masterverhoffin's E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy (PC) review

E.Y.E. Spy...

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy is an unusual little game that seemingly came out of nowhere on Steam. I don't recall having seen anything related to it at all until the Steam page went up. A few of my friends convinced me it was worth a try and, considering it was only $20, I went for it.

What IS E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy, though? I can safely say after having put a few hours into it that I have absolutely no idea. It seems to be a Deus Ex/Matrix/Shadowrun RPG set in a dystopian Bladerunner-esque world. You play the role of an agent of the titular E.Y.E., some kind of psychic cyber-monk order (think 40k space marines) who lost most of your memories after waking up after a mission gone awry.

There IS a story (and it's laden with conspiracies and doublecrosses) but it often seems like an excuse for the mission objectives. That said, there's a LOT of backstory and world information you can read from terminals or from talking to NPCs. It's a fairly well-developed and interesting world, even if it's not often well-explained.

This lack of explanations carries over into almost every aspect of the game. After creating your character by splicing three geneseeds together (each gives you bonuses and penalties) you are literally dropped into a cave with nothing other than the order "get OUT". This is NOT a game you can just jump into and expect to understand, as anyone who's watched the quick look can plainly see. There are a whopping 23 tutorial videos available and they barely scratch the surface. I highly suggest you take the time to watch them all and do some research on the forums before you dive in.

Gameplay-wise, E.Y.E is fairly reminiscent of the original Deus Ex with its FPS/RPG system and multiple objective paths. The shooting feels fine, with each gun having a fairly distinct style and use. The shotguns are especially notable for not being completely useless at mid to long range and my favorite weapon was easily the .444 Bear Killer, a revolver so big it only holds 4 shots and can down helicopters in 2. You can mix and match weapons in a grid inventory (see the Resident Evil series or, again, Deus Ex) and can customize your loadout as you see fit. Want light armor, a silenced sniper rifle, and dual pistols for a stealthy run? Or perhaps heavy armor, a minigun, a revolver, and a battleaxe? Both (and everything in between) are possible, limited by your strength score and what you can squeeze into your inventory. Heavier armor and weight loads slow you down substantially but allow you to survive longer in combat, a fairly even tradeoff. Your melee weapons can be used to parry bullets, making them useful even against heavily-armed enemies. Of special note is ammunition: you have to choose how many clips for each weapon to bring with you, each of which takes up space, and reloading a gun causes you to lose any bullets left in the clip. No magic ammo consolidation here, which is either amazing or horrible depending on your point of view.

That seems to be the overall style of this game, really; you're either going to love it or it's going to drive you completely insane. Make no mistakes: E.Y.E is not going to hold your hand nor give you a glowing line to follow. On the other hand, this leaves you remarkably free to pursue objectives in whatever order you like, sometimes having mutually-exclusive paths in each level. The game it reminds me most of, even moreso than Deus Ex, is Demon's Souls. It is similarly as obtuse, confusing, and difficult, and I loved every minute of it.

Character customization is great, with tons of stats and abilities to spend points on. You get 3 points every level to put into attributes and can use money ("brouzofs") to upgrade cybernetic implants, buy new psionic powers, or unlock new weapons to use. All of these have various stat requirements, making it difficult to have a character who can do everything, at least without serious grinding. Many upgrades require research to unlock; this is done from your menu as you pick-up random things to research from defeated enemies. These take time and money to discover and the results may give you stat boosts, unlock new upgrades, or do nothing at all.

The core abilities deserving of special mention are the psionic powers and hacking system. Psionic powers can be used to do everything from lifting barrels and flinging them at enemies to driving them crazy to teleporting you right to them and blowing them up. Most enemies (especially mechanical ones like turrets) can be hacked, making them fight to defend you, stealing their energy, letting you control them directly, or simply blowing them up. This is accomplished through an on-the-fly hacking interface that shows you all available targets within range and allows you to pit your hacking skills against their defenses in a kind of minigame, choosing different programs to attack, defend, debuff, etc. Failure can do nothing, leave you drained of energy and hacked (complete with annoying flashy popup) or (rarely) fry your brain and kill you instantly. It requires a lot of investment, both in stats and time spent, but allows you to dominate most of the game.

You can play through the campaign either solo or 2-player co-op, as well as various multiplayer modes. The non-co-op ones involve teams of up to 34 players running around and completing objectives or killing each other to STOP them from completing objectives. This can get a little crazy in games with large teams, as they often complete all the objectives before you even reach any of them.

The game looks very nice, with good graphics and a dystopian cyberpunk setting that feels fresh despite being influenced by other works in the genre. It's refreshing to BE part of the ancient conspiracy for once, and no faction is clearly designated as "the good guys" or "the bad guys", leaving you free to choose based on your experiences.

Bottom Line: If you're willing to put in the time and effort to figure it out, E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy is an excellent and challenging game that doesn't assume you're an idiot who can't follow directions and gives you freedom to pursue whatever playstyle you like. If you're impatient, short-tempered, or like to be told exactly where to go, look elsewhere. This game is basically Deus Ex meets Demon's Souls, with everything that implies, and a good deal at $20.

