PC

Livelock

Livelock
Official website: www.arcgames.com
Developer: Tuque Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Release date: August 30, 2016
Available for PS4, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on PC (Steam)

Following a cataclysmic event, corrupted AI machinery overuns Earth. Humanity is on lockdown. Three “Capital Intellects” (aka, robots with big guns) are awakened and released to the surface to reclaim humanity’s freedom in Livelock. Find the encryption keys to Eden, humanity’s sanctuary, with the guidance of Satcom in this sci-fi action top-down shooter.

Livelock’s story is very much inspired by elements of The Matrix. You may even catch a few references, like the kill speech of one of the Intellects, “Not like this.” The story unfolds throughout the gameplay and a few cartoon animated cutscenes in between. The animated cutscenes are a treat and look great, with no skimping on the audio and a killer soundtrack to boot. Livelock’s action takes place in the semi-destructive environments of war-torn New York, Tokyo and Moscow. Initial levels are not too long – all of which are linear. But boy, are they beefed-up with detail. Some levels are primarily boss battles while others may feel a bit more open for exploration and tearing walls down for some secret bonus discoveries. You’ll want to enjoy the sights. The attention to detail on the environments, animations, enemies and the player’s characters are incredible and run smooth and silky. You can feel the inspiration from Diablo games, but with a detailed sci-fi spin. Enjoy the lighting and detailed environments – there is lots of eye candy and visual effects to absorb. Livelock is a refreshing change – harkening to classic gameplay with 3d graphical goodness. Livelock truly is a beautifully detailed, chaotic world.

Livelock screen

Select from three different character types, which include Hex, Vanguard or Catalyst, each with their own class traits, weapon stock and visual customization types. Hex is a nimble marksman, Vanguard a brawler with big guns, and Catalyst is flanked by combat drones. You can upgrade and store up to five different Chassis types to stock up for different multiplayer experiences.

Whichever of the three chassis you choose, there is a big variety of weapons, class-based skills (Functions), and visual appearances (Firmware) to dominate with your Capital Intellect. Weapons include the infinite ammo primary type, a secondary type for a bigger punch, and a mow-down big-gun heavy duty launcher type. Each weapon stock is distinct to the Chassis you choose. Functions, which are class-based skills, allow for up to three loaded special skills. The Catalyst can drop down a Drone Gun with a shield for attack and defensive support and combine that with a Temporal Rift to suck enemies into a vortex magnet. Maybe finish the enemies off with a carpet-bombing Drone Storm. There are many functions and weapons to find and upgrade to take down corrupt robots by your preference. Finding Carbon-caches throughout levels will help in upgrading weapons. Enemies will attack in huge waves in some areas, where they present the biggest challenge to stay alive. From clusters of small and speedy types, to larger bosses flanked by heavy shielded bots, Livelock features an array of enemies to tear through, or tear you down. So stocking up on the most compatible weaponry to your gameplay style is essential – or teaming up with the right Capital Intellect online. Find yourself in a heap of scrap? Throwing down a drop pod easily continues the action.

Livelock

Livelock’s game options include the primary Campaign Mode or the how-long-can-you-last survivalist Open Protocol Mode. In Campaign Mode, you can select from four gameplay types: Public, Friends Only, Private and Offline. Online multiplayer will allow up to 3 Capital Intellects to battle it out together. The main Campaign Mode game is about under 10 hours, but Livelock offers three different difficulty modes for each level. Difficulty varies from Autonomous (Easy), Emergent (Normal) and Singular (Hard). Starting out at Emergent feels balanced enough for new players. A high score leaderboard is tracked for each level, so once you get your Intellect up to speed, you will want to revisit higher difficulties for more rewards (and leaderboard bragging rights!). There’s a time-completion bonus too, so you can always put your speed-running game skills to test. Completionists will want to revisit levels to discover secret areas and Audio Logs, which is easily doable from a level selection screen. Once you complete a level you can revisit it. Plus there are different kinds of visual gear you can find and unlock to customize your character’s Chassis. These include custom parts for your head, body and cape. There is a plenty to discover and to be rewarded with for players who like to dig deep. Getting to 100% completion for each Capital Intellect is a challenge and will take some time.

Livelock

Open Protocol gameplay mode tests your Captial Intellict’s power against endless waves of enemies. How long can you survive and topple the leaderboard? It’s a smaller combat arena that sends wave after wave of ever-challenging enemies. It’s just another way to enjoy a bit more gameplay from Livelock.

Livelock is a refreshing top-down action game with super sweet 360 degrees of action. The attention to detail, soundtrack, and most importantly the gameplay, is locked down for enjoyment. I really enjoyed Livelock. The sci-fi references, cartoon intermissions and soundtrack make Livelock feel like a classic rebooted with beefy graphics and slick animations. But it’s a new piece of action gaming that I highly recommend to gamers who want to enjoy something fun and different to what is out there today. Two bits up for Livelock! Go forth, Capital Intellect.

Livelock screen

Livelock official launch trailer:

****

Thanks to Perfect World Entertainment for providing GamingBits’ Livelock review access.

