“The Cycle: Frontier”: a “looter-shooter” that is worth watching

“The Cycle: Frontier”: a “looter-shooter” that is worth watching

The Cycle: Border is a first-person shooter that has had a bumpy ride. originally titled The cyclethe game was a nth real battle that went under the radar of an already saturated genre. German studio YAGER has therefore changed its recipe to bring its title to the genre. looter shooterwhose popularity is on the rise thanks to the excellent Escape from Tarkov.

Free and more accessible than the latter, The Cycle: Border takes place both on the planet Fortuna III and on the space station Prospect Station. Players embody the “seekers”, a kind of adventurers who descend to the surface of Fortuna III to recover valuable resources at the risk of their lives. This planet once inhabited by humans is now a field of ruins in which the local hostile fauna have taken over.

Three main factions

The economy of Prospect Station, where our personal quarters are located, is dominated (for now) by three main factions: Korolev, Osiris, and the ICA. These basically have us doing their dirty work on Fortuna III. Each contract earns K-Marks, the basic currency in the station, as well as faction points, which give access to better equipment. We also receive scripts, which allow us to improve our neighborhoods.

The game cycle is simple, but addictive. First we accept a contract (a mission). We then land on Fortuna III, alone or as a team, with whatever equipment we deem necessary to accomplish our mission, and which we are willing to lose in the event of a failure. This mission is fulfilled, either to recover precious resources, deposit an object in a certain place or kill certain specimens of the local fauna. Along the way, we loot everything we find worthy of interest and kill other players who get in our way.

When we’re ready to leave Fortuna III, we head to one of the extraction sites where a ship comes to pick us up. In the event of a successful extraction, we keep everything we looted during our raid. If, on the other hand, you die during the adventure, you lose everything you had previously looted and brought back. Rinse and repeat.

The handling of weapons

As of this writing, players can explore two maps, one of which has a more dangerous environment than the other. Their layout is one of the game’s highlights, each consisting of open spaces dotted with many points of interest where the action is most likely to happen. Fortuna III is at the same time a living planet, full of lush vegetation, a world full of riches and a huge playground where tension constantly keeps us on our toes.

The handling of weapons, central in a shooter, is quite good. Weapons are well designed, varied, and shots are hard-hitting, aided by a thunderous sound design. However, not everything is perfect, since The cycle suffers from a balance problem. Equipment, including weapons and armor, is divided into various levels of rarities. This system makes matchups with better equipped players extremely difficult to win, even with equal skill. And the difficult becomes downright impossible for a soloist who comes across a well-equipped duo or trio. It is better then to back off and hope to go unnoticed.

The Cycle: Border

★★★ 1/2

Developed and published by YAGER Development. Free on Microsoft Windows (Steam and Epic Games Store).

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