Both Magicman and I have had a lot of fun playing The Cycle, and it seems feature-complete enough that we’ve been amused by its seemingly never-ending “beta” tag. That’s about to change soon — but not in the direction that you’d expect.
Yager Development is taking submissions for a closed alpha of The Cycle, which it’s labeling as “a fundamental rework touching on all aspects of the original game.” The plan is to make it a more “high-stakes” affair that’s “all about taking risks, where all your choices matter.” It comes with a pair of central tenets:
If you die, you lose your stuff!
If you make it back alive, you get to keep your spoils.
You can sign up for the alpha test via a form on The Cycle website. The test will be on both the Epic Games Store and Steam. It will also be under a strict NDA, so don’t be like that guy who tested The Division Heartland last week.
As someone who’s played a good bit of The Cycle and generally enjoyed my experience, I’m not excited by the sound of these changes, especially the two highlighted points. They sound like an appeal to the “git gud” crowd who want the game to be harder and more focused on victories than just gameplay, which is a direction that most games have been moving away from for years. I’ll wait to hear more from Yager on specifically what’s going to change, but until that happens, I’ll be highly skeptical of this potential revamp.