Tachyon Project (Review)
Tachyon Project actually has a story, a simple, yet intriguing setup for the waves of shootybangs to come. You control an A.I. called Ada, the creation of a pair of hackers that starts the game by being let loose into a network. Things go south for Ada’s ‘parents’ after this, and it is left alone to survive in a series of ten different networks in order to try and reach its creators. The enemies Ada faces are essentially the network’s protection, hunting down this rogue to defend the host. As efforts go into adding background detail to a run-of-the-mill genre, it’s a pretty good one, though the static storyboards that advance the plot are not quite as interesting as they first appear,despite having a pleasingly early 90’s vibe to them. Also, I missed portions of the story first time round because text was onscreen at the same time I was playing, meaning I had to choose which part to concentrate on; being as the game is the meat and potatoes of it, I was always going to pick the game. It’s one of those flaws that seems obvious out in the wild, but easily passed over during development. It’s a shame that it distracts from the attempt to tell a story, but at least it doesn’t greatly affect the game itself.
Tachyon Project starts in a pretty standard manner. Small, slower moving enemies drift towards the hail of bullets that Ada spurts out, but gradually, the enemy types get more and more varied, with a pretty impressive amount of differing baddies to get to grips with. The Bull spawns in one part of the screen and charges at the other end, obliterating anything in its path - dodge it and it destroys itself on the wall. There’s shielded enemies you have to circle behind to deal with effectively, mine types that sporadically shoot out four long tripwires to catch you out, and builders that create more enemies if not swiftly dispatched. Basically, there’s quite a few types. These are all easy enough on their own, but as levels progress, you find yourself hounded by a combination of enemies, and things get suitably frenetic. Luckily, it does come down to your dexterity where progress is concerned because Tachyon Project’s controls are solid and responsive, so frustration is more likely to come from your personal abilities, though sadly some enemy patterns do seem a tad cheap, so that can also aggravate. Ada also suffers from a little bit of recoil when firing the main weapon, but it’s easy enough to accommodate into your playstyle.