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Spec Ops: The Line devs, Yager, announce The Cycle

The Cycle

The newest game from Yager, the team behind the excellently dark Spec Ops: The Line, have announced their next game. The Cycle is due to land in Early Access on Steam later this year.

The Cycle looks to be a major break from Spec Ops: The Line in terms of gameplay. This new game is all about competitive social dynamics and how they influence human behavior. So the underlying social commentary from Spec Ops: The Line is there in some form, but the delivery method looks to have changed a fair bit.

The core gameplay loop in The Cycle is “competitive Questing”, Yager’s Timo Ullman in a recent press release described it like this:

Anyone can attack anyone, and anyone can ally with anyone. Players can be cooperative and competitive at the same time. So if you meet new players on your way, anything can happen.

The Cycle‘s blend of quest-based matches and emergent, player-driven gameplay sounds promising. Uneasy alliances and impromptu shootouts are a big part of what makes online games memorable. And in The Cycle, it seems as though players will either thrive or die based off of their experiences with one another.

The Cycle drops players on Fortuna III, a beautiful yet dangerous alien planet that sees multiple corporations vying for control over its resources. Players have a choice, do they assist the conglomerates in their colonization efforts, or do they strike out on their own and undermine those efforts? I do hope the devs give the players the option to not engage with the colonization of an alien world, and give players that want it the option to engage in a guerilla war against the corporations.

The form this idea takes seems like a more complex twist on cooperative and competitive survival games. The potential for immergent gameplay is huge. In games like EVE Online, the players make the game by shaping the game world with their decisions, and it looks like Yager is going for their own take on that social element of gaming in The Cycle. Although since the game is being billed a match-based FPS, I expect the game will be more like an Overwatch than a Fallout 76. Although we’ll have to wait a while to find out for sure.

Check out the announcement trailer for the game down below. The Cycle should be out on PC through Steam Early Access sometime in 2018. Learn more at the official website.

Here’s some of The Cycle‘s features in handy list form:

  • A new Frontier: Explore the world of Fortuna III – a hostile, beautiful new world, full of fortune, alien life, and other players looking to take its riches.
  • Storm: The cycle leaves only a narrow window of opportunity – stay too long, and you will be trapped on the planet.
  • Pacting: Players can meet on the surface of Fortuna III and join uneasy alliances with one another as they complete contracts
  • Black Market: Players have a wide arsenal of weapons and gear available to them, all with different playstyles, that can be purchased during a match
  • Crafting: Players can spend their precious credits on creating new gear to take into the next match
  • Quests: Shooting may give you an edge – but the best prospectors are those who can take on dangerous jobs for factions during a match
  • Customization: A wide selection of gear that players progress through, tailoring their character to their individual playstyle, with more options regularly added
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