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PAX EAST 2014 | Is “Project Cyber” The Next Big Esport?

Posted on April 16, 2014 AT 08:46am

When it comes to the electronic sports world, you have your Street Fighter and Call of Duty, as well as League of Legends and Starcraft. What seems to be lacking, however, is the amount of esports that resemble, in even the slightest way, actual sports. Granted FIFA has been a mainstay at the World Cyber Games, and NASCAR holds their own kind of gaming tournament, but other than those examples nothing really stands out. Spearhead Games, the folks behind the fun multiplayer Tiny Brains, are looking to change that with their next game: Project Cyber.

A prototype created twelve weeks before PAX East happened Project Cyber combines soccer, air hockey, Tron, and the board game Crossfire into one fast-paced exciting spectacle. Two teams of three try their best to knock a ball into the an opposing goal. Two players act as the offense, while the third works the defense. Each player is also given special attacks, with the goalie being able to summon a wall at one point to block the ball from passing, another using speed to knock around the ball, and the other using a launching technique to hit the ball around the court.

For our demo we were put into a three-minute game, where we first started out in practice mode to test out our powers. During the play through I took control of the character with the launching mechanism, which was fairly easy to handle with some good mouse controls. Once the game started, the insanity began on the court. Within a blink of an eye the opposing team scored a goal, leaving my teammates on edge for the time being. Our mood became serious, and when the ball was in our court it came time to lay claim to Project Cyber. What happened next was awe-inspiring: three complete strangers became in-synch with one another at a snap of a finger. We wanted victory, and to do that we had to act as a real team, which is exactly what we did.

We jumped back into the match and used all of our powers combined to take on the opposing team. Our players rallied, passing the ball all around the court as we tried to confuse the other players, which led us towards our first goal. As I played I started noticing other mechanics in the game, such as the speed & power meter, which is used to either run faster towards the ball or power up your kicks/launching techniques to hit it harder. I soon figured out a good strategy to score another goal, sporadically speeding up my player and then using the final bits of juice I had to smack the ball right into the goal, resulting in fist bumps and high-fives from my teammates. Once the round was over my team stood victorious with the score of 4-2.

Normally I am not into esports, as I know they can be very addicting and suck out the fun if you play with certain players, but for some reason something about Project Cyber just clicks with me. Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t involve trying to level up your players or learning new attacks that give you a better advantage on the court. Here the only way to become a master of this video game is to have good reflexes, and in order to do that you simply need to practice. Project Cyber is about giving players an equal level to be more inclusive to all gamers, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

What makes Project Cyber even more special is how much they’re putting fan feedback into its creation. Everyday at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. EST Spearhead Games appears on their Twitch page and plays out the game, listening to the ideas, comments, and concerns other players have about the current state of the game. PC gamers can also jump into Project Cyber itself via Steam by grabbing a key to play the pre-Alpha, and believe me when I say it’s very much worth jumping into Project Cyber at this moment. Who knows: your feedback can be instrumental to making the game even better.

There is no set release date for Project Cyber, but once it does — and if promoted the right way — it could very well be the next big esport at competitions all across the globe. If I were you, readers, I’d jump onto this court as soon as you can.

An accomplished music, anime, and video game critic, Evan Bourgault has been a Contributing Editor and Podcast host with ElectricSistaHood since 2008. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Follow Evan on Twitter at

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