Arena: Cyber Evolution

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Arena: Cyber Evolution (previously Project Cyber) is a physics-based competitive game where champions compete in 3-vs-3 soccer-inspired battles in a cyberpunk world.

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Publisher: Spearhead Games
Playerbase: Low
Graphics: High
Type: MOSA – Multiplayer Online Sports Arena
EXP Rate: Medium
PvP: Yes, 3v3 team battles.
Filesize: N/A

Pros: +Community-driven game development. +Intuitive mouse gesture controls. +New genre concept. +Competitive fast-paced gameplay.

Cons: -Smaller playerbase means difficulty finding matches. – Steal spam is real! -Small team sizes may turn off larger MOBA teams attempting to play.

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Overview

Arena: Cyber Evolution Overview

Arena: Cyber Evolution is a physics-based competitive game where champions compete in 3-vs-3 soccer-inspired battles in a cyberpunk world. Spearhead has opened up the entire development process to the community and made the game available on Steam in Early Access.

ACE features in depth physics in an attempt to recreate a sport in the virtual world. Movements are controlled by the keyboard and through mouse gestures, making gameplay intuitive and rewarding skill. Players can choose from one of several characters, each with their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, and then further customize through implants, power ups, team boosts, and more. As the game is strictly player-versus-player, team work is highly encouraged.

In ACE, you’ll play as one of five cyberpunk superheroes with unique attributes to combine and master. Right now five are available, and more are on the way:

Vengeful Star: A jetpack-clad midfielder who can amplify the ball’s velocity and move in hyperspeed
Stalker: A stealthy cyber-ninja character who can blink, unseen, from one place to another, or even disappear from sight entirely
The Nitrogen Queen: A frosty royal with the ability to freeze the ball in place, or slow down the flow of time itself
Vex Wrecker: A flying biker who can fire long range missiles and boost his movement speed
The Negotiator: A robotic behemoth and a natural goalie, who can teleport to the goal for last-minute saves

ACE also features dynamic arena-changing shifts –including earthquakes, gravity reversals, black holes, arena rifts, and more – which will ultimately be directly controllable by the viewing audience via Twitch.

Arena: Cyber Evolution Screenshots

Arena: Cyber Evolution Featured Video

Full Review

Arena: Cyber Evolution Early Access Preview

By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)

 

 

Arena: Cyber Evolution is an Early Access game currently available on Steam, created for the sole purpose of facilitating intense e-sports action. It’s being developed by Spearhead Games and they’re putting all their love for e-sports into this title. The goal of Arena: Cyber Evolution is to cash-in on the growing popularity of competitive play by providing a fantastic team-based game that has a striking resemblance to a few of the world’s physical sports, combined with the action-packed gameplay we find in MOBAs. The result? The world’s first MOSA – Multiplayer Online Sports Arena. And let’s not forget the catchy acronym, ACE.

 

 

How’s It Played?

The goals are simple enough – you want to get the puck into the enemies’ net, while defending your own. With its teams of three, you generally get someone acting as “Goalie” with two others working on pushing the puck to the opposing side of the arena. What sets this apart is the MOBA-like characters that each come with their own special abilities. For example, one character has the ability to buff allies with a speedboost. Another can turn invisible for a duration and even teleport short distances.

Stealth

To turn up the competitive notch, the developers have it so you are only capable of using your abilities a few times a match. Each character has two abilities to make use of. The first, activated with the right mouse button by default, is a useful utility in most cases, such as the speed buff I mentioned before. The second ability is known as the “ultimate” and is activated by spacebar. This move can be a complete game changer when used correctly. Yet you will only get a couple chances tops to use it in a game, so its activation can be a clear sign of your experience, or level of novice at the game.

Ultimate

As I said, the game is played in teams of three, so a total of six people per match. I honestly would like it if more people were allowed to play. But the arena is the perfect size for that number of players. I’m hoping that later down the line there will be more gamemodes or changes that will allow for up to five people – especially considering that while I was playing with friends, we ran into the issue of not all of us being able to play on the same team. While we still had fun, it was a bit frustrating due to the small team sizes.

Teams

The matches themselves tend to go by fast. Each match only lasts a few minutes, with the count-down starting whenever the puck is in play, and stopping when it’s not. Whoever has the highest score when the count-down of the match is over, wins. I like this because it keeps the matches short and sweet, rather than long and drawn-out affairs. It also makes it a lot easier to play when I’m lacking the thirty minutes to an hour necessary to be sure my match of SMITE, League of Legends, or DOTA 2 isn’t interrupted early.

 

 

The Characters

So far, character selection is fairly limited. I’m guessing they’ll end up adding more as time goes on. They all seem balanced and set up for one role or another. You do run into the typical MOBA ‘archetypes’ which I think are neat. For example, the big burly robot essentially fills the role of a tank in a typical MOBA, and is often left to be the goalie. I found it interesting that my friends who I play MOBAs with fell into similar roles as they would when playing something like Smite, while playing ACE.

CharacterSelect

There is a bit of progression in the game. As you progress, you can unlock certain upgrades that can be applied to characters to give them some boosts in matches. If you’re willing to pay a bit of money, you can also get cosmetic items and skins for the characters. Setting up my Nitrogen Queen with the Red Queen skin and Top Hat was nice. I wish more of these types of games allowed for more customization than just the skins.

NitrogenQueen

 

 

The Arena

You’ve noticed my mentioning of “the field” by now. The field in ACE is fairly special. Due to its cyber-nature, it isn’t bound to the same static changes that we have in reality. For example, it’s not uncommon to find strong winds blowing you about, or having the arena suddenly turn to ice to make movement a bit more slippery. I’m guessing these weather changes are to keep things interesting and provide an element of randomness, and they certainly accomplish that.

ArenaIce

Other than that, the arena is fairly standard. Walls around the edges, two goals, just enough room to allow for a bit of travel but small enough to keep things interesting. At times, though, I did feel a bit claustrophobic with the size of it all. I personally like a lot of room for movement and with the current map I feel it’s a bit too easy for players to cluster together and turn the game into a bumping/puck stealing fest. It’s a bit hilarious to see four players spinning around, losing and stealing the puck over and over until someone eventually manages to grab it and move enough to make a shot.

Arena

 

 

The Graphics

The graphics aren’t super high-quality next-gen, but they can be pleasing to the eye. That being said, I do hope that the devs release some higher graphics settings. This is especially needed when it comes to the character models. During some portions of play, even at the highest resolution and settings, I noticed that some of the characters looked a bit pixel-y. And this is only an issue while in a match – at character selection, the models look fantastic. It’s not a major problem, but I don’t see why keeping the graphics low quality would be a need in this game, especially with the power of most modern machines. Anyone who plans to play a game competitively will have invested a few hundred dollars in their machine. Perhaps it’s just the nearly top-down perspective the game is played at and how zoomed out you are that creates this effect on the character models?

Characters

The arena looked fantastic. It had a very nice futuristic feel that matches the “cyber” theme of the game. Again, though, when you look at something a bit close, you do notice a blocky/simplistic nature to it. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose of aesthetics (League of Legends in much the same way), to reduce on the system requirements, or if they’ve just not released the fully polished map skin into Early Access yet. All that said, as long as you’re looking at the whole (which is most of the time), there’s nothing to complain about.

ArenaGraphics

 

 

Instant Replay

Whenever a score is made, the game immediately goes into an “instant reply” mode and displays the moments leading up to the score. I found this extremely helpful, as a lot of the time things go by so fast you don’t realize how you managed to lose the puck and have the enemy make a point. It also shows the reply from different angles and perspectives, which can be quite enlightening. I found myself improving rapidly thanks to this feature, although a couple of my friends did find it a bit annoying rather than a blessing.

Replay

 

 

Conclusion: Great

Arena: Cyber Evolution, or ACE, is shaping up to be quite the fun game. There is some room for improvement, but that’s to be expected of an Early Access game. What’s surprising is all the things Spearhead Games is doing right. When I was first introduced to the title, I was a bit skeptical – I feared this would just be another attempt at re-hashing and cashing in on the MOBA craze. However, I was delighted to find my fears were unfound, and I was able to have a blast with the game. Definitely check it out if you’re looking for a new F2P competitive game. You can currently find ACE on Steam and hop into the game for free!

Screenshots

Arena: Cyber Evolution Screenshots

Videos

Arena: Cyber Evolution Videos

Arena: Cyber Evolution Official Trailer

Arena: Cyber Evolution – First Look… Again!

Arena: Cyber Evolution – First Look (Project Cyber)

Links

Arena: Cyber Evolution Links

Official Game Site

System Requirements

Arena: Cyber Evolution System Requirements

  • OS: Vista, 7, 8
  • Processor: P4 3 Ghz or Athlon 3400
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB Video Memory with Shader Model 3.0 support; ATI Radeon X1600XT / NVIDEA GeForce 7800GS
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection

Arena: Cyber Evolution Articles

  • Arena: Cyber Evolution Early Access Preview - Posted on September 29, 2014
    You've noticed my mentioning of “the field” by now. The field in ACE is fairly special. Due to its cyber-nature, it isn't bound to the same static changes that we have in reality.
  • Arena: Cyber Evolution: Early Access Tournament This Weekend - Posted on September 26, 2014
    Spearhead Games will be hosting a live tournament for this eSports Arena Game: "Arena Cyber Evolution" this Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM EST (10 AM PST). Many players are practicing hard right and it will be the first time fans will see this level of competition in their game.
  • PAX East 2014 Coverage Recap - Posted on April 18, 2014
    PAX East 2014 came and went but we have plenty of insider discussions with developers across the board of online gaming. Catch our full PAX East coverage all in one place, right here!

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