The Cycle Frontier
Updated: Aug 18
Round two of forcing myself through the hundreds of games I own but never play, but this time it’s a game we all have access to. A free to play game: The Cycle Frontier.
Free to play game always make me wary. Usually, they are built on an amazing concept that is hidden deep in the back behind a pay wall that is roughly what you would expect to pay for a new game to begin with. But that is a different topic for another post.
If you get killed anything you bring with you stays there or ends up in the pockets of your enemy. This makes every interaction nerve wracking and intense.
In this game you are a scavenger sent on “drops” into a hostile planet that was once colonized but now overrun with native alien species as well as other scavengers trying to carve out their living as well. So, you set your gear ahead of time from your individual loot stash located in the #hub space station and head down to the planet surface knowing full well that if you get killed there anything you bring with you stays there or ends up in the pockets of your enemy. This makes every interaction nerve wracking and intense.
The planet’s surface is filled with locations where items can be found as well as other scavengers. After you have had your fill, you make your way to an “extract point,” call in your ship, and fly off with your loot or slain in the process. Back at base you may use this loot for a variety of things. Upgrades to your personal income generators in your apartment which has a very clear and easy to understand interface. You can use some of the #loot to turn into one of the three factions for rep and rewards. And lasty you can take it to a “printer” to fold it directly into gear upgrades.
Okay now onto the game play. This is a less realistic game than most, the world is vibrant and almost cartoony. Which, I actually don’t think that is a bad way to handle a space word. The vibrant colors and fauna make the game nice to look at. The gun play, however, takes some getting used to. I don’t think it’s bad by any means, I play a ton of FPS and each one is a little different, but the concept is the same, right? Shoot them before they shoot you to death. There also seems to be a great deal of variety in guns and gear and armor. However, the real place this game shines is in the feeling you get after extracting with a bag of loot. Whether it’s acquired though the demise of a rival or genuine treasure hunting, each time you pull it off is something that is hard to replicate in another way.
Something’s missing from this game and it should be you.
Here’s the problem. This game can be described as a more approachable Escape from Tarkov and I can agree with that sentiment. But Tarkov is ultra-realistic, and this is spacey. Tarkov tends to hide upgrades and quests while this game has them right in the open. BUT, Tarkov is not free to play, and there are quite a few #FTP mechanics in The Cycle that gets in its way of being enjoyable; battle pass, premium currency, pay to win items. It makes this game feel very “gated”. And dumping the money into it doesn’t even seem to give the proper return. I tried to play this and get into it. I gave it a solid 30ish hours which is more than I give most games. But it never got me… I played solo and with friends. I tried to get into gunfights, and I tried sneaking by. There is something missing and I couldn’t quite figure it out. So, I can’t, on principle, recommend this game. I mean give it a shot if you want, maybe you’ll love it, but for me, I would have to say don't play. Something’s missing from this game and it should be you.
Our rating: DON'T PLAY!
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