Developed by Twisted Pixel (the people behind Splosion Man and The Gunstringer) and released as a launch title for the Xbox One (with subsequent releases on the Xbox 360 and PC three months later), Lococycle is an on-rails shooter with an incredibly wacky premise. A highly advanced military grade motorcycle codenamed IRIS is being fixed up by her mechanic named Pablo after being struck by lightning and becoming sentient, and after watching a commercial for a rally in Scottsburg Indiana, she decides that’s the place she’s meant to be and rides off to find it, with Pablo still attached to the back of the motorcycle. Thing is, the government isn’t too keen on one of their most expensive projects just getting up and driving away, so they send out any and every available unit out to stop her, but they quickly find that she’s a tough one to take down. It’s not until they introduce SPIKE, another advanced motorcycle given sentience due to the lightning strike, that she starts to slow down at all. Either way, IRIS is a robot on a mission and nothing will stand in the way of her and freedom.
The premise is silly and made even sillier by the choice to use full motion video for a good majority of its two hour runtime. There are in-game cutscenes sure, but where Twisted Pixel really splurged and put a ton of time and effort was in their live action scenes. People like Tom Savini, James Gunn, and Freddy Rodriguez were brought in for these scenes, with Rodriguez playing Pablo the mechanic, and internet personality Lisa Foiles was brought in to voice IRIS while Terminator’s Robert Patrick was brought in to play Spike. The story is pure comedy gold, with tons of cheesy references, one-liners, gags and all sorts of over the top antics that make it a blast to watch. Iris is always quick with a line and while most of it is outdated pop culture references, it was always great watching the banter between her and Pablo as he begged to be let go and/or die for a majority of the game.
If you noticed in the previous paragraph I said watch, not play. Lococycle may be a fun game to watch and listen to, but it’s kind of a chore to play. Nothing is broken, and it all works well enough, it’s just incredibly repetitive and simple. At it’s core it’s an on-rails shooter so most of the game is spent shooting bad guys, dodging enemies with QTEs and occasionally taking part in some hand to hand combat using IRIS’s car fu. Besides a few timed sequences, which have you trying to take out a certain amount of enemies in a set time limit, the game is incredibly simple and a breeze to play through. For some that’s fine, and like I said, nothing is broken, but anybody looking for any sort of challenge will be left wanting for sure.
Graphically the game is a mess, but not without merit. The in-game graphics have a cool, cartoony style to them, but are muddy, washed out, pixely and definitely not as vibrant as they should be. It feels like an Xbox 360 game (which is what it was originally supposed to be released on first) that was directly ported to the Xbox One, so anybody expecting next-gen graphics will be sorely disappointed. The live action scenes are vibrant, colorful and HD, and probably explain why the game is 11 gigabytes in size, so you almost have to take the good with the bad in this case.
Lococycle is a tough sell. On one hand the game is an incredibly funny, incredibly witty and entertaining comedic adventure with a great score and a running time that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, but on the other hand the game is repetitive, overly simple and a chore to slog through with washed out and outdated graphics. Even at ten bucks the game is a bit of a hard sell, but if it ever goes on sale for less than five dollars I could see it being worth checking out. Until then, I’d probably avoid taking this ride.