My exploration of the Cybran faction continued last night in the sandbox mode, which allows me to play all by myself and experiment in what is otherwise a multiplayer-only beta. Unharassed by enemies, I was free to build every unit in the Cybran arsenal and take them for a spin.
Ok, I admit, I skipped straight to the experimental units. Each side has three mega units capable of taking on entire armies. They also take a HUGE amount of time and resources to build (at the moment, a beta tester can't expect to see one in action in the first hour of play, though Gas Powered is reportedly working on finding a better balance). On the Cybran side, the weakest XU is the Soul Ripper (which I erroneously referred to as the Soul Reaver in my December issue hands-on playtest - sorry GPG!), a massive flying gunship shaped like a great big angry beetle. Just the shadow this baby casts is intimidating enough, but when it opens up on you with it's cannons it makes quite an impression. My one qualm with it at the moment is the weapon effects aren't that spectacular compared with most other XUs... in the chaos of battle, it would be easy to miss the relatively plain machine gun and rocket effect. When I self-destructed (with no enemies there were no natural predators to kill it for me) it first exploded in mid-air, then the burning husk fell out of the sky and lodged itself in the ground. Beautiful!