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Day of The Tentacle RemasteredWith the limitations of graphical power back in the day, a great story delivered deep gaming experiences. And if it was funny, twisted and weird – even better. Leave it up to Double Fine Productions to take us back to revisit an old, odd gaming friend – Day of the Tentacle. Double Fine Productions treats gamers this week to a revisiting of the 1993 release with Day of the Tentacle Remastered. The Double Fine/LucasArts classic is a follow-up to one of the fondest gaming memories back in the day, kicked off by Maniac Mansion. If you missed out on it, no worries. There is a built in playable version of Maniac Mansion should you seek it. And if you played it (or like me, have foggy memories with age), there are sweet upgrades to be found in Day of the Tentacle Remastered. Day of the Tentacle Remastered remains true to its core, crazy self while offering bonuses and fun to make it worth the trip in time.

Day of The Tentacle Remastered

Day of the Tentacle centers around a cast of quirky characters out to save the world from the devious plans of a rouge Purple Tentacle. Purple Tentacle sets off for world domination following a new found awareness after drinking toxic material. The player takes on the roles of Bernard, Hoagie and Laverne with the aid of Dr. Fred Edison. Each character is cast off in a different period of time, following a freak time traveling accident with Dr. Fred’s “Chron-o-Johns”. To reunite the gang, and foil Purple Tentacle, the player must solve riddles across the different periods of time. And so ensues a colorful comic adventure with crazy logic. It’s very Back To The Future-esque, where changes in one time period affect another. Being a LucasArts game (RIP!), there are some fun Star Wars references you will find, along with other references to Double Fine Productions graphic adventure games. Undoubtedly fun little nods throughout (and you may get a little bit of historic schooling from The Revolutionary era!).

Day of The Tentacle Remastered

Players have the option of using the old school SCUMM interface (pick up, pull, give, etc.) or using the icon based wheel menu.  Being that this was originally developed for computer platforms, the environment interaction was mouse-controlled point and click. On the PS4, interaction works with a crosshair controlled by thumbsticks. It worked better than I had anticipated, although it was hard to let go of the more obvious old school way of clicking on verbs.

Day of The Tentacle Remastered

Day of the Tentacle Remastered takes you on an instant gaming time-warp. On the PS4, with a press of the TouchPad, the graphics and audio dynamically change back to the 1993 pixel version of Day of The Tentacle. It’s fun to see how the original pixel art graphics compare to the smooth, cartoony version of the remaster as well as how the music changes (yes, there was a time where we had to deal with SoundBlaster audio card upgrades).

As for bonus features, Day of the Tentacle Remastered is packed with behind-the-scenes goodies. There is an optional audio developer commentary (warranting at least a second play through!) and tons of unlockable concept art.  For the PlayStation release of Day of the Tentacle Remastered, it is a Cross-Buy game so you can enjoy the crispy, color tentacles on the PS4 and PS Vita.

Day of The Tentacle Remastered

Day of the Tentacle Remastered still stands out on its own for its twisted characters, quirky humor, challenging puzzles and unique art style. It is a change of pace from many of the games out there today and definitely worth revisiting in this new release. Whether you are too young, or too old, to remember, Double Fine Productions delivers a beautiful remake that even Purple Tentacle would want to get its newfound mitts on. Recommended retro-remake fun! Take the trip.

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The Division

It’s refreshing to see a new game franchise deservingly take off the way Ubisoft’s The Division has. Ubisoft has announced Tom Clancy’s The Division has sold more than $330 million (digital and physical copy sales worldwide) in the first five days of release.

“The Division taking the top spot in the industry for first week sales of a new franchise is a tremendous achievement. We are very proud of our teams, and humbled by and thankful for the millions of players who are giving us their feedback and support,” said Yves Guillemot, CEO and Co-Founder, Ubisoft. “The Division is the latest example yet of our unique ability to deliver immersive gaming playgrounds that keeps players engaged and that they eagerly share with their friends and community.”

If those numbers aren’t enough, Ubisoft reports over 100 million hours clocked in on The Division’s servers, with more than 1.2 million players online concurrently over the weekend. The Division also dominates Twitch and YouTube viewers. On Twitch, Ubisoft reports The Division was the top viewed game at launch and on YouTube over 57 million viewers on that first week of release.

Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy label delivers a great new franchise outside of the Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell games. I’ve had a few hours into The Division on the PS4 and can say it’s a fun “Gun-PG” worth playing. I definitely recommend checking it out on the  PS4 (as well as Xbox One and PC). It’s a bit disappointing The Division is going the Xbox One first-release exclusivity-DLC route. But it is a different game that all players are definitely hungry for as the numbers show.

For more details on Tom Clancy’s The Division, visit the official website at www.thedivisiongame.com.

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Pankapu: The Dreamkeeper indie game coming soon

by Alex Morgen on March 5, 2016

in PC

Pankapu
Pankapu: The Dreamkeeper
is a new Kickstarter backed game from indie developer Too Kind Studio. The colorful platformer game is destined for the Xbox One and PS4 in 2017, but you can already play an early PC alpha version of the game. Head over to www.tookindstudio.com/en/news-en/pankapu-goes-alpha and give it a go!

About the game, from Too Kind Studio:
“Pankapu : The Dreamkeeper is a 2D action/platformer, told like a tale. Discovering the dreamlike world of Omnia, the player controls Pankapu, a tiny being created by the God of Dreams, Iketomi, in order to defeat the hordes of nightmare trying to invade his world. Find out the truth about the mystery behind that invasion, and lift the veil on ancestral secrets.”

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