General game information
Game name: Livelock
Release date: 30 Aug, 2016
Price: US$ 19.99
Genre: Top-down shooter with RPG elements
Developer: Tuque Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Livelock is a top-down cooperative/singleplayer shooter with RPG elements. Players can tackle the game’s campaign as one of three different characters, a long range fighter, a support character who can also play a medium range combatant’s role, and a melee tank. Along the way, gamers will collect extra weapons, and their characters will level up and get new active skills to help them fight against tougher enemy types.
The story mode clocks at a respectable 6 hours, and there are three difficulty levels, which should keep players entertained for a few hours more at least. The character archetypes are different enough to change the game’s pace quite significantly, adding to the replay value. Solo players will be happy to read that all three characters are viable for a singleplayer run of the campaign (though turning up the difficulty increases the challenge quite a bit) so the game can potentially be played three times, one for each chassis type. After the main story mode is over, there’s also a survival horde mode which can be played solo or in co-op, offering a never ending supply of enemies that will satisfy even the most hardened robot killers.
Livelock has a strong story focus, which is strange considering the game’s genre. Sadly, it’s a mostly by the numbers affair, with cliched characters and twists that can be seen from miles away. Basically, a cataclysmic event forced humanity to lie in a long sleep, leaving three cyborgs and countless machines in charge of the planet until they can reawaken the dormant humans. Players take command of one of the three cyborgs, fighting against an army of machines that has taken over the earth while their former masters slept.
The voice acting is top notch however, and each of the three different playable characters has its own personality, blurting out one liners and commenting on the state of the world during mission briefings. Gamers worried about having to sit through the game’s cutscenes and long lines of dialogue can rest easy knowing that every story sequence can be skipped at the touch of a button.
Graphically, Livelock is a very pleasing game, with plenty of eye candy wherever we look and an astounding amount of destructible objects littering each level. Audio design is also a high point, weapons sound powerful and the music tracks fit the action well.
Livelock controls like a classic twin stick shooter, with the left stick or W, A, S and D keys being used for movement, and the right stick or the mouse for aiming and shooting. Both control styles work as intended, and the game disables joystick vibration on the fly if it detects that players are using mouse and keyboard.
Most levels work the same way, with the player moving forward through the map and destroying everything between them and their objective. The game does spice things a bit however, spawning bosses, “upgraded” enemies (similar to Diablo 3‘s Unique Enemies) and different objectives from time to time. Luckily, the base gameplay is strong enough to keep players from being bored, and the scenery changes drastically from act to act. “Upgraded” enemies usually drop cosmetic loot that can be used to enhance our characters’ visual design.
The game shines when playing online with friends, as each character complements the others, and gamers looking forward to an enjoyable cooperative experience will not leave disappointed.
Ultimately, Livelock is a fun top-down shooter with fine tuned mechanics and gorgeous graphics. The story isn’t as strong as one could hope, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the game will offer many hours of enjoyment for shooter fans.