At PAX South 2016, I took the opportunity to see the newly announced Livelock. Developed by Tuque Games and published by Perfect World, Livelock is a cooperative top-down shooter that is full of color and personality. Just from watching the trailer, you can see Tuque is not going for your run-of-the-mill shooter.
There will be three different characters at launch, but they were only showing off Hex at PAX. Hex is a loud mouth, know-it-all with a penchant for sarcasm and a love of dubstep. Going hands on, some of these characteristics come through in his playstyle. With both short range and long range attacks, and the ability to stealth and close distances quickly, it gives the player a lot of diversity to survive. This includes an arsenal of weapons to utilize along with pairing them with skills. Hex has 4 weapons to leverage from a primary “pew pew” weapon to a grenade launcher to a secondary laser to the ultimate orbital strike weapon. You can then use Hex’s skills to wreak havoc, including stealth mode, armor piercing and a dash move. I quickly saw the benefits of combining the dash move with long range enemies to close distances or using the armor piercing with the secondary laser weapon to mow down many small enemies looking to overwhelm you.
There were a large variety of enemies in both design and function. I was first shown a wooded area where metal insect drones with rotating shields shot me from afar and the larger robot arachnids dropped tiny hatchlings that harried me at every turn. In the cityscape, the robots and large mechs were bipedal in nature with more humanoid characteristics. Lead game designer Kevin Neibert told me that a major focus was on enemy design to provide the player a differentiation in enemy type and creating strategies to defeat a wide assortment of enemies. There will be mobs that attack you head on and others that will use cover to defeat you.
The environments and art design are definitely going for a unique vibe. The death and desolate nature of the story – where everything living was destroyed in the cataclysm – is in stark contrast to the lasers and ammunition of both sides, which are in bright pinks and blues. Each environment looks different and has destructibility in some respect to add a little flair to the experience.
Livelock appears to be coming along nicely. I will definitely be keeping my ear to the ground on this one as I am looking forward to finding out more about these characters. The game will release in 2016 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.