The Cycle: Frontier Might Be the Next Big PvPvE Thing
Frontier is a free-to-play PvPvE first-person shooter that graphically resembles No Man’s Sky and Outer Wilds. I have several hours of playtime and I’m happy to say that it seems to be reliable even with a few bugs I’ve run into.
The Cycle: Frontier introduces players to the planet Fortune III, where mysterious alien creatures run free and old research facilities remain abandoned.
You can also get quests here for three different factions: The Independent Civilian Advisory (ICA), Korolev Heavy Industries (Korolev), and Osiris. Completing these quests will increase your relationship with each faction, allowing you to purchase special weapons and equipment from those faction vendors. Each faction has its own campaign that you can play through, and it pretty much mirrors the MMO-style quests with different contracts you can get as well. These contracts are usually missions that require you to descend into Fortuna III to gather resources, bring in supplies, or bring back pieces of organic samples for research.
There are currently two maps in closed beta: Bright Sands and Crescent Falls. This avoids wasting time on matchmaking and interesting gameplay twists as you learn which areas have been occupied and which are free.
This is such a fun co-op game that I can’t wait to try it out with my friends.
Finally, the world looks great, even during and after a storm. The graphics and world are beautiful here, and the optimizations seemed pretty well balanced, with no performance stutters aside from minor desyncs in the main hub area. The weapon sound design is so satisfying to hear, especially with the shard-based submachine guns that sound like you’re firing glass shards from a barrel. The world of The Cycle: Frontier is mesmerizing, and I can’t wait to return to the Closed Beta to find out more.
Stella is a video producer, host, and editor for IGN.