Time Break 2121 Indie Game Review – First Sip

Time Break 2121 is a cyberpunk First Person Shooter with time control elements. Developed and Published by Venezuelan team ACRAM Studios LLC.

Story

I couldn’t find much in terms of an actual story in Time Break 2121. There is a loose setting. A cyberpunk future. Hence the 2121 in the title. The levels are split between Laboratory, Neon City and Allware HQ. To me, this indicates some sort of test trial that you are a part of. Then you escape the program, head through the city. And eventually, head to the company that ran the experiments. This is all just a hypothesis via context clues though.

Graphics

Visually Time Break 2121 looks quite nice. Built-in the Unreal Engine. Everything looks shiny and appropriately futuristic. The enemies in the opening levels are faceless robots. Which gives you a sort of disconnect when murdering them. Not a bad thing. Especially for a future world setting. You’ll mostly be running through a lot of hallways during the game. Which again fits both the style and setting of the game. Overall the game looks quite nice. In particular the red and blue bullet path lasers, for enemies and yourself respectively. However, I did have issues with the menus. They are very basic but caused the game to freeze up or drop frames. I have read that the developers are working on updating the menus in the next patch though.

Sound

The music in Time Break 2121 is fantastic. I am a huge fan of 80’s synthwave or Dark synth music. And as a futuristic cyberpunk game. This style of music fits incredibly well. A lot of pulsing neon synths. Which adds to the experience. Not only because they sound good. But also because they fit with the style of gameplay. The game wants you to move quickly and finish levels as fast as possible. And the music represents this well.

Sound effects are less impressive. Gunshots are quite quiet in comparison with the music. Your character will emit a death cry when he dies. However, the enemies don’t seem to. This both detracts from the atmosphere of the game. And makes it slightly harder as you need to look at an enemy to make sure they actually were hit. The lack of any sound, when using and connecting with the knife, is the biggest issue sound design-wise. With the complete silence from the act, it feels far less satisfying. Most of the time you aren’t even sure if you hit them. Whereas a game like SUPERHOT which Time Break 2121 is most like. Has the enemies shattering like glass. Which is satisfying and responsive. Time Break needs to introduce some sort of sound effect to take itself to the next level.

Gameplay

In Time Break 2121 your movement directly affects enemy movements. Which is why SUPERHOT is the closest reference. However, Time Break 2121 is somewhat the inverse. Rather than enemies moving only when you move. In Time Break 2121 enemies move when you don’t. Although this isn’t 100% accurate. As the enemies still move when you move. They just move in slow motion. And when you stop they regain full speed. The time slows instead of time stops is necessary though. If the enemies were completely still when you were moving you could kill them all without issue. As you could just run in circles stabbing with your knife wildly until all were dead.

SUPERHOT requires a tactical style of play. Where you plan your moves while time is stopped. And then execute them using your reflexes. And again Time Break 2121 is sort of the inverse of this. Relying more heavily on reflexes. But still requiring planning and tactics.

Most levels in Time Break 2121, will have you run them multiple times. In order to get a feel for the level and especially enemy placement. As although the game appears to be a fast paced twitch shooter. It actually operates somewhat like a puzzle game. If you kill robot B before robot A then A will hit you before you get to the next room. There are no hard and fast rules for how to complete the levels though. If you can get to the end or kill all robots deepening on the level type. Then the actual order does not matter. It comes down to pure skill.

Overall

Time Break 2121, is an addictive game. With interesting mechanics and short levels. It’s easy to get sucked into the game and say just one more run I’ve almost got it. There are some learning curves. Such as when you are moving you are faster than your bullets meaning you can sometimes reach an enemy you shot at before your bullet does. The mechanic does also allow for some pretty cool skill shots. Such as firing at multiple enemies and then stopping so the bullets increase speed and kill them all at the same time.

The game does require some polish though. Specifically the sound design. The way you hold and use the knife. Currently, it’s a very dainty stab with no feedback. The addition of a playback would be nice as well. As a lot of the time when you kill someone you have to be moving to the next one already. A playback would make it so you can see all the cool things you managed to do or mistakes you need to correct. There is a lot of promise to the game though. And already it is quite fun. I look forward to future updates.

In Coffee Terms

Time Break 2121 in coffee terms is, like small hot coffees. You gotta drink them fast before they go cold. They are enjoyable and give you that amped up feeling. The flavor might not be one that you particularly savor. But it’s not bad either. And it tastes like the barista is trying and open to experimentation. It feels like if you keep coming back they’ll eventually nail the flavor.

Time Break 2121 Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AcramStudios
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1121490/Time_Break_2121/

72/100
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