If you haven’t heard of The Cycle before you’re not alone: neither had I, until late last night anyway. Marketed as a PvEvP Competitive Quest Shooter, The Cycle is most definitely a Battle Royale type game at heart. Where it differs is that the game focuses you on “Quests” throughout the gameplay instead of simply killing your opponents. To win you don’t simply have to kill the rest of the players, you can alternatively work together to tackle some of the harder content. Only one squad can be the top dog, and it’s based on the total number of completed contracts.
The difference between The Cycle and “Insert Name Here” Battle Royale is the much the smaller scale and “quests.” Instead of 100, or 50, etc., you have 20 players. Then throw in PVE aspects such as mobs and “quests” such as the contracts, and you’ve got a perfect storm of BR vs. PVE. The question, however, is, does it work? Yes and no.
It works in the regard that it’s unique. The PVE aspect rewards you for teaming up with someone simply because some of the contracts are too hard for a solo player. While you may go in solo, you still have a chance to complete these harder contract quests. The game looks nice, and the world design is rather pleasant, so that’s a plus.
But that’s about the end of what “works” for The Cycle, for now at least. This is very early gameplay; I don’t expect it to be polished or remotely finished. I cannot dock points from it simply because of this reason alone. It just has a long way to go before it really can fight its way onto the mainstream stage. Movement feels a little wonky and overburdened, but that’s easily overlooked. You don’t pick weapons up around the map. Instead you craft them with resources in the main menu, and then buy them with currency picked up from mobs you kill in the game. It’s rather odd, and I found myself using my pistol most of the time simply because it was too much of a hassle to farm enough credits to buy a much better weapon. My main issue is the end stage. Once the dropship comes to pick up the remaining players, the area it’s in is extremely laggy. Performance goes from hundreds of FPS to sub 30, and even if it’s not FPS related, the game begins to stutter and hiccup, see the end of my gameplay below.
I’m not going to lie; the game has potential. It’s not a 100 player deathmatch, the map isn’t extremely large, and it isn’t all about PVP. These aspects play a huge role in drawing in the niche players., players who wouldn’t have otherwise played a Battle Royale game. I can see many people playing this simply for the PVE aspect. It’s unique, and it can be fun, the developers have a long road ahead to get ready for launch.
If you’re eager to get your hands on the game, google is your friend. Plenty of keys floating around up for grabs. Just note that it seems playtests are going to be limited to Friday’s during limited timeframes.