Lococycle starts out with one of the longest game set-ups in memory, unsurprisingly for the famously self-indulgent development team. A bizarre live-action sequence featuring generals, princes and the two most technologically advanced motorbikes in the world lasts a good ten minutes and ends with IRIS, a motorbike that had been struck by lightning and become sentient, snaring her beloved mechanic Pablo by the trousers and dragging him across the USA to Scottsville, Indiana to take part in a rally. And then, finally, you can begin the game.
Well, kind of. You’re thrown straight into a weird succession of chambers and tunnels where the primary objective is to mow down as many scientists as possible. The tutorials are extremely intrusive as well, but mercifully short, mostly dealing with how to defend yourself against the agents who are strapped to jet packs and trying their best to stop IRIS and her captive escaping.
Cue endless button-mashing with the occasional respite thanks to the entertaining ‘Counter’ attack which is occasionally offered up to allow you to deliver a crushing blow against an opponent who gets too close for comfort.Simple and mindless as these battle sequences are, they are accompanied by superb sound effects and cries from poor Pablo, played by Freddy Rodriguez of Six Feet Under fame. It’s entertaining, but can have a tendency to wear a little thin.
Our next scene is in some dark and winding woods which do look brilliant in full 1080p but again you’re left with the frustration of the limited gameplay. There’s just very little else to do. Enemy strikes rarely land with any conviction, the steering is way too sensitive and once again, blindly firing your gun seems to do the trick with little skill. We’re introduced to our first meaty piece of gameplay in the third chapter when our mission is to take out three tankers full of poison. This development does add an entertaining element of the race against time to an as yet plodding game.
Hampered all the time by those pesky agents, none of whom seem to think about creating some kind of road block, the tankers prove tricky customers and finally we’ve got some substance to go with the style. However, it isn’t really expanded upon, and feels a little too late to make this any more than a pass-the-time kind of game. Fans of Twisted Pixel will love this game for the crazy story, but for serious launch day gamers, there just isn’t enough there to get excited about.
Lococycle is full of Twisted Pixel’s wacky brand of humour and is animated excellently, but the limited gameplay just holds it back from being a must-have.