Livelock is an online and single player top down co-op shooter. You control one of the last remaining ‘human’ robots on the planet in an attempt to save humanity from its ultimate demise, it’s end. In order to do this you need to unlock all pieces of Eden which are scattered throughout the planet. Gaining these pieces will see you go from places such as New Russia to underground train stations. It is also worth mentioning that this is Perfect World Entertainments first game published which is not a F2P title.
Lighting Effects & Level Destruction – Throughout the level you are fed amazing eye candy with the great lighting and visual effects. To make the levels even more entertaining there are a ton of destructible things such as walls, tesla coils and lots more!
Visual Upgrades To The Robot – In each mission you can find ‘body parts’ to visually enhance the look of your robot. I liked this aspect because it added to the customisation side of the game which I felt was mostly shallow.
Robot Allies – In some of the mission you get little robot minions who fight a long side you causing the field to look like a true war among machines. These missions were my favorite because of the carnage and destruction caused between everyone. Sometimes I was a little guilty of watching AI fight each other just to be amused.
Weapon Upgrade System – In the game you can collect resources and spend them to upgrade your weapons. The more powerful your weapons get the more resources you need to upgrade. They are capped however after 5 upgrade stages.
Level Design Constantly Changes – My biggest qualms with most twin stick shooters is that the majority of levels and level design stays the same. Livelock does an amazing job in switching up the level design and missions and sub missions. Throughout Livelock you will be required to defend, rescue, escort and even destroy enemy equipment.
Leaderboards & Scoring System – At the end of each level you are given a score which is then multiplied by the difficulty and then bonus is given for a less amount of deaths.
Robot Statistic Progression – When leveling up it would be nice to add attributes into each stat, such as X amount of points into Speed or Health. Maybe this is just the “RPG” warrior coming out in me but I would love to have extra customization in the robots to make it feel even better.
Different Choices When Levelling Up – When leveling up you’re stuck with learning what is given to you. It would be nice if you could choose between two weapons or two buffs and perks creating a more unique and personal build. Instead you’re given a timeline with preset weapons and buffs.
Lack Of Animated Cut Scenes – I absolutely loved the animated cut scenes in the game. The problem was the lack of them. I feel they were so good that I wanted more but in fact they only show up towards the end of each ACT. I would’ve loved to have them on each mission really filling us in with story. Hopefully there could be an animated series or movie in the future.
Slight Drops & Freezing – Particularly in ACT 2, the screen starts to drop some FPS and even locks up when the big bosses show up. I had this one instance where the boss showed up and it locked my screen for around 20 seconds and then unfroze.
Scan & Protect – Towards the end of Livelock, it falls into the trap of scan target, defend the target and it starts to get a bit tedious unless you like those sub missions. I am not a big fan of them and seeing them repeat a lot more towards the end is not so great as it appears they are running out of ideas to spice up the game or they needed to rush it.
Just The Tip – A lot of the missions you are introduced to the levels boss quite early but upon beating him he will just retreat and appear back again as you progress through the level. I understand the idea with one or two bosses doing this, but with the majority of bosses doing it you feel as though they are not a challenge and it ruins the secret of what’s to appear at the end. Instead, the boss comes back whimsically after you beat him once or twice and has exactly the same moves and patterns with the idea that he will definitely beat you again.
No Challenge – Livelock, especially on higher difficulties fails to challenge the player due to unlimited respawns with no real penalty other than having a lower end score. This took a lot out of the sting of the play through and made Hard difficulty not really hard.
Personally my biggest problem with twin stick shooters is that they often or not lack content and end up being repetitive and quite shallow. Although Livelock misses out a trick with more in-depth customization, it definitely makes up for it in changing level design and often changing up enemies keeping the game from not going stale quickly. The story line is quite vague and by this I mean I understood what went on but most of the context between main characters and enemies were mostly very cryptic which ironically made it lose its value of context.
If you’re a fan of twin stick shooter games I would definitely recommend this game. I however, am not a big fan of twin stick shooters but Livelock kept me engrossed the whole play through and after the completing the main story I felt as though the main course had filled me up. However I did not have any space for desserts.
Livelock was developed by Tuque Games and published by Perfect World Entertainment. It was released on Xbox One August 30th, 2016 and is also available for PlayStation 4 and Steam. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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