Posted on June 11, 2013 AT 04:45pm
When LocoCycle was revealed last year not a lot of people could truly describe it. A third-person shooter/racer/fighter the latest from the folks at Twisted Pixel breaks as many boundaries as it tickles funny bones. A couple weeks ago it was announced that LocoCycle was going to be an Xbox One launch title, giving the Texas-based company one of the first chances to showcase the power that Microsoft’s new system can do. Sure enough, it so far looks pretty impressive.
At the Microsoft booth I gave a go at Level 2-2, which splits itself into four segments. Throughout these parts my bike I.R.I.S., who is escaping from Big Science Labs in South America to attend a biker rally in Indiana, mercifully was dragging Pablo as she and he face off against helicopters, secret agents shooting guns, bazookas, and Molotov cocktails, and Exosquad-like soldiers who wish to destroy her dreams. How I.R.I.S. fights is something that sounds complicated: she can shoot, ram, use Pablo as a weapon, and use hand-to-wheel combat with many beautiful combos and counter attacks. The more amazing thing about it, though, is how simple it is to play.
Since the game drives for you there is no worry about having to always hold a button down to accelerate. The only things you need to focus on is your steering and the obstacles in front of you. Boost is one button, shooting is another, the usage of Pablo is a third, and ram is a final one, with each button doing a different maneuver during melee mode. It’s also easy to know when it’s time to combo, as an enemy will flash when it’s about to unleash a massive attack.
Although it is a cinch to play the enemy AI can be quite difficult. I found myself dying a few times because I couldn’t evade their bullets and fire. What also makes it a tough game to play is the fact that you cannot replenish energy, which is something that Tiwsted Pixel did to mixed results with Comic Jumper. That being said it does not reach those frustration levels that Captain Smiley made me feel; not yet, at least.
At the end of the level I.R.I.S. breaks down, so it’s up to Pablo to fix what’s wrong with her. As that happens a massive truck is driving at ramming speed towards them, so Pablo needs to act fast. You first have to search around the bike until you see the A-button appear, which initiates the fix mode. Then you have to hammer dents, cross wires, screw in bolts, and weld scratches. This uses a mixture of careful, precise stick control with a little button-mashing to boot. It’s a cool way to end the level, as it gives your fingers a break from the button-mashing you had to do previously.
Since being announced for Xbox One LocoCycle has been given a facelift, with visual upgrades that match well with what Microsoft is hoping to showcase for a next-gen console. While still cartoonish the attention to details in Pablo’s clothing, the vehicles, and even the worlds are sharper, making this Twisted Pixel’s best-looking title to date. While there is no official date yet you can expect LocoCycle to drop at the same time Xbox One does. An Xbox 360 version is also still in the works, although no set date has been made for that version.
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