A Game of death and rebirth in the cybernetic world of Loopmancer

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Those who play a lot of indie games know that Chinese developers are beginning to put their works out there for the world to enjoy! Genshin Impact still has many gamers hooked, Detention scared us by throwing us into a school filled with ghosts and the list goes on. The various Chinese gaming teams have really tried to take genres to new levels and that’s why we were excited to play a recent Chinese game in the form of Loopmancer. Developed by newcomer eBrain Studio, Loopmancer has a lot of potential as it tries to blend sci-fi with action, roguelike, and old-school 2D gameplay. While this is just a demo to give us a taste of what could be Loopmancer, we have some thoughts on the good and bad that is this ambitious game.

Arm Up, Ready Up, and Get Pumped

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Loopmancer wastes no time throwing you into the world of cool guy detective Xiang Zixu who wields both a primary weapon—which there are several to choose from initially—as well as a pistol. You can immediately feel the precision in combat as you switch between beating down an enemy with a sword or pipe and then ending their remainder of health with a pistol to avoid a last-minute grenade or attack they might have. Loopmancer doesn’t hold back with testing your 2D reflexes as not dodging at the right time or letting too many enemies surround you will mean you’ll face a rather quick death. Even after dying numerous times during the demo, Loopmancer’s gameplay was the star of the show as it reminded us of the retro feeling of games like Bionic Commando with the nuance of newer titles like Katana Zero. We can’t wait to experience everything Loopmancer has to offer in the full release!

Dying Means Learning

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One of the main gimmicks behind Loopmancer—and what makes the title make sense—is that Xiang Zixu has a strange power where death allows him to return to the start of the day but with his intact memories. However, don’t think that makes the next run easier as areas can change with each death and the choices made upon death can also lead to one of several endings. We didn’t get to experience this much but we can’t wait to see how many endings the game will have and what choices will affect what in the final product.

Stylish but Imperfect Visuals

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Being a demo, we always anticipate there will be various bugs and glitches with a game but Loopmancer’s demo has quite a fair amount of them. We had the game crash several times, saw weird double images during cutscenes, and noticed a lot of screen tearing reminiscent of the PS2 gaming era. Again, this is a demo so we are sure these can be ironed out in the final product but we have played many games made by small indie Chinese developers that have had their fair share of graphical/gameplay issues. We hope Loopmancer looks a lot better in the final product which is slated for a 2022 release window.

The Story Kind of Feels…Silly

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Loopmancer’s story—while intriguing—equally made us laugh at the wrong reasons while playing the demo. From the goofy actions of various character introductions to the somewhat comical stereotypes we noticed, Loopmancer’s demo didn’t leave us expecting this tale to be the next big sci-fi tale. That being said, for those who love that old 80s story vibe with a mixture of corny dialogue and over-the-top violence, you may dig this Loopmancer narrative. We are right now on the edge with the story but we do want to see more of it and that should say something!

Final Thoughts

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Loopmancer is far from perfect but a lot of what we experienced in this demo left us wanting more! From the high octane gameplay with tons of violence to the visuals—which are still pretty flawed—we have high expectations for Loopmancer! When we get the chance, we will no doubt have a full game review out for you readers in the nearby future! Are you excited about Loopmancer and have we piqued your curiosity? Let us know via the comments below! Be sure to keep stuck to our extremely cool hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more game reviews and anime articles!

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