Many of you will remember Project Gotham Racing 2 and the mini game Geometry Wars which later had it’s full released known as Geometry Wars : Retro Evolved, for many it was the re-birth of the top down shooter, lovingly known as a twin-stick shooter.
Over the years there’s been hundreds of variations of the genre, and even Geometry Wars evolved into a more three dimensional game in it’s more recent release.
Tachyon Project isn’t just a tip of the hat to Bizarre creations classic, it’s incredibly similar but has more than enough quality to stand tall on it’s own as an incredibly fun game.
Tachyon Project is a artificial intelligence program designed for hacking and you take control of the A.I in story mode as it tries to uncover the mystery of it’s creators disappearance by hacking in various networks such as the council, police, army and global corporations, there’s 10 levels in total, each split up into a handful of servers.
Every server you breech plays out similar to a round in Geometry Wars, a rectangular board, enclosed on all sides with various enemies popping up, your objective for each server varies from surviving a set amount of time to destroying a pre-defined number of enemies.
Many of these enemies will feel familiar to fans of the genre, with some bouncing around the screen harmlessly while others actively follow you in one way or another.
Classic twin-stick shooter fans will really appreciate the way Tachyon Project plays but there’s some welcome depth thanks to ship configuration which allows you to change your primary weapon, as well as two secondary weapons (controlled by the left and right triggers) as well as 2 ‘Perks’.
Weapons range from the standard spread of bullets, to the faster but narrower machine gun, or maybe the shotgun which is short range, but more powerful. There’s also Missiles and Mini-bombs along with the super accurate laser.
Perks allow you to increase health, ship speed or weapon fire rate and damage, but with options such as ricochet, knock-back and homing bullets there’s plenty of options for how to approach the servers.
The story mode is fairly short and will probably last you a few evenings, especially if you take on the tougher ‘Story mode +’ There’s also ten challenges to test your skills and battle the online leader-boards with both solo and local co-operative play.
These challenges include the expected endless modes, including the Stealth servers where enemies only pursue you when you shoot, but have the added complication of limited visibility.
In all it’s not going to last you weeks and weeks, but the fun factor might well keep you coming back just for the sake of it. I did find myself playing again and again after completion to finish off the handful of remaining achievements so fans of trophies and gamerscore can be sure it’s not going to take them too long to collect them all.
Graphically, I found Tachyon Project less appealing than even the first Geometry Wars : Retro Evolved. That might sound a little unfair considering that was on the Xbox 360, but with the power of the console at the time, some of the screen effects where fantastic, and with Tachyon Project there’s nothing that feels like it’s pushing the boundaries. There is however a good level of presentation and I didn’t encounter any bugs or slow-down at all.
Audio is a little more appealing with various high tempo tracks which set the mood perfectly, some feel like they’ve been cut and paste from Geometry Wars, but there’s a decent mixture thrown in.
Bottom Line :
Overall I found Tachyon Project incredibly similar to Geometry Wars and it seems obvious the developers are quite happy to sit in the shadow of one of the greatest twin-stick shooters ever.
Tachyon Project is a great little game, that doesn’t exceed what we’ve seen before, but does provide many hows of fun packed entertainment.
Gameplay : 8.5
Graphics : 7
Sound : 7.5
Story : 7.5
Value : 8
Overall : 7.7 / 10