Every week we are seeing new game releases and announcements hitting us and it can be easy to miss a few. With ID@Xbox titles dominating a lot of these releases, it's becoming increasingly harder for developers to get their game to shine over the rest. Interesting concepts and mechanics need to be put in place to make this happen, and with their debut release of Tachyon Project
, Eclipse Games have attempted to do just that. Does this dual stick shooter feel original enough to hold its own among a ton of titles or is it a project that shouldn't have seen the light of day?
Tachyon Project Hypothetical elementary particle capable of travelling faster than the velocity of light Project
sits within a genre of games that doesn't necessarily need a story of any kind to work, and yet this game has one. You are playing as a software program known as "Ada" who refers to her two creators as her parents. She has been let loose to hack into some of the most secure servers on Earth, and as her creators watch her do her work, they are suddenly taken away by some sort of law enforcement after being discovered. From here on out, it's up to Ada and her highly advanced intellect and conscience to find out where her parents are through hacking various government servers to gather information. While it was slightly confusing at first as to what was actually going on, the story becomes more interesting as levels go on and Ada discovers more about this mysterious conspiracy. It's told through simplistic static images and subtitles, but this fits the style of the game well as the flashy bits are left for the gameplay.
Tachyon Project Meet Helen, Ada's "mother"
's story mode has ten levels and is where you'll probably be spending most of your time. Each level requires you to make it through various waves of enemies with different objectives to complete. You take control of Ada via a small "ship" with the left stick and shoot with her primary weapon with the right stick, as well as two bonus powers that are tied to the left and right triggers. Ada has no actual health but instead a timer counts down at the top of the screen, and of course, if that gets to zero then you fail. Thankfully, the game will restart you from whatever current wave you were on at the time, so you never need to start the entire level again. The catch, though, is that whenever Ada collides with any enemy on the screen, time will be lost, so the aim is to stay clear of anything and everything that you see. However, this is also counteracted by the fact that whenever an enemy is killed, time is gained and so Ada can afford a couple of bumps and crashes.
Periodically throughout the game, you unlock new weapons, powers and perks for Ada to make use of. Weapons range from a rapid machine gun to a powerful laser that disintegrates anything on impact so there is a decent amount of variety here. You can also slow down enemies and explode them with your powers, as well as start with extra time and fire at a faster rate with your perks. Many combinations can be found here so there's plenty of abilities to keep the game fresh. However, Ada's starting weapon, powers and perks are all she actually needs to make it through to the end, so right from the start you feel like an almighty AI that can destroy top secret data already. It may have been better to start with weaker weapons and work your way up to better ones for more obvious and rewarding progression.
Ima Firin Mah Lazor!
As you shoot and explode through the story, Ada will be introduced to more and more new enemies. Tachyon Project
is host to a multitude of different enemies with unique designs and it's exciting to see loads of them on the screen at once. Enemies will start easy and you'll just be required to fire at relatively slow moving yellow orbs, but eventually, you'll be needing to evade smashers and squids that will mercilessly race towards you in large groups. The majority of enemies only really vary in their movement and attack patterns so a few shots can take them down, but there are some that require different tactics, like the shield bearers. These are completely immune to gunfire unless attacked from behind where they are vulnerable, and vortexes are swirling masses that attempt to suck you in and destroy your timer if you get too close. Each wave will ask you to either survive for a certain period of time or destroy a certain amount of enemies before it lets you move on, so while they don't vary all that much, the actual enemies themselves create an exciting amount of chaos in each level. Mid-way through the story, though, there is a sudden difficulty spike and it can be frustrating to adapt to new enemies for a while, but the game forces you to deal with this as you progress closer to the final level. It can be annoying when dying at the same section over and over, but it's never so overwhelming to the extent that it's impossible.
At the end of these levels, you may be thrown into a boss encounter. These can be pretty brutal as getting hit once will instantly kill you and there can be a lot happening at once on the screen. Some of these bosses are fun, but others can be a nuisance with awkward tactics so the hordes of enemies are more entertaining. Strangely enough, the final boss is one of the easiest encounters in the game so it's a bit anticlimactic. For the most part, though, you will be enjoying weaving in and out of enemies all over the place and shooting thousands of bullets across the screen.
The more chaotic it is, the better
As well as Tachyon Project
's entertaining gameplay, it also has a good soundtrack. Electronic dance tracks will play loudly over the action as you race around, shooting your enemies. It really helps to add to the chaotic nature of the game, and these tunes become very recognisable as they cycle back round. With it being such a strong soundtrack, a few more tracks could have been added in as it's quite limited, but what you do hear is catchy enough to enjoy hearing again for the tenth time.
Once you finish the story or just fancy a break from finding Ada's parents, then there are a couple of other modes for you to try out. Endless mode is self explanatory and will ask you to survive as long as you can with enemies constantly trying to end your attempt while competing for the highest score on the leaderboard. There's also a stealth mode where you'll be put into a darkened map with stealth-based enemies trying to hunt you down. While these can both be fun, they aren't as interesting as the story mode because the story has the same scoring system and enemies, so there isn't too much need to detract yourself from it, unless you want to play in co-op. Tachyon Project
's co-op gameplay is unfortunately limited to the challenge modes which feels like a strange move, but nonetheless it is there for people to enjoy. Up to four players are able to take part in couch co-op and work together in vanquishing the AI threat. However, from my experience, there is barely any differentiation in which player is which, so identical ships will be shooting. With a potentially chaotic screen full of enemies, this can make it even harder, so this element of gameplay almost feels like a secondary option rather than going alongside the singleplayer. It's fun when having a laugh with a friend or two, but only for a short while.
Keeping an eye on exactly where you are is key
If you're after a game that is both quick to complete and fun, then you're in the right place. Tachyon Project
has a total of twenty-six achievements for a total of 1,000G and all can be acquired in single player. These range from completing the story
, killing different enemies
and using all of your weapons
. The achievement that will take up the most of your time, though, is accumulating ten million points
. Upon finishing the story and trying out the other modes, I still wasn't even halfway there so some grinding is required to do this, but nothing too soul destroying. All in all, it's a simple achievement list.
With ID@Xbox implementing new titles into the Xbox One library, Tachyon Project
may be in over its head, but it is a fun title that provides some hours of entertainment. It won't keep you playing for hours on end, but what you will play will be fun and exciting. Its colourful, flashy gameplay along with the catchy beats that play in the background makes for a well crafted game, but the co-op and challenge modes lack slightly in comparison so once you've completed the story, it won't be long before you move on. It stands at a reasonable price for what it is so it's certainly worth a look if you're a fan of dual stick shooters or quick and easy games. The occasional difficulty spike feels a bit off-putting at times, but nonetheless, this is a title that helps to bolster the quality of ID@Xbox as it continues to provide us with new games.
- Colourfully chaotic gameplay
- Lots of enemy variety
- Catchy soundtrack
- Co-op and challenge modes lacking
- Not much to it after story is completed
The reviewer spent just over ten hours eradicating thousands of enemies and finding out what happened to Ada's parents. In the process, all of the game's achievements were earned. A copy of the game was provided courtesy of the developer for the purpose of this review.