A quick look at The Cycle, a free to play game in the vein of Escape from Tarkov

The Cycle by Yager (published by Yager) – Released Sep 12, 2019
MSRP – Free to Play (Epic Games Store)

The Cycle is a free to play game in the vein of Escape From Tarkov. While there is a PvP element to the game, there is a heavy emphasis on the PvE side. This may be a welcome change to those who enjoy a more objective based style of game play.

The game starts by dropping you and nineteen other players onto a planet. Your goal is to complete as many objectives as possible and escape alive. The map is rather large and spacious so it may take a while to run into other player characters.

The world is littered with monster mobs that you can wipe out for a little bit of currency and experience. The objectives you can complete include tasks such as mining crystals, harvesting gas, powering relays, collecting bio-material samples, and etc. All of these objectives usually have trade offs that reward risk takers.

For example, for the crystal mining, you call down an automated harvester to collect the materials. It takes time to collect the resources and mobs spawn nearby throughout the collection process. Larger deposits spawn more mobs as well as more difficult creatures. To add even more difficulty on top of this, larger deposits take longer but also make loud noises alerting nearby players to your general location. The automated resource collector can be destroyed or stolen if you play carelessly.

As you complete objectives, you gain currency and this currency is used to call down available weapons and gadgets from the gear store. You can have up to four weapons available as well as four gadgets at one time from the gear store. Gadgets can range from Heavy Turrets to Shields to Orbital Bombardments. The higher the damage of the weapon, the more currency it costs.

Your three factions to choose from. They each represent a different play style and unlock different blueprints.

You unlock more blueprints for weapons and gear by choosing a faction before starting the match. There are three different factions with an emphasis on different play styles: attack oriented, speed oriented, and balanced. Each faction will unlock a different blueprint.

Extensive list of gear to craft.

Once the blueprint is unlocked, you can craft gear if you have the necessary crafting materials available. Crafting materials are obtained on the surface of the planet but it does require you to leave alive. Once crafted, you can modify the gear with add ons and equip it in an active gear slot.

Overall, the game looks great and feels great to play. There are some flaws though. The voice acting is subpar but thankfully you don’t hear it often. And the balancing of the game can feel a little off. Minor flaws aside, PvEvP fans have another solid title to look forward to.

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