E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy
E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy (stylised as E.Ψ.Ǝ: Divine Cybermancy) is an action RPG first-person shooter video game developed and published by Streum On Studio. It is a cyberpunk themed game based on the table-top role-playing game "A.V.A." developed by the same studio in 1998. The game was developed for two years and it uses the Valve's Source engine.
E.Y.E tells the story of a war between two rival factions, the Culter and the Jian. The game begins with the player waking up from a botched operation that left his comrades dead, with no memory of what has happened. Fighting his way through Federation forces and back to E.Y.E.'s base of operations, he learns through a message addressed to himself not to trust anyone.
As a member of the Culter, the player will find himself embroiled in not only a battle between the two forces, but between members of your own group as both your Mentor, a wise warrior who seeks to unite the Jians and the Culters into one force and your commander named Rimanah, the power-hungry leader of the Culter Dei and a father figure to the player character. The player must choose between supporting Rimanah, who seeks to destroy the Jian Shang Di, and Mentor, whose cause is only supported by the player, leading to two different and distinct storylines.
Why It Rocks
- An eerie sci-fi atmosphere that reminds a lot of movies like Blade Runner.
- Very good-looking graphics and visual effects for a Source game.
- You can choose how you respond to each part of the dialogue. This can change the course of the action, changing a mission that started out as simple bribery into an assassination plot or even change the course of the plot entirely. And if you do enough reading to figure out the story, some dialogue options can actually carry a lot of weight.
- Unlike many other games that offer you a mediocre weapon kit from the beginning, here you have access to a wide variety of weapons that include swords, pistols, rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and even a minigun totally free! Anyway, there are some weapons that are not available until you advance further in the story.
- You also have a base sword that can be really helpful, and as redundant as it sounds, it's your first weapon and the only one that cannot be dropped.
- A very dynamic gameplay, you can choose between a lot of gameplay styles, like a heavy armored fighter with gatling gun, a fast and stealthy cyberninja, a master hacker, an akimbo gunman, a rifle trooper, a sniper and many more, you can even mix more than two gameplay styles!
- Gorgeous level design that involves wide futuristic cities, vast structures that reminds of ancient greek or asian architecture, sewers, docks and temples.
- The game is pretty long, and since missions have a lot of branching paths, the replay value is almost endless.
- A very creative character creating system that is based off of the ten sephirot of the kabbalistic tree of life, you mix three different or equal genes to gain different ressults on your desired character, if you don't like one, you can always try another combinations.
- It has a gore mechanic, and while they are not so graphical as other games like Soldier of Fortune or Manhunt, it's great for the engine that the game uses, unfortunately, you can only behead or blow the enemies parts when they are still alive, if you try to dismember a dead enemy, you will only lose your time.
- A wide variety of weapons, some of them even go out of standards like a drum mag shotgun with more than 30 shells, an armor piercing sniper rifle with more than 20 bullets, an anti-aircraft revolver or a sub-machine gun with a 100 round magazine and an adjustable rate of fire. There is even a revolver that is an obvious reference to the blaster from blade runner.
- A good variety of PSI powers that do a great job of showing just how much ambition is in the game. You can have telekinesis, an ability to clone yourself up to three times, an ability that cause enemies to explode, etc. The more you upgrade your PSI powers, the more powerful and terrifying your powers become.
- The plot is not directly told to you, instead, you need to progress further in the game to know what's going on, something that no many games nowadays do, and of course, this adds a lot of intrigue.
- Each character has a unique and interesting personality.
- A very creative way to start the game, you start in a dreamspace inside your mind where you generate character stats using three different esoteric genomes, after creating your character, you will see a portal in front of you, the portal takes you to a cave where you have to learn to use your weapons and cyber-powers to defeat enemies, also, the same dreamspace will appear when you load your game, and to get back to the part where you left your game you need to go into the portal.
- The game offers you an option to check a tutorial that explains very well most of the game mechanics, and of course, you can check it anytime you want in case you forget how to do something.
- A good soundtrack that fits well in the game, its style can also vary depending on the situation you currently are.
- It features a fun co-op mode that can influence in your solo campaign.
- There are at least 4 endings that can vary depending on your previous choices.
- A really cheap price, costing only $10 in its regular price and $1 when its on sale.
- While the game mechanics are quite original, they can also be confusing and weird. The game has a button that allows you to check about some of the game mechanics with short lenght videos to explain them in a better way, however, not all of the game machanics are included and watching a video can be impractical for most of the people. To put an example, healing is not explained in the game tutorials and most of the times you will wonder how to heal yourself without leveling up (leveling up will recover your health to 100%). To heal yourself, you have to approach a nearby object like an ammo box or a weapon, open your suit interface and click the "Alchemy" button.
