Tachyon: The Fringe
With StarLancer doing the rounds, the last thing we need is another run-of-the-mill space combat sim. But, whatever you do, don't just give Tachyors score a cursory glance and turn to the next page because you'd be doing the game a gross injustice.
The above praise is directed at the game's attempt to be freeform. In the game you take on the role of a mercenary pilot exiled to the Fringe (the outskirts of charted space) for a crime you didn't commit and, like an intergalactic prostitute, you must rebuild your life by selling your services to the highest bidder. This allows you to pick jobs that best suit you. It also allows you to choose which of the game's two opposing forces you want to support -the GalSpan or the Bora.
As you progress, the story develops in different ways, depending on which faction your sympathies lie with. You get to upgrade your ship and its weapons as you accumulate money from successfully completed missions. However, there is one major downside to Tachyon. enemy pilots fly far too sluggishly and subsequently the combat never gets your pulse racing. Veterans of space combat games certainly won't be overstretched by many of the missions, but Tachyors greatest strength lies in its multiplayer options. More than 100 players can hook up over the Net or up to 32 on a network. Two teams battle each other in a race to develop level ten weaponry, the only firepower that can eliminate the other team's base - this adds some much needed immediacy. There's also the obligatory deathmatch mode.
Overall, Tachyon offers a relatively original twist to the space combat genre, and the online options are great, especially the Base Wars online game, which we'll be covering in greater detail in a future issue. It's just a shame that it's let down by a slightly shallow and unexciting combat system, and some occasionally below par graphics.
Download Tachyon: The Fringe
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2018-11-24 Tachyon: The Fringe game added.