Livelock is a co-operative top down shooter for up to three players, where you aim to break the infinite war between machines, unlock Eden and revive humanity. Featuring a level up system and upgrade-able weapons, does Livelock have what it takes to be the next best top down shooter? Read our review below to find out..
Livelock features a pretty robust story and starts out by introducing us to the backstory. Earth is hit by a burst of gamma rays, which would wipe out all organic life. In preparation for this event humanity agreed to evolve and upload minds into machines, becoming Artificial Intellects. Three were chosen to go first called ‘The Few’ and become the game’s protagonists. Millions more were stored in New York, Tokyo and Moscow. In the aftermath of the gamma ray burst, an Eden was built, a place where organic life has a second chance. A super A.I. was placed in earths orbit to oversee the project known as Satcom, but the cataclysmic event was too strong and corrupted the data, the remaining ‘intellects’ waged war on each other while Satcom scoured for the one who could restore corrupted Intellects and activate Eden.
So the game begins, You get to pick one of the three protagonists mentioned above, each having their own skills and abilities, so there’s bound to be one that suits your play style. They are as follows;
“Hex focuses on dealing targeted damage, relying on high impact precision weapons as well as multiple tools to deftly outmaneuver the enemy. He will always take credit for a kill, even if he isn’t the one responsible for it.”
“Vanguard barges into waves of enemies, his presence demanding the tide of battle be turned toward his mighty fists and devastating hammer. He will always ponder the meaning of a kill, especially when he is responsible for it.”
“Catalyst commands her squad of drones to execute her orders, conquering each scenario with leadership and tactical prowess. She will always look for the most efficient kill, including opportunities where she can get the assist.”
Livelock also features a levelling system that grants you unlocks per level, maxing out at 30. You can also collect carbon which is a form of currency you can use to upgrade your weapons. At first you start out with a single weapon with more unlocking as you progress through the game, the same goes for ‘Functions’, these are special powers that have a cool down timer. You can also upgrade your ‘Firmware’ which is essentially a form of customisation for your character where you can get different masks, colours and capes. Again these are nothing but visual items. The levelling and upgrades are pretty linear, but welcomed as not that many top down shooters have any form of progression or upgrades other than ‘on map pick-ups’.
At times the game feels a little too easy, with infinite re-spawns (re-prints) should you be unlucky enough to die, as each character auto heals if they don’t take any damage after a short period, It may have been better if there were some form of health pick-up system instead of the auto healing, if nothing else. It would have added a little more strategy to the combat, as it is you can go in all guns blazing then back peddle, run around for a few seconds and get straight back into the fight.
The controls are really easy to get to grips with and you’ll be mastering the twin-stick combat in no time. The game starts out with the usual easy missions to let you get to grips with it all before throwing you into heated combat. there’s 21 levels in total across three acts, and you’ll visit (what is left of) New York, Tokyo and Moscow. The levels vary quite dramatically and are so detailed you’ll be immersed in no time.
The campaign runs for around 11-12 hours, maybe more depending if you go straight for the story, or adventure around to find the secret areas and audio log collectables. There’s Data Cards to find too, and you collect these by killing the corresponding enemies. Speaking of which, there’s different forms of each enemy type too known as ‘Upgraded’, these have different attack abilities and considerably more health than their standard counterparts. There’s a few boss and mini-boss battles to encounter along the way too.
As mentioned before levelling up is fairly straight forward and by the time you finish the game you should be nearly maxed out. You can if you so wish play through again with each of the other characters to level them up (there’s achievements tied to this) or just play on higher difficulties, here you will encounter more and differing variants of the aforementioned Upgraded. Livelock also features an online mode where you can party up with Two other players, either publicly or privately to take on the campaign, or the survival mode which features constantly spawning enemies with the point in being able to last as long as possible.
Visually, again as mentioned before, Livelock is highly detailed for a top down shooter, with lots of destructible stuff around each map. The cutscenes are nicely done too with an Anime feel to them. The audio is pretty spot on with decent voice acting and an atmospheric soundtrack, along with all the gunfire, explosion and laser noises you could ask for.