- Poor and frustrating AI that can spot you even if you're hiding from 100 meters away, this gets much worse if you're trying to go stealth or to make a stealth build. The game has an option to modify some of the AI options, like the field of view, the reaction time and hearing, but even after changing the AI options, the game will still remain the same. In other words, going stealth is completely impossible.
- It's worth to mention the fact that sometimes the enemies can appear from nothing, specially when you're trying to hack an object or sentry.
- Abysmal amount of enemies per level, there are times where you will kill more than 50 enemies in a single zone, if you're low on ammo, you will spend a lot of time killing them with your base sword, it's not necessary to kill them all, but they can be a real headache.
- There are some snipers equipped with laser rifles, and while they're not as dangerous as other kind of enemies, they are pretty annoying because their lasers have an extremely large range, they drain your health very fast and will cause your screen to shake a lot.
- Despite being a game made in Source engine, the optimization is pretty unstable. During intense shootings, the framerate can get pretty low because of the over-saturation of visual effects.
- Poor english translation that can get pretty weird at times.
- As the plot is not directly told to you, it can be really confusing to understand what is going on, the poor english translation doesn't make a good job at making things more clear.
- Your suit interface has too many options and buttons and it can take a lot of time to understand what does every option and button.
- The gameplay is kinda slow, which can bore some gamers that are adapted to fast arcade games.
- Because of the low budget that the studio had when making the game, the voice acting is very limited and you will have to read a lot of text during the speeches.
- The hacking mechanic is awful and unbalanced, it can be described as a semi-turn based minigame where you need to take down the defenses of your desired enemy/sentry/ATM, but it's unorthodox and frustrating. You have to select the entity you want to hack, select the action you want to do (possess/hack/destroy/steal) and try to not to get hacked, as the hacking is very tedious because your rival is constantly attacking your HP bar and defense/attack stats, and while you are refilling some of these stats, your rival can attack your other stats or ruin your process by refilling its own stats, and it's important to mention that your rival has the same hacking speed as you, making it even more frustrating, in other words, it's a pure luck based minigame. Also, for some reason the game allows you to hack yourself, which can lead to accidental hackings, the game even gives you an achievement if you hack youself accidentally or voluntarily.
- Some levels are incredibly frustrating because of the exaggerated amount of enemies, the constant respawning of them and turrets placed in a lot of inconvenient zones, and of course, the turrets are the worst offenders, because they can kill you in less than three shots (in the case of the gauss turrets) or drain your health and make your camera shake a lot.
- Most of the upgrades and items you can unlock are very expensive, and while you can gain money by killing enemies and completing objectives, this can take a lot of grinding.
E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy received generally mixed reviews, having a punctuation of 61 out of 100 at Metacritic. The game has been praised for its originality, engrossing atmosphere, vast array of elements and versatility of the gameplay, but criticized for its cumbersome mechanics, confusing interface and poor translation to english.
GameSpot rated the game a 7 out of 10, praising its ambitious concepts and enthralling atmosphere, but criticizing its unrefined game mechanics and steep learning curve, saying that "E.Y.E hands you guns, swords, and cybernetic skills, and then drops you into a chilling sci-fi world, letting you accomplish your goals in any way you see fit. It's also confusing and awkward, so you might sometimes curse and grit your teeth, but you will also be entertained and perhaps even in awe at times."
GameSpy gave it a 80 out of 100, saying, "Taking into account the small development group and the price, I'm hard-pressed not to recommend this game as a must-have. E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy is a unique indie gem that deserves strong sales and an active fan base," though also noting the clunky interface and several first-release bugs."
IGN was more critical, giving the game a 50 out of 100 rating, saying "It's somewhat amazing that such a small team created E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy. But after the initial charm and awe wears off, what's left is an overly complex, poorly explained first-person shooter that is often boring, frustrating and a chore to play. Yes, E.Y.E. has its moments, and it's great that someone out there has tackled keeping hardcore, no-hand-holding PC games alive. But the lack of focus, poor A.I. and other issues make it a novelty rather than a must-play game."
On the other hand, the game has "Very positive" reviews on steam, having an 81.2% of approval. Most of the users praise the cyberpunk atmosphere that can remind of games like Deus Ex or the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, the addictive and vast gameplay, the originality of the concept and the good quality of the game despite the low budget, but criticize the confusing plot, the amount of bugs and glitches, the unstable performance and the low amount of players to play with. The game gained some kind of cult, leading to a lot of memes like the "You Gain Brouzouf" and "Your legs are OK" quotes.