Tachyon Project, a game developed by Eclipse games, is a twin-stick shooter that aims to take elements from classic shoot em up games and adapt them for the twin stick genre, but does it make for a good game?
The game starts with a story of sorts, you are Ada, a software programme created by Helen and Halt, to hack high profile targets to find out information, starting with the mayor. Ada considers them her parents and when the initial hack goes wrong and they are being traced, Helen decides to release Ada into the “wild” before the door gets kicked in and they disappear.
Ada, desperate and alone (strange for a software programme) makes it her mission to hunt them down, says something about a womb and evolves into a stronger, more efficient hacker uncovering all sorts of secrets along the way.
The story is told via words and pictures changing on the screen with some very exciting fast-paced music, this was slightly frustrating as an achievement would pop after each level and wouldn’t go away until a couple lines into the dialog, so with no real audio explaining it, sometimes I couldn’t see what was being said. Although not a serious issue, I feel that should have been taken into account. There is the option of watching the cutscenes again via the menu.
Each level consists of an objective, kill X amount of enemies, survive the allotted time or kill a special enemy. I was impressed at the variety of enemies available with the game boasting over thirty. This definitely helped make the experience a unique one and I was always on the lookout for what enemies were approaching. Enemies that charge, mines, shielded ones that you had to swerve to avoid in order to do enough damage to break it’s shield, Snake-like enemies and so many more.
To help you out, Ada is equipped with secondary weapons which are very handy in taking down hordes of enemies. Two can be equipped at the same time, but use up your health which is essentially just a time limit that depletes whenever you are hit. Once I started using two proximity mines, I felt they may have been a little little over-powered, I was pretty much destroying the whole screen with strategically placed mines as the enemies hunted me in droves and the recharge time seemed to go quick enough for me to constantly use them.
But experimenting with secondary weapons is definitely a must, to find the best combination for total destruction, and there are plenty to choose from. After each story mission Ada also gains a new weapon to use, be it a shotgun, machine gun or missiles all helped in different ways although I felt the last weapon that unlocked was probably the worst but that was due to the fact it was a laser beam that required precision and not just something that could be sprayed constantly around you.
The music matched the game perfectly and really helped set the tone for the game, which is a must when playing games of this type, colourful enemies swarming around me and an exciting soundtrack which kept me alert and ready to test my reaction times to avoid failing the level. The difficulty increased as my journey advanced but the game is very forgiving, with you starting from the beginning of the segment you died on. After playing games like We Are doomed this definitely was a nice change and allowed me to improve my skills while not paying the ultimate penalty of starting from the beginning.
If improving yourself is something you enjoy, there is a combo system which increases every time an enemy is destroyed, picking up the energy/orbs they drop provide points allowing you to build up high scores and test yourself even after you’ve finished the ten level story allowing for great replayability.
Once you’re done with the story but still have the need to frantically destroy things while hoping the pain in your hand from the fast paced gameplay goes away, you can test your skills in challenge mode to see how far you make it and aim for world domination on the leaderboards. This mode can be played in co-op and is a great addition to an already diverse game.
Overall, Tachyon Project is a great addition to the genre, it’s exciting and fast-paced gameplay teamed with unique and diverse enemies keep you on your toes. The level’s bosses may test your skills a bit but the difficulty is great even for newcomers to twin-stick shooters, with forgiving checkpoints when you die and an array of perks and secondary weapons to use. The music sets the mood perfectly and you’ll enjoy speeding around the screen avoiding enemies and the satisfying feeling of completing a segment. You really can become the ultimate hacking machine.