E3 2016: Never Trust An A.I. in Tuque’s Livelock

Ever since its announcement, I haven’t been able to help but sing the praises of Tuque’s Livelock. It’s an isometric shooter that rewards co-operative play with well interwoven team abilities, but can still be tackled solo due to scaling difficulty. The fact that it stars giant robots possessing the consciousness of humans that fight an overwhelming AI threat perks me up even more. Then there is the fact that the story is being penned by Daniel H. Wilson, the author of Robopocalypse. Everything about this game screams for me to lovingly manhandle it.

While I have played a bit before, crossing a bridge with a team of two other snipers, this was the first time I was able to play one of the other classes. This time, I chose Vanguard, a tanky character with high powered fists, a mine launcher, and a handy projectile weapon for when distance is key. I was accompanied by a dev playing as Hex, the sniper. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a third to cover Catalyst and her support abilities, but we did alright.

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We battled through a giant building teeming with hordes of mechanized monstrosities. The pattern we fell into was having me surround us with mines, while my sniper partner picked off distant enemies with a rifle. Should the incoming fire get too heavy, I could throw up a shield to protect the two of us, return fire with my arm mounted gun, or decide “screw it,” and jump head first into the fray swinging fists, tearing the opponent into pieces.

One thing about this game is that the environment isn’t designed to hold up to the firepower and giant robots that go running through it. That is to say, things blow up nice. One part that really caught my attention was when my co-op partner suggested that we go through a door. Expecting it to open, I was delighted as the double doors tore off the hinges and went flying down the hall. Things like this add a real sense of power and destruction that can be lacking in action games, and really should be included in more.

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As far as the other features in place, not everything has been revealed. We do know that weapons and equipment can be upgraded using materials found in the environment and through the destruction of enemies. There will also be a decent length story campaign, in addition to a survival mode that pits players against dynamically generated, never ending hordes of enemies.

It’s extremely rare that I say this, but I will be purchasing this title day one should I lose the melee to get the review. The irony of fighting mechanical enemies, a world ending scourge, while being a machination, is just too juicy, the destruction the game affords is too satisfying and the strategic depth of the action is just too compelling for me to pass this one up. I’ll be looking forward to Livelock launching later this year from publisher Perfect World Entertainment on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.