The Cycle: Frontier looks like an abandoned game via Google Trends, with its fortnite aesthetic and Hunt: Confrontation challenges. Survival, crafting, an evolutionary story teased by environmental clues… Now you know the drill. But while it’s all more than a little derivative, its particular combination of influences work, and I can see it carving out its own devoted following among the elite of battle royale and survival games.
Created by Yager – the developer behind Special operations: the line and the canceled version of dead island 2 – The cycle offers a persistent world in which to fall, loot and escape before being killed. Everything here wants to assassinate you: aliens, other players, your own grenades, and even fall damage. Knowing when to cash in your loot is the key to victory.
As Hunt: Confrontation, the world is full of sonic traps and AI enemies that are positioned to bring players together. contrary to Hunt: Confrontation, this world is persistent and only resets after a certain number of hours. This means that other players will be in different game states when you land. Some, like you, have just landed. Some will seek to extract. Some will loot or fight. Others might be looking for players to fight. This persistence makes each drop unpredictable, which solves the problem you are having hunt where high-ranking players get an idea of player spawn locations and rotations. In The cycleyou never know what to expect.
During an encounter, my team gets caught at the bottom of a hill and there’s another team of players on top, taking potshots. As we are about to push off, we are attacked by a group of acid-spewing aliens. It doesn’t take long before we’re all encased in hardened glue and transported off-planet without all our loot.
Rather than searching for guns when you land, you choose your loadout aboard a space station orbiting the planet Fortuna III. You strap on armor, choose your weapons, and stock up on ammo and meds. If you want to have an edge over your opponents, the best weapons need to be crafted, and crafting materials can be found on every excursion. This creates a heady loop of dropping, looting, mining, crafting, and starting all over again with a better loadout.
On top of that, you have your own room on board the space station. As you accumulate more money and components, you can expand your dwelling to give it more capabilities and make it look better. It’s a nice little extra to work outside of the main gameplay loop.
There are also various destinystyle missions you can undertake. Some ask you to collect specific components, while others ask you to kill a certain amount of a specific alien type. Complete these missions and you can head to the quest giver on the station for a reward. It’s a smart addition to the game, as it makes it seem like you’re still progressing even when you’ve just been mugged by another team.
The game still doesn’t have a release date, but that’s because Yager still has some way to go. Still, there’s a lot of potential here and the team could be a winner when they finally get going.
Written by Kirk McKeand on behalf of GLHF.