Review: Tachyon Project (PS4)

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Title: Tachyon Project
Format: PlayStation Network Download (436.9 MB)
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Eclipse Games S.C.
Developer: Eclipse Games S.C.
Original MSRP: $9.99 (US), €9.99 (EU), £7.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 7
Tachyon Project is also available on PlayStation Vita (TBD), Xbox One, Wii U, and PC.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Twin-stick shooters are becoming quite popular with another two being released on the PlayStation 4 within a week of one another. I put both through their paces and find out if either Tachyon Project or AIPD can knock Geometry Wars 3 out of its top spot.

Gameplay:
A story is a rarity in a twin-stick shooter. I mean, why bother. Well I’m glad Eclipse Games did. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t made a story that Oprah would be proud of but they did manage to intrigue me. What surprised me is that it fits quite well within the confines of the game.

At first glance, Tachyon Project looks like a no-frills shooter in comparison with AIPD or Geometry Wars 3, but then you notice the variety and clarity each enemy offers. Eclipse Games grasped the absolute importance of enemy distinction. Knowing what you are fighting is half the battle.

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Each craft that appears is instantly recognizable and after a few battles against it, you will know their patterns, Achilles’ heel, and importance. Some have excellent protection on their front, others barrel toward you in a near impenetrable blur before crashing into the wall, and some just aimlessly twirl around waiting to die.

Each level is split into waves and requires different goals to be met. Some want a particular enemy killed a set amount of times, some need you to survive for a certain amount of time, and the others want a bucketload of any enemy killed to move on.

… using the same setup for the entire game …
One thing that I should mention is your health. You do not have a bar that depletes with each hit, instead you have time. Every enemy that crashes into you, each barrier you touch, all diminishes your time, if it reaches zero, it’s game over. You have infinite continues that allow you to play on from the beginning of the wave.

You can unlock some new guns, power ups, and defences that you equip in an awkward and sometimes difficult to read configuration menu. Several of them seem underpowered and even pointless against many of the later enemy waves. I resorted to using the same setup for the entire game. I experimented with each new unlock but always went back.

I was surprised by the last level and not just because the difficulty ramps up a notch or two, I’m not going to spoil anything, that’s something we prefer not to do. There is a Story Mode+ and several challenges to keep you entertained. I liked the Endless and Claustrophobia modes the best.

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Visuals:
There is simplicity to the overall look of the game that fooled me into thinking it was an inferior experience to others in its genre. The basic border could have appeared in a Windows 95 game, yet the fast and fluid action seems only possible on current generation hardware.

There is such a diverse and easily recognizable assortment of enemies which can sometimes fill the screen to the point of almost impossible odds. A few cause time to briefly slow down when they explode which gives a brief moment to blink and scan the area.

… very tense and nail-biting toward the end …
Audio:
A few parts of the music were very familiar and at times I expected the Geometry Wars 3 soundtrack to kick in which, obviously, it never did. Overall, the audio is an enjoyable and competent part of the game although I was not keen on the pause sound effect. It is a touch too loud, but you can’t win them all. I understand why the developers included it, but it quickly grates on even the calmest observer.

Online/Multiplayer:
Up to four players can jump into a local challenge game that each have their own leaderboards. It can be fun, especially when you are all trying to hide in the Extreme Stealth challenge, only shooting when absolutely necessary. Because I only have two controllers, I was unable to play with the full allotment but it seemed to play very well with two people.

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Conclusion:
Tachyon Project did not claim the crown for twin-stick shooters but it came the closest. An interesting but short story kept me entertained and intrigued. Some levels became very tense and nail-biting toward the end of the game. The visually unique enemies made it easy to know how to react and survive in the, at times, hectic game.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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