Just remember: all hail the space turtle.

12 Comments
Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

How long does the campaign last?  Can you play through it with the same character, already leveled up & level up further the next time through?   How difficult are the achievements?
 
Thanks.

Posted by MasterVerhoffin

@Lind_L_Taylor: I'm not really sure how long the campaign lasts as I did a whole bunch of messing around, exploring, etc. Your character is persistent across all gamemodes and playthroughs, although you can always make a new one if you want. You keep everything including weapons, stats, money, research, upgrades, etc. You can load up the hub whenever you want to buy stuff or go back to old levels, which give you randomly-assigned objectives to do.

Most of the achievements are tied to campaign progression: there are 4 different endings, although no one's managed to find the 4th one yet. The others are kill x enemy with y weapon, kill x number of y enemy, research x, or be a specific class. Those are the only hard ones as your class name is determined based on your stats, and any character will eventually become a Gray Master given enough points.

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor
@MasterVerhoffin
 
Thanks, MV.  I may just go pick this up once I've tried the demo.
Need to make sure that the FPS doesn't give me dizzy spells
before I get into it.
Posted by kingschiebi
@Lind_L_Taylor
How long does the campaign last?  Can you play through it with the same character, already leveled up & level up further the next time through?   How difficult are the achievements?
 
Thanks.
Campaign can take you anything from 3 to 15 hours depending on playstyle and what you choose to do (i.e. playing through side-missions).
The game actively encourages you to play through it multiple times in a new game+ style (you keep evrything and continue levelling up) and if you should get bored, you can always switch to online co-op with your character or start a new one. There are at least 3 different endings currently available and a rumored 4th one (the "true" ending) is supposed to be achievable post-patch.

The achievements are not to hard to get (i got about 35% on my first playthrough), except for the 4 or 5 that are currently bugged. The patch is supposed to hit any day now and you might want to wait until it comes out.

I've sunk a solid 80 hours into the game so far with my character and did not even touch co-op, yet.
Posted by Lind_L_Taylor
@kingschiebi said:
@Lind_L_Taylor
How long does the campaign last?  Can you play through it with the same character, already leveled up & level up further the next time through?   How difficult are the achievements?
 
Thanks.
Campaign can take you anything from 3 to 15 hours depending on playstyle and what you choose to do (i.e. playing through side-missions). The game actively encourages you to play through it multiple times in a new game+ style (you keep evrything and continue levelling up) and if you should get bored, you can always switch to online co-op with your character or start a new one. There are at least 3 different endings currently available and a rumored 4th one (the "true" ending) is supposed to be achievable post-patch. The achievements are not to hard to get (i got about 35% on my first playthrough), except for the 4 or 5 that are currently bugged. The patch is supposed to hit any day now and you might want to wait until it comes out. I've sunk a solid 80 hours into the game so far with my character and did not even touch co-op, yet.
Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for the patch before I play it.
Sounds like you're getting your money's worth.  It's good
that games out there that aren't "AAA" in quality are still
damn fun to play.  I kind of like the 'rough cut' version
of games more than the polished variety.  Seems with
enough success, the sequel will be moving up a notch
out of the rough patch, with possibly a more refined 
storyline at least.
Posted by kingschiebi
@Lind_L_Taylor Patch is up (over 1GB of patchness it seems)
Wasn't able to check it out persoanlly, but the initial response looks positive.
The changelog is huge.
Posted by Lind_L_Taylor
@kingschiebi
 
Try it out for a few hours & make sure it's stable. Report
back on your findings.  Thanks!
Posted by kingschiebi
@Lind_L_Taylor Sadly, i'm on vacation and computer-less.
I won't be able to check it out in the next two weeks :-/
I'll gladly report back tzen, but I think you might be better of checking out the feedback from others or simply giving the game a shot.
Posted by Lind_L_Taylor
@kingschiebi said:
@Lind_L_Taylor Sadly, i'm on vacation and computer-less. I won't be able to check it out in the next two weeks :-/ I'll gladly report back tzen, but I think you might be better of checking out the feedback from others or simply giving the game a shot.
We'll see. I'll probably check the Steam forums.  I'm
currently spending a lot of time in Blood Bowl on the
weekends.
Posted by President_Barackbar

Once you compared the game to Demon's Souls you instantly unsold me. Great review nonetheless.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

"Deus Ex/Matrix/Shadowrun RPG set in a dystopian Bladerunner-esque world" = Cyberpunk 
Cyberpunk = Awesomeness
Therefor, E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy = Awesomeness 
Great review.

Posted by MmmSkyscraper

Very late to the party but thanks for the review.

Other reviews for E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy (PC)

    Dense, difficult, satisfying 0

    Offering a completely valid opinion on E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy is difficult.  E.Y.E. is a layered, obtuse, and difficult game due in part to the developers inability to completely flesh out some of the game's finer points as well purposefully obfuscated lore. Objectively, E.Y.E. is a Cyberpunk FPS/RPG hybrid akin to Deus Ex. You have the freedom to create and play your character however you want.  Should you choose a minigun and grenades and tackle an obstacle with guns blazing?  Would you pre...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.