Tachyon Project – Review

Title   Tachyon Project
Developer  Eclipse Games
Publisher  Eclipse Games
Platform  PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Windows PC
Genre  Arcade, Shoot 'em up
Release Date  January 19th, 2016
Official Site  http://www.eclipse-games.net/tachyon.html

tprojectrev1Another day, another twin-stick shooter. Tachyon Project is yet another entry into this overcrowded genre and arrives courtesy of Spanish coders Eclipse Games. The game riffs heavily off of Geometry Wars 3, and while this may seem derivative in a genre as populated as this one, it’s a wise move to use the best for inspiration. That means, Tachyon Project is an arena shooter where you fly your ship with the left stick and shoot with the right stick. Enemies are varied, with each type having a distinctive shape and attack behaviour, just as you’d expect.

What you might not expect is an actual story. Instead of being out in space taking on alien invaders, your ship is Ada, a software program that has been created as a hacking tool (the enemy shapes are security systems or something) by Helen and Halt, a pair of young cyberpunks straight out of the Matrix’s playbook. After Ada’s first job goes awry, Helen and Halt go missing and Ada decides to search for them. From that point on each of the game’s ten levels is a computer system and these are broken down into several waves. Each wave has an objective: destroy X amount of this type of enemy, survive for a certain amount of time. You know the drill.


Enemies are introduced throughout all ten stages of the campaign and you earn new weapons along the way, making it almost feel like an extended tutorial, but the campaign is enjoyable for sure and does eventually start putting up a challenge (although the game never gets rock-solid difficult). The weapons system is quite interesting here. You can unlock new primary weapons (turning your basic blaster into a rapid fire machine gun, shotgun, laser, missile launcher and so on), secondary weapons (smart bombs, turrets, defensive drones, time-slowing) and mods (faster shooting, more damage, extra shields, etc.).

tprojectrev3The downside is that the best primary weapon (machine gun) is the first upgrade you unlock and, trophies aside, there is no reason to stop using it, especially as later guns are too slow to be effective against the (frankly massive) swarms of enemies that start coming at you. The secondary weapon and mod upgrades are worth playing with, though. Story Mode only lasts a couple of hours, tops, (although do you really want a shoot ‘em up that goes on forever?) and unlocks Story Mode+ (which is the same thing but harder). You also have a stack of individual challenge levels to play through, too, which serve as variations on a basic arcade mode).

The interesting thing about the game itself is that you are up against a clock – taking damage just chops time away from the remaining seconds, while destroying enemies tops up the time. It’s a good system but, in the heat of battle, damage is damage and you won’t be clockwatching, that’s for sure. It works though. The gameplay here is fun. It’s all a bit more chunky and less refined than Geometry Wars 3 but as far as the also-rans go, this one of the better ones. You feel suitably powerful in it (unlike the risible Mastercube from last year) and there are plenty of opportunities to show off your skills in tight situations without the game ever seeming unfair (provided you’ve got the right weapons selected).


Visually, everything is bright, colourful and clean. The game won’t blow you away with its graphics but you’re never struggling to see what’s what. The viewpoint is maybe a little too zoomed in but not overly so. The audio isn’t quite as good, however. While the music is okay (in a predictable, electro kind of way), the sound effects are very underwhelming. I want crisp lasers and booming explosions but everything here just sounds like the world’s worst drum machine samples.

Tachyon Project is solid, playable and fun. You can’t always say that about the shoot ‘em ups we see on PSN these days and so that’s enough. It’s no Geometry Wars 3 of course, and you might want to look at Super Stardust Ultra before you buy into this but, overall, this is a good game.

  • Satisfying gameplay
  • Good choice of modes
  • Lots of upgrade options to play around with
  • Decent visuals
  • Could have been a bit more refined
  • Primary weapon upgrades need beefing up
  • Local multiplayer only
  • A bit short lived (trophies can be completed in around three hours)

There are some better twin-stick shooter options out there on PSN but there are plenty of worse ones, and Tachyon Project ends up being a competent, above-average shooter that's quite engaging. It's a shame as a bit of leaderboard action could really boost this up but no doubt it'll be something of a niche title, but if you want a quick blast on something, you can do a lot worse.

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