[PAX] A Private Showing of LocoCycle by Twisted Pixel
Heading towards the Twisted Pixel booth, I had absolutely no context for what LocoCycle actually was. I had heard the name (an awesome name, by the way), but hadn’t paid much attention. It’s a Twisted Pixel game after all, which means that I was pretty much guaranteed to pick it up. Approaching the booth, I recognized Chainsaw (their sound designer) immediately, who took me behind a curtain into a small, cramped space and showed me a bit of the game. Let me tell you, el cycle es muy loco.
When the demo opened, Pablo, the game’s protagonist was being dragged behind I.R.I.S., a sentient, “GlaDOS-esque” (our term, not theirs) cybernetic motorcycle. As Pablo screams in Spanish (English subtitles are at the bottom of the screen) about his unfortunate situation, I.R.I.S. manages to seem adorable, though entirely unsympathetic.
Gameplay-wise, it seemed to play a bit like one of the behind-the-back Spy Hunter games. Pablo and I.R.I.S. swerve back and forth, committing acts of wanton destruction that would make Sam & Max proud. Adversarial vehicles approach (usually from behind) and I.R.I.S.’s machine gun would make short work of them. The exploding vehicles would then crash into oncoming civilian traffic, which looked fairly impressive. It didn’t seem pre-scripted, either. Occasionally, the drivers would fly out of the exploding cars, gesticulating wildly.
After a bit of this, Chainsaw looked at my fledgling apprentice Matt and I, shouting “Here we go!” as I.R.I.S. launched an enemy robot suit into the air. She then proceeded to flip around crazily and perform aerial hand-to-wheels combat with it. Fully playing what was happening on screen, Chainsaw was eventually fighting several of these suits at once and sometimes even flipping around, using the bedraggled Pablo to uppercut! Button prompts would occasionally appear on the screen, which would result in crazy takedowns. It all animated fantastically and kept a smile on my face the whole time.
If that doesn’t have you excited, maybe the voice cast will. First off, we have I.R.I.S. who will be voiced by Lisa Foiles. You may know her from All That! or Kotaku (what a weird sentence). She’s seemingly doing a great job with it from what I’ve seen of the game so far. Secondly, there’s S.P.I.K.E., who wasn’t in the demo we were shown. He’s I.R.I.S.’s nemesis and he’s also voiced by Robert Patrick. You know, the guy who voiced the T-1000 in Terminator 2. Pretty awesome, right?
As far as LocoCycle is concerned, it’s all par for the course for Twisted Pixel — a fairly good looking game (even though it’s still very early in development) with relatively simple gameplay, but great personality. If you’ve played another one of their games like Comic Jumper or The Gunstringer, you’ll already know whether you’re in or not. Based on sheer personal preference, I’m in already. They had me at Spy Hunter. The crazy, amusing storyline and the extra beat-em-up dynamic are just icing on the cake. A real torta loca.