PAX East 2016: Livelock Preview

When I was informed that I was set to check out a game called Livelock, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The title didn’t really give me any clues and I had never heard of the game previously. After having had some hands-on time, I can safely say that this twin stick-style shooter is definitely on my radar.

Livelock preview

Livelock, developed by Tuque Games, is a team-based shooter set 150 years in the future where all life has been decimated, and the only thing able to clear the threat is a strike force of three giant battle robots known as “The Few.” Each of these bots fills an individual team role – Hex as the ranged DPS, Vanguard as the Tank, and Catalyst as Support Healer.


My time spent playing the game was brief, as these things tend to be, with only about maybe 10 or 15 minutes to get through the preview mission, but it was definitely enough to get the point. Livelock is the best parts of any run-and-gun shooter you could ask for tied together with the right level of bombast and a team makeup that was very obviously fine-tuned.

I played as Vanguard because I had to get my hands on some big, hammer-swinging robot. The demo was played with an Xbox controller connected to a PC, and I am unable to think any other input that would be better, although keyboard and mouse is still supported.


Despite never having even seen this game before, controls became immediately natural, with trigger buttons engaging attacks and dodges, A and X buttons triggering special abilities and the Y button switching weapons. The action on-screen also became apparent nearly immediately as well, even if the screenshots might show otherwise. Despite the chaos, I was able to understand where I was looking and where to apply the hurt.


Later, I stepped aside with designer Kevin Neibert to talk more about the game. He felt that the style of game was having a resurgence and the developers took some design cues from a variety of arcade titles like Alien Swarm and Dead Nation. When asked if he felt there was a large enough audience, he pointed to the overwhelmingly positive response Livelock’s booth has been receiving from players.


Each character will have a choice of three weapons out of a selection of six and three abilities from a selection of five; each ability can be further upgraded to allow some customization to let each character focus on different playstyles.

The game is set to ship with 22 levels in total, along with three different levels of difficulty for the Story Mode and a Protocol Mode, which lets players challenge tougher enemies on procedurally generated maps to get lots of shiny loot.


Neibert also brought up the fact that lower level characters can still play with higher level friends, as the enemies and health pools will scale to give everyone a challenge while still being rewarding to all involved. As far as expanding beyond launch, the focus is adding some extra modes such as a Survival Mode, but there were no firm plans yet despite the team having a large amount of ideas. There are no extra characters planned, as the entire game is built around the three current ones.

Livelock will be buy-to-play at $19.99 individually or as a three-pack at $49.99, and is releasing on Xbox One, PS4 and PC

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About Chris Hughes

Chris is a literal wolf who has managed to learn how to use a computer. He enjoys cooking, roleplaying, writing, and reading those who do the same. You can find him staring at Twitter or read more of his attempt at humor at his blog, or in-game primarily on WildStar, Blade and Soul or Final Fantasy XIV.