Hits with Gameplay, Misses with Story | Tachyon Project Review
Loading up Eclipse Games’ Tachyon Project on my Xbox One was exciting and had me optimistic for a fun, multi-directional shooter, and in regards to the gameplay, I can’t say I was disappointed. The game is fun, has versatile enemies and changing mechanics, but after getting started in the story mode, I realized that the direction for this game may have been off.
But before I talk about the story and general direction of this game, there is praise due for the gameplay itself. New enemies are introduced in each of the 10 levels, and sometimes there are multiple new enemies in each level. It’s fun, changing, and does get a bit challenging after a while.
There are plenty of options to earn in the game, such as shotgun and missile weapon types, perks that can boost your speed or cause you to do more damage, and special weapons like freeze bombs and turrets.
The special weapons are your best tool here, and people who forget to use them or aren’t prone to use them could have a tough time. I personally preferred using the proximity mines, which go off once an enemy gets close to it. You can lay down as many as you like, and it can save you in a pinch.
One of the coolest aspects of the game is it’s “stealth” levels. The area is dark and you can’t really see all too well unless you are shooting, and it’s easy to get caught by surprise. It’s a refreshing addition to a genre that sometimes gets stuck in a rut.
In terms of health, the game’s health system is based around time. When you kill enemies, it puts more time on the clock, and when you take damage from an enemy, it takes off time. If you’re not careful, the game can barrage you with fast-moving enemies, and that’ll put you down quick.
And this is not to mention the homemade soundtrack. A blend of electronica, dubstep and probably a couple other electronic genres, the music is fun and exciting. It changes throughout the game, and although it’s basically a CD on repeat, the songs don’t come around often enough to get tired of them.
The music is one of the best accents of the game, and where some games phone in a soundtrack, Tachyon’s is well made and fits the game just right.
My experience with the gameplay was a lot of fun, and it was decently challenging for someone who has some experience with multi-directional shooters but doesn’t play them a lot. It’s polished, smooth and the versatility of the enemies and weapons allow you to play in a lot of different ways.
However, that’s where the most of my praise ends. The game is based in a 10-level story mode, in which you are a cyber creation called “Ada”. That’s the gist, and I don’t want to give too many details about the story itself, although it’s nothing to really savor.
Besides a predictable and basic premise, the main issue I have with the game is the poor writing and story progression. It seems like the group that made Tachyon, Eclipse Games, knew how to make a polished shooter, but didn’t know how to write a decent story or dialogue.
The cutscenes consist of drawn images matched with text at the bottom of the screen, which really puts the text in the spotlight since there isn’t much to look at above. This attention makes it much easier to notice the awkward writing and shallow story.
Now, most multi-directional shooters don’t need a great story, and it’s the gameplay that has to be on point, and Tachyon’s gameplay is. However, the majority of the game is based in the story mode, and if you’re going to make that the main part of the game and basis for the game’s name, it’s better be decent with it’s writing and ideas.
Instead, Tachyon’s weakest link is in the story. I’d have been much happier with just the ten levels being displayed in a way similar to a mobile game than through it’s story.
But, as I mentioned before, people who enjoy multi-directional shooters will enjoy this game. Gameplay matters most to the majority of gamers, and this game will satisfy that need, although the 10 levels with six waves a piece, plus three challenge levels, may seem a little short.
This game scratches the itch for a fun shooter that controls well. Despite the issues with the story, this game will do fine on the Xbox marketplace due to the fact that this type of game is something a lot of people look for on the marketplace, plus the fact that Microsoft will likely market it since the game is part of the id@Xbox program.