The idea for LocoCycle, given that it's an Xbox Live Arcade game, works. A runaway motorcycle (think Skynet on wheels) bursts free of its Spanish captor only to accidentally drag him along for the ride. It's ridiculous, borderline insane and, best of all, developed by Twisted Pixel, the studio who, for my money, hasn't put a foot hugely wrong to this point.
While everything about LocoCycle seems to promise an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek experience, what you really get is the exact opposite. At its most simplistic the concept is incredibly accessible: I.R.I.S. (your bike) automatically speeds down an endless road while objectives and enemies are hurled towards you. You may have to destroy a row of trucks within a particular time limit, or go head-to-head with another motorbike who's some weird amalgamation of Hulk Hogan and Clint Eastwood, all the while fending off the FBI. They really don't like that a motorcycle has achieved self-awareness.
Unfortunately, everything just feels lacklustre. Combat - which consists of ground melee attacks, launching into the air DMC-style in the search of combos, and standard projectile weapons - feels horribly loose, often devolving into mashing one button. There are hints of depth - a counter prompt requires you to time your rebuttal perfectly - but, again, there's always a sense you're just going through the motions. I somehow scored an 'A Rank' while having a pretty serious conversation outside the realms of the game. It just doesn't require much thought.
Ultimately that may've been Twisted Pixel's intention, though, as the bells and whistles outside of the core are rather entertaining. The story, obviously, never takes itself seriously, and some of the characters you meet are so stupid you can't help but warm to them. The same can be said for the script, which is packed full of references and nods to some of pop culture's biggest hits.
If you're looking for a weird update to the likes of Road Rash or Carmageddon then LocoCycle is certainly of that mould. Just don't expect the sheen or polish of the developer's older titles.
Version Tested: Xbox One. Played for 4 hours.
5 / 10
- Kinda funny and knowing script.
- In many ways, doesn't feel finished.
- No skill to combat, really.
- Becomes very by the numbers very quickly.