Livelock (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

Super fightin’ robots.

Sometimes a game comes along that I become absolutely enamored with. I spend dozens of hours trying to complete every side quest, every Achievement, and max out everything the game has to offer. These are not always outstanding games, sometimes they are downright bad, but then there are the ones I think are great, but can’t quite put my finger on why. Livelock is one of those games.

I maxed all three characters, beat every level on every difficulty, and if the game would let me, I would have maxed out all the data cards (more on that later,) but for the life of me I can’t quite explain what drove me to do so. The game is a top-down action game with light RPG elements. There are three characters, each one is specified as a class, and once I maxed them out there was nothing to drive for , but I kept playing.

livelock_13

MSRP: $19.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
Time to beat: 5 hours

The biggest draw to the game has to be its co-op features. I was able to join up with two friends and tackle any of the missions, on any difficulty, and swap around with the characters. It was fun meshing strategies, using the healer to buff the tank while he smashed through enemies with his massive hammer. Each class plays uniquely, and they complement each other perfectly.

Hex is the sniper who brings mines to the party. He is great for taking enemies out from a distance, while also luring them into traps. Catalyst is the healer, who also drops turrets while she heals. Finally, Vanguard is the tank. He gets in close with melee attacks, and his hammer is nearly unstoppable.

Every character unlocks new abilities over the course of the game called Functions. These are abilities that have a cooldown after use, and can also be upgraded with mods at certain levels. Everything is standard, so there is no skill tree or anything, but there are multiple functions to unlock for each character, so I could tailor my play style for each one.

There are also ultimate abilities that unlock later in the game that are absolutely devastating, and fun to execute. There is really no traditional loot, instead there are cosmetic items for each robot including new heads, alloys which change their paint scheme, and capes they can wear. These drop from the harder enemies, and I had most of them collected after one run through of the campaign with each one.

The core campaign is about 4-5 hours depending on what difficulty I played on. Missions are anywhere from 3-20 minutes in length, and they are spread out an array of interesting environments. The story plays out through spoken dialogue and some short, animated cut scenes at certain points. It is mildly interesting, but nothing that will change game narrative anytime soon.

In addition to the campaign there is also a survival mode, which is certainly more fun when I went in with a maxed out character. Besides that and completing the data cards, which can be impossible considering I cannot track which ones I need, that is all the game has to offer. Data cards are collected for killing certain enemies, and master data cards are earned for killing a certain amount of them. Sadly, there is no menu that lets me see my progress. My other complaint is that passive abilities earned as I leveled up could not be viewed when in a game lobby. Meaning I had to go back to main menu to see what new ability I had on my character. That was just a bad design choice.

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Visually the game has a gritty look to it, but I like it. Destruction is satisfying, and the environments change up enough to keep it interesting. On Xbox One though, the frame rate does suffer from time to time. Never enough to hinder game play, but it is certainly noticeable.

Livelock is a game that sounds pretty standard on paper, but I simply could not stop playing. It takes about 15 hours to max every character, and I am still trying to figure out how to finish my master data cards, but again without a progress tracker, it makes it incredibly difficult. If you enjoy co-op games with friends I can’t recommend it enough. It is a great game to throw on and BS with friends while mowing down countless hordes of robot enemies.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Great co-op game
  • Progression is stellar
  • Each class feels unique

Bad

  • No data card tracking
  • Can't see passive upgrades in lobbies
8

Great

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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