Game Review: Livelock

Release date: 2016
Version played: Xbox One in 2018

Developed by Tuque Games and published by Perfect World Entertainment, Livelock is an isometric twin-stick shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world. With options for weapon loadouts and visual customisation, players take control of one of three robotic entities known as Intellects – melee expert Vanguard, ranged assault warrior Hex or support unit Catalyst – to take down three robotic commanders all warring for control of the surface.

+ genuinely exciting firefights, which can spiral out of control and become deadly even on the easier difficulties. Utilising your character’s abilities provide numerous awesome moments, such as reflecting enemy projectiles back at them, or launching a bombing run down a long straight to clear a pathway
+ the three available chassis are unique and allow for different play styles (unrelated fun fact: the plural of “chassis” is “chassis”). Vanguard hits like a truck in close range combat, Catalyst provides support with healing or turret drones and Hex utilises ranged attacks to keep enemies at bay
+ alongside the three Act, ~15 hour campaign mode, there are two free play modes, Extraction and Survival. Neither are anything more than endless waves (the former with a time limit), but they make for more of the same intense robot destruction
+ though it’s often drowned out by explosions and robotic one-liners, the backing soundtrack is pretty good. Heavy metal tracks with deep bass pound to the beat of your guns

livelock_2
The Catalyst chassis fending off waves of enemies.

– overall, the game is not very difficult. Every battle can be solved by brute force, because there is no real penalty from dying outside of a points system, which will only really appeal to more hardcore players anyway
– the story is short and relatively uninspired, and you’ll most likely guess the twist in about ten seconds of the initial cut scene beginning. The three Acts being separated into post-apocalyptic New York (or some other metro city), post-apocalyptic Tokyo and post-apocalyptic Moscow is hardly new or exciting

> damn the Catalyst chassis has a banging bod’. For the only “female” robot, they certainly made sure it was a sexy one.

Should you play this game: I found this on a lazy scroll through my downloaded Xbox One games, and Google tells me it was a free game only a few months ago. I played it for three or so days and I have 100% completed it. It was free, and as far as that goes, I certainly enjoyed it, but I really wish there was a bit more. If this has been in your backlog for a while, grab some mates and have a run through, but don’t expect anything that will blow your mind.

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