Tachyon Project from Eclipse Games is an interesting take on the dual stick shooter. On first glance it reminded me of Geometry War Galaxies, which I had a lot of fun with on the Wii. However Tachyon Project manages to inject some unique elements into the formula. Many of these are mixed though, making for an okay but uneven experience.
There is a story element attached to the game, shared through sporadic cutscenes. How meaningful is it, with no voice work and miniscule text? The answer is, very little. This is ultimately a minor point, but when the game is pitched as being “driven by a story”, it’s worth mentioning I didn’t find that to be the case.
One of the more notable features with Tachyon Project is how your health is linked to the timer. While I’m still undecided if this is a good or bad thing, I must admit that it gives the game an interesting flavor. Once I wrapped my head around the idea, I did start to be entertained by the risk/reward design.
Another area of risk/reward comes from the occasional stealth sections. In these, enemies are generally unable to see you until you fire upon them. The risk of course being that every second your hiding, the timer (your health) is ticking down. I’m not as taken by these sections as I thought I might be, but they’re definitely interesting, and thankfully used sparingly enough so as to not become an annoyance.
Some outright positives for the game include the enemy variety. There is some real diversity in the types of obstacles (30 plus) you’ll encounter. Your weapons, though not as varied, are also good insofar as you can adjust them between waves. I really appreciate this, as a quick adjustment can turn frustration into victory. You’ll only be able to rely on standard weapons for so long. There are also some appreciated extras like statistics and achievements.
As for weak points, Tachyon Project does have areas that could stand some improvement. For a game advertising “An intense original soundtrack” the lack of any audio for Off-TV play is baffling. I also ran into leaderboard bugs, which weakens the replay value. And while I normally appreciate that multiple controllers are supported, this is only the case with multiplayer for some strange reason.
Speaking of multiplayer, there’s none for the story mode sadly. It’s limited to just 10 challenge modes. Many start with “This challenge is similar to the …” It hinders the variety, something which effects the main game too. When the difficulty spikes in the final third, and when the sheer volume of enemies start spawning on top of you, overwhelming the tiny rectangular playfield, this is the point I was really looking for diversity to hold my interest. But the continuance of ‘Destroy x amount of enemies’ and ‘survive this many seconds’ missions ultimately proves frustrating.
When all’s said and done, I wonder what type of staying power Tachyon Project will have. Despite several commendable aspects, the overall package has me leaning towards a “wait for a sale” recommendation. That said, there aren’t many games like this on the Wii U. So if you’re a big fan of this style, you’ll likely find Tachyon Project entertaining, at least for a little while.
Review: Tachyon Project (Wii U eShop)
Despite several commendable aspects, the overall package has me leaning towards a “wait for a sale” recommendation.