Have you ever been browsing the net and seen the dreaded 404 page? Maybe you typed in the wrong web address, maybe the servers were over capacity or maybe, just maybe, the servers have had a visit from Ada, the protagonist in Eclipse Game’s twin stick shooter Tachyon Project.
Ada is a software program with a conscience designed to hack into some of the most secure servers on the planet. After testing Ada, its creators realise that they are being tracked so they release her into the Internet to protect her. Alone, Ada hacks servers to try to find her way home to her creators.
The servers act as levels in Tachyon Project with ten levels in total, each comprising of several waves. These waves have different objectives from destroying a set amount of enemies to surviving for 120 seconds. There is no health bar in Tachyon Project; instead it is all about time and if you run out of time then the wave is over. You will also lose time if you are hit but gain it if you clear the enemies. This may seem strange, but it works really well. It forces you to engage the enemy. You can’t just try to avoid them. Well, you can, but if you do you won’t have enough time to complete the waves.
In terms of controls in Tachyon Project it’s the “traditional dual stick shooter set-up™” and I’m pleased to say that it’s very responsive and slick. You’ve got the left stick controlling your movement, the right stick dealing with the primary firepower and the shoulder buttons used for the secondary weapons. There are plenty of weapons and perks in the game with 6 different primary weapons, 9 secondary weapons and 7 perks. You are allowed to carry a primary weapon, two secondary weapons and two perks at any time so there are hundreds of different combinations you can have. Not all of these are available straight away, though. Many need to be unlocked as you play so it’s worth looking at how you unlock them in the “config ship” page. Some require you to finish a certain level while others will need you to dip back into a level to achieve a target score.
Visually, Tachyon Project will no doubt be compared to Geometry Wars. Many of the enemies have more than a striking resemblance, but make no mistake this is no mere copy. The hand drawn comic/graphic novel style cut scenes could have felt disjointed from the rest of the graphics, but they don’t. In fact they drive the narrative on nicely.
As well as the story mode, Tachyon Project also has a healthy number of challenges to try out in Challenge Mode. Here you come face to face with an unending wave of enemies. It is up to you whether you complete this alone or locally with up to 4 players. Your high scores in challenge mode as well as the story mode are then posted onto a global leaderboard.
There are 15 trophies in Tachyon Project as you play through the game. They are awarded for “X” amount of kills and completing the game. A few are for getting a set number of kills with a set weapon, and you can approach this in one of two ways: either swap to the said weapon in story mode or head to the challenges. Luckily there is a stat tracker page so you can see how many kills you have left. All in all it is a reasonably straightforward trophy list that won’t take you long to complete.
Tachyon Project is a great twin stick shooter. It has the versatility and speed of Geometry Wars with the customization of weaponry and perks that you usually find in shoot’em ups. The story mode isn’t the longest, but trying to climb the global leaderboard in challenge mode ensures you’ll get more than enough bang for your bucks.
NelMaNo Rating 7/10