Cybarian: The Time Travelling Warrior (PC) Review with Stream
Fills that retro niche
Limited check points
No options to turn down intensity
Cybarian: The Time Travelling Warrior is one of the more difficult games to come out recently. The entire KickStarter campaign that funded the development of the game seemed to be based around the fact that the game was going to refuse to pull any punches when it came to difficulty. In those regards the game managed to hit every goal that it meant to hit, the problem is that it seemed to lose the accessibility that it needed along the way.
Random enemies in Cybarian can be just as deadly as the bosses, and that isn’t because doing a wrong move can cause massive amounts of damage; every hit in the game costs the player one heart. The problem is that random enemies are able to juggle the player pretty effortlessly when a mistake is made, and cost several hearts. Also, enemies don’t always telegraph their movies correctly and all must be defeated before moving onto the next screen.
Check out our stream of Cybarian below:
Most bosses in the game seem to take into consideration what abilities the player character has and does not have, while the standard grunts seemingly are scattered throughout to make the player possibly feel badass as additional moves are unlocked through the game. This has the negative side effect of having some encounters seemingly designed around skillsets that aren’t usable, meaning that the first time that a guy on a motorcycle shows up the player is probably going to lose a heart or two just to get through that area—as the window to do damage with just the sword is incredibly small.
The one thing that must be praised for the game is the graphics, as everything fits perfectly together. The design, and sense of place are wonderful. The world that the creators built feels fleshed out and living, even if it is brutal and unforgiving. The default scanline setting even has a slight curving distortion on the edge of the screen, just like old CRTs; something small, but not something that most games include with that kind of filter either. This is probably the one part of the game that makes it most clear that this was exactly the kind of game that everyone involved with it was setting out to make when they started, and they cannot be faulted for that.
The only issue that there really is for Cybarian, aside from the insane title, is the painful difficulty—that is mainly because that kind of thing is simply not for me. I can firmly understand that there are people out there that might want to be sent back to the start of a level over and over again until they can figure out, and memorize, every single screen of a level. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that while that might be exactly what some people want, it doesn’t make the learning curve accessible in any way, shape or form. It also doesn’t make it a game for everyone; checkpoints or difficulty toggles could have gone a long way.