Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. LocoCycