Our impressions of Season 3 of the Quest Shooter

The PvEvP shooter The Cycle by German developer Yager has been in Early Access in the Epic Games Store since the end of 2019. Instead of one way to get to points, there are many routes to the destination. Through so-called quests you collect the winning points. Season 3 called Stormchasers has now started. This brings numerous balancing adjustments and with a social hub and new elements in the rounds, also fresh content. Reason enough to take a look to see whether the entry into the shooter is already worthwhile.

Fortuna 3: beautiful, but dangerous

From the newly added Prospect Station, a space station in orbit of Fortuna 3, which acts as the game's social hub, twenty players will be exposed to the vividly colorful planet. Before that, the rounds were started from a menu. The goal: to return to the station as the winner. You can choose to fight alone, in pairs or as a squad against your fellow players. The beautifully designed landscape invites you to explore with its varied flora and fauna.

You first have to free the platform on which the rescue ship is to land from extraterrestrial creatures. & Nbsp;

You must first free the platform on which the rescue ship is to land from alien creatures.

Source: PC Games

Unfortunately, players don't have much time for such tours of discovery, as Fortuna 3 is hit by severe storms at short, regular intervals. We remain on the dangerous planet for exactly twenty minutes to complete as many quests as possible. Quests require, for example, that we defeat a certain number of monsters, farm minerals or occupy areas. For this we receive the point bonuses and in-game currency necessary for victory. The aim is to lose as little valuable time as possible. If you don't make it to the evacuation ship in the center of the map in time at the end of a round, you will be exposed to the deadly storms and lose valuable points. If you have a huge lead, you can still win, but it probably isn't.

The rounds start calmly and gently. With a small starting weapon in our luggage we do the first quests and collect the winning points and gold with which we can send new equipment such as weapons, vehicles and turrets to the island. Before Season 3 you had to farm many different resources, the single currency streamed here. The closer the round gets to the end, the stronger the human opponents become; of course, because the competition never sleeps and is equipping itself with new helpers. But the AI ​​monsters are also becoming more and more dangerous the darker and stormier the weather becomes.

Battle Royale in sheep's clothing?

The creatures are sometimes unsure whether they are land or air. Or we ran into a pretty obvious bug here.

The creatures are sometimes unsure whether they are land or air. Or we ran into a pretty obvious bug here.

Source: PC Games

The delicate mission on Fortuna 3 is accompanied by an immersive soundtrack that adapts to the exponentially increasing speed and drama. The action-packed music spurred us on to give everything again, especially in the last minutes of the game. In general, the feel of the game is very fluid and we don't lack mobility on Fortuna 3 due to the varied equipment with which we can evade better or jump higher and further. Unfortunately, a few bugs creep in every now and then and disturb the otherwise successful look and dynamics of the game.

The gameplay is strongly reminiscent of the Battle Royale genre. On a small island we fight well armed against our competitors who have to get to a central point on the map towards the end of each round – only the death of a player in The Cycle plays a comparatively insignificant role. In the end it is not who survives that counts, but who has collected the most points. The map doesn't shrink either, but The Cycle gives the players a reason, through the evacuation ship, to gather in the middle of the map and start a great carnage.

The really well implemented respawn system, in which the resuscitated player has to pick up a capsule at the place of his death in order to refresh his respawn, has saved us more than once. The level of frustration drops dramatically if death does not mean leaving the game. This feature also celebrates its premiere with Season 3. Overall, the PvE share is higher than the PvP share, but in our experience opposing players hardly miss an opportunity to make life difficult for the competition – or even to end it. Despite all this, the game is not a battle royale, even if it uses elements of the genre.

The train drives over the map at a slow pace and generates a considerable number of points on its way.

The train drives over the map at a slow pace and generates a considerable number of points on its way.

Source: PC Games

In the Stormchasers update, a new way to collect the game-critical points awaits us: the move. Once jumped up and taken, the mighty machine automatically generates a lot of points for us on its way. The vehicle is therefore hotly contested and must be defended from all kinds of greedy opponents. In a duo or squad, it is a good idea to have one person patrol the train while the rest of them do other quests. But point farming on the train can also succeed in the solo game. Just team up with another player and enjoy the ride for as long as you can!

Versatile tactics and different weapons as well as their improvements mean one thing, especially for beginners: clear disadvantages, no matter how well you do. We'll start with standard weapons that can only be upgraded by collecting in-game currency. In the shops of the Prospect Station you can buy better weapons or weapon improvements with enough of these crypto brands. If you play longer, you take better equipment with you to the alien planet from the start of the round? That's the way it is. Beginners not only start the first matches with poorer skill, but also with inferior equipment. The not very intuitive menu is also a major point of criticism, as it leaves newcomers absolutely to their own devices.

Versatile tutorials and a weapons training area introduce you to the basic mechanics of the game.

Versatile tutorials and a weapons training area introduce you to the basic mechanics of the game.

Source: PC Games

The Cycle introduces its players to the gameplay itself. A varied series of tutorials shows the most important mechanics; the selected key assignment is displayed for each action. In the third season, skill-based matchmaking will also be introduced, which has an equally positive effect for complete beginners and die-hard players.

While the innovative gameplay was a lot of fun, especially with fellow players, the flood of information and the confusion of the Prospect Station left us with a bitter aftertaste. The game does a lot of things right, but in future seasons we hope that the creators will turn the right screws to finally develop its full potential.

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