Review: Livelock

I played Livelock on my xbox one x for about twenty hours. All three classes up to the maximum level. Also played the story multiple times on all difficulties. Here is what i think about Livelock.

Livelock in general

Livelock is a top-down indie game where the player is a human mind uploaded into a robot. This is because organisms can no longer survive on Earth. Under guidance of Sitcom, the robot that just woke the player up, the player goes out to three big cities to destroy robots. Each area houses different enemies and they get progressively more difficult as you move to later areas.

Classes

As a player, you can use three basic classes to play as.

  • Vanguard
  • Hex
  • Catalyst

Vanguard

The primary attack of the Vanguard is a melee attack, this means that the Vanguard has to be close to the enemy in order to hit them. He also has weapons that can produce mines and a gun, but the ammo for both is limited. I found it easier to only use the melee attacks and mines on the Vanguard.

The side attacks are easy to use and work well. These are attacks that have a ‘ reload period ‘ that vary from ten to twenty seconds per attack. These attacks are most useful against upgraded (stronger) enemies and bosses.

Hex

When i moved from Vanguard to Hex, I instantly felt that the Hex is more vulnerable than the Vanguard. It takes fewer hits to die. While death isn’t punished harshly in Livelock, it was a bit annoying sometimes when i just started the Hex. After the Hex got stronger, it also became easier to use him. His attacks are all from a distance meaning that often i could just dodge around enemies and beat them that way.

Catalyst

The final class is the Catalyst, in co-op he would mostly serve as the healer. I must have been stupid to do a run on ‘ hard ‘ on the Catalyst. The healing option and the benefit of drones and airstrikes, that the Catalyst has in higher levels, make it a very comfortable class to play as, and in lower difficulties, Catalyst may be even easier to use than the Hex.

Co-op

Livelock has a co-op mode and often people joined me in my public sessions. Co-op does add to difficulty. Enemies get stronger when someone joins the game. The downside of this is that when the other players leave, the enemies of that level don’t get downgraded back to the 1-person difficulty. When I was doing my run on ‘ hard ‘ it made it that sometimes people joined me, discovered that hard mode was really hard, left the game, and left me with harder to beat enemies.

Cities

Each city is different from the others, the game starts in a town where the final pieces of buildings are in ruins, but still there, recognisable as actual buildings. Most enemies here live underground and only a few are on the surface. The second city is mostly changed up and its hard to recognise an old human city in it. There are some pieces that show it, but mostly it’s a wasteland and forest. The final city is covered with snow and ice, and has more old ships than buildings. The robots here are very powerful and come in larger numbers.

Enemy variety

Every city has its own set of enemies. But most have similarities. Like there is a extra gun, or they move slightly different. They do become stronger from area to area. With some enemies it was a challenge to find out how to beat them, but after you work out the strategy, they aren’t so hard to beat.

There are also upgraded enemies. These look the same as normal enemies, often slightly bigger. But they are a lot stronger. On hard it sometimes took 5 magazines of bullets to beat these enemies, while a normal enemy would be dead after one.

Sound / Music

Livelock has voice overs in different accents. This is nice, because this wouldn’t be the type of game where you want to read through the story. The story is all told and sometimes shown in little cutscenes with cartoony graphics.
The music is very plain, it sounded decent, but didn’t feel special to me.
The enemy weapons are also plain, so soundwise, this game could use some improvements outside of the voice acting.

Graphics

This is a 2D game with 3D art, that released summer 2016. If you consider that this is a two year old game, it looks really decent. Animations are smooth as well.

Conclusion

Livelock is a fun game to play, if you are not expecting a 50 hour game. In three to four hours you can beat the story and that is enough to get one of the classes to its maximum level (30). Since each class plays differently, it has replay value. This means it would take between nine and twelve hours to completely beat the game if you play on medium or hard difficulty. Because of the up and downgrades of enemies when playing in co-op I don’t think that playing with random players is recommended. But with friends, livelock would be a very decent co-op game.

If we look at how the game looks and plays, there isn’t much wrong with it. It’s not the best game in the world either. The full price is only 10 euros/dollars.

Price / Quality: Done well.
Rating: 9/10 – Very fun game, but not perfect.

PlayingIndies showcase post

Title: Livelock
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Tuque Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Release Date: 30 Aug, 2016

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