded by enemies. When you fight you pick off the enemies to the sides and work your way through.
There are three styles of combat you can specialize in. You can be a warrior, technomant, or a renegade.
Warrior: A close combat specialist
Technomant: ranged combat specialist that focuses on technomancy
Renegade: rely on stealth and pre-set traps to take out enemies
Depending on your preference you can put points into any of these three skill trees. However the renegade option is frustrating to play because of the clunky movement and the inconsistent enemy detection. The most consistent tree is the warrior tree and it is probably much better than the other two options.
Along with the skills your gear is highly customizable. Since you are in a bit of a barren wasteland you have to get creative with your weapon choices. Crafting is a necessity to survival and you will be constantly changing out your gear.
The side-quests are a necessity to upgrading to the best equipment and keeping yourself strong enough to defeat the enemies around you. There are some good quality side quests but the majority just involve you fetching or delivering items to other NPC's. I found myself doing all the side-quests as a way to be stronger rather than as a way to enjoy the game. While these are all optional, quality side-quests are a necessity to a great RPG.
Mars: War Logs is my benchmark for an average RPG. I can say that I enjoyed the game and I'd probably do another play-through at some point. But I wouldn't strongly recommend this over other games in the genre. The world built in this title is one full of potential and the lore filled world is bigger than I would have expected for a low-budget RPG like this. The story is solid but not exceptional. I was interested throughout and I was surprised by the consequences of my actions. The story doesn't let you have the clean perfect answers to every question and you it is often that you have to either compromise on your principles or on the safety of your comrades. This isn't a game that lets you have it both ways and you will question your choices later on. I enjoyed the feeling of frustration of wondering if I made the correct choice. The story could have been expanded on more and the different endings didn't give closure.
The combat itself was very clunky. Combat typically relied on proper kiting and having better stats than your opponents. Even on the hardest difficulties the combat was not challenging. The customization and looting system made your character feel like your own and despite the clumsiness of the combat, it was still enjoyable.
If you only have time to play a handful of games I advise you not to play Mars: War Logs. However if you have some spare time and would like an enjoyable Sci-Fi RPG this is the game for you.