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LocoCycle takes awkward live-action video on the road


It just wouldn't be a new Twisted Pixel game without full-motion video interludes. Video gaming's most earnest and awkward narrative relic will appear in LocoCycle, the developer's Xbox One launch game in which you hurtle down the freeway as a sentient, weaponized motorcycle. Named I.R.I.S., the voiced vehicle drags her hapless mechanic behind and sometimes wields him as a melee weapon in mid-air combat, because "sentient, weaponized motorcycle" just doesn't do it for us anymore. Forget violence - video games have desensitized us to the absurd.

Though LocoCycle started as an Xbox 360 game (and is still set to arrive on the platform in the future), it's being wheeled out as one of Xbox One's odder launch companions. As a $20 action game, LocoCycle gets a lot of mileage out of its protagonist – you're always blasting forward, weaving through traffic and lining up targets for your on-board machine guns.

The melee combat is less thrilling, however, even while it depicts a motorcycle leaping into the air and thrashing enemy rocketeers. I.R.I.S. can fling her mechanic, Pablo, into distant foes, but must have him handy in order to counter incoming attacks with a quick button jab. The counters come fast and often, however, making much of the combat feel overly reflexive and without variety.

For enemies that require a barrage of bullets in a highway chase, the health bars also feel inflated to the detriment of pacing (Comic Jumper had this problem too). The thrill of the chase wears down if it goes on and on without change or incident. Thankfully, LocoCycle seems to jolts this pattern frequently with choreographed quick-time events and boss fights (reminder: Robert Patrick voices the evil motorcycle) that amp up the absurdity even further.

It may be on the simple side, mechanically, but LocoCycle is accessible, and its original premise feels appreciated in the lineup of sequels set to debut during the Xbox One's launch on November 22.

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