Review: Cygnus Defense Alpha

Like trying to tap your head and rub your belly, this is pure multitasking gameplay.

It might not be abundantly clear to first time virtual reality (VR) users, but if you’ve bought a mobile headset like Oculus Go there’s another important piece of hardware you need for an optimal experience; a swivel chair. While the headset can’t sense depth, many videogames use the ability to look all the way around in 360-degrees to great effect, and this means being sat on a sofa or a normal chair just won’t cut it. This is especially so if you want to play Zeon Studios’ new puzzle title Cygnus Defense Alpha where speed is key.

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Cygnus Defense Alpha is the perfect VR experience for those who love multitasking. The premise behind the futuristic sci-fi title is that you’re a part of the Special Defence Force protecting Earth from all manner of hostiles. You do so from a command room of sorts, with five interconnected consoles to manage. These are: main, security, script, combat and power – plus there’s a coffee console if you need a digital perk.

Each console not only has a different role but also a different puzzle mechanic to keep things operational. There are several early training stages to take you through each one before you’re left on your own and everything starts lighting up like a 70’s disco informing you of what’s going wrong, what’s about to go wrong, or simply what you’re not doing right.

The first console Cygnus Defense Alpha puts you in front of is the ‘main’ one. This tells you about each levels progress as well as several buttons and levers to activate when they light up. One of the core consoles is in fact the Combat console, where you shoot enemies on a radar screen by by spinning an arrow indicator around it.

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Essentially each console is very basic, much like a child’s toy. Where the aim is to spin something or manoeuvre something into place. However, such is the nature of Cygnus Defense Alpha’s gameplay that you really wouldn’t want each console to be much more complicated as once all five need to be managed it can be quite a handful.

While the later stages can be quite hectic the actual visual design of the command room is a very bland affair with the consoles the only thing in the room. It’s not even a room to be honest, as the background just consists of mottled colours which hardly make you feel like you’re in a sci-fi universe. It would have been nice if the whole experience had been set on an actual space station to give it more presence, actually being able to see Earth would have grounded it.

Cygnus Defense Alpha is a fun little experience that’s certainly enjoyable for the couple of hours the 15 levels last. A neat little time waster it might be but it’s a shame there’s not a lot more on offer as the idea behind the videogame is sound. This is one of those titles that make for a good introductory purchase for Oculus Go because its cheap, but you’ll soon find yourself wanting something with a little more depth.

  • Verdict

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