Tachyon Project Review

Richard Walker

I'm a sucker for Geometry Wars, sitting for hours at a time blasting little neon shapes into oblivion, while my fingers and thumbs steadily grow more and more arthritic, my grip on the controller and analogue sticks becoming increasingly vice-like as the points tally skyrockets, promising potential leaderboard supremacy. Maybe. Like Geo Wars, Tachyon Project is a twin-stick shooter, but is it anywhere near as addictive?

At first, Tachyon Project just seems like a Geometry Wars clone with a perfunctory story tacked on just for the sheer hell of it. And after a few of the early levels this initial opinion doesn't really shift all that much. The narrative – what there is of it – seems somewhat sterile, with static hand-painted cut-scenes with subtitles (no voice acting) relaying the story of a computer program named Ada, which manifests itself as your ship, zapping its way through the myriad of defences the system you're hacking into hurls at you.

However, the plot soon thickens, and you begin to understand how Ada's creators Helen and Halt factor into the story, and how hacking into the mainframes of shady corporations leads to a steadily escalating difficulty curve, thrusting Tachyon Project's gameplay into Geometry Wars levels of freneticism and teeth-gritting intensity.

Tachyon Project is well worth sticking with through its shaky opening moments then, as new enemies with their own unique patterns are introduced, and some fairly demanding bosses turn up to keep you on your toes. Much of Tachyon Project is spent shooting a set number of enemies before your timer - which also doubles as your ship's health - elapses to zero.

Should you collide with an enemy, you'll lose a chunk from your timer, and only by quickly shooting more baddies to smithereens can you add much-needed seconds to your clock. It's a neat system, and each time you die, a few seconds get added to the timer to compensate for your rubbishness. Each wave you complete during each level is also a checkpoint, meaning that frustration is seldom an issue in Tachyon Project, and the sheer number of enemies to shoot to bits remains a joyful endeavour until the end.

Unlocking new weapons, perks and secondary abilities for your ship also helps in keeping Tachyon Project interesting for the duration of its narrative, and by the time you've completed the story and unlocked the devastating laser beam, you can mop up remaining achievements by dipping into the game's extensive challenge mode.

It's in challenge mode that you'll find added longevity once you're done with the core story mode, with Endless Challenge a self-explanatory score attack against non-stop enemies, Stealth Challenge plunging you into near darkness with enemies emerging from out of the shadows, and Limited Time Challenge tasking you with attaining the highest score possible within the allotted time. And as you'd hope, all of this is supported by leaderboards.

Tachyon Project is far from perfect, however, with presentation reminiscent of a 90s-era PSone game, and its story essentially a pointless addition that's easily skippable. I also encountered an irritating save bug that erased almost a third of my story progress when loading the game up for the second time, losing the weapons I'd unlocked in the process. Yet, in spite of these flaws, Eclipse's shooter is still good clean fun.

The achievement list is also pretty decent, presenting you with objectives like destroying a few thousand enemies with each weapon, completing all ten levels in the story mode, reaching a cumulative score tally and dispatching a certain number of a specific enemy. As achievement lists go, it's very straightforward and a bit unremarkable, but it fits the bill nicely.

As far as addictive Geometry Wars-style twin-stick shooters are concerned, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Tachyon Project. There's a good few hours of frantic blasting fun to be had here, and while it doesn't have the replayability or overall appeal of Geo Wars (it's hard not to keep drawing the comparison), Tachyon Project does have a lot of its own merits that make it worth checking out.

Tachyon Project

A fine twin-stick shooter, Tachyon Project is good, solid entertainment that's worth whiling away a few hours with. Pew pew, and so forth.

Form widget
70%
Audio
60%

Some fairly aggressive synthesised music pounds your eardrums as you play, but after sustained sessions, it just becomes an intrinsic facet in your trance-like state.

Visuals
60%

Not massively varied, you'll find yourself confined to the same closed arena in Tachyon Project, although you're bombarded by a wealth of colourful enemies. Nice enough.

Playability
80%

Starting off slow to begin with, Tachyon Project soon picks up the pace, chucking loads of different enemies at you, each with their own behaviour. It's good fun.

Delivery
60%

Ten story levels with the odd boss to defeat thrown in, an extra Challenge mode and leaderboards will keep you occupied for a while, but you may grow weary of zapping things once you've grabbed the full 1000 Gamerscore.

Achievements
70%

A nice and easy 1000G, Tachyon Project's achievement list also covers all of the right areas, ensuring you experiment with everything on offer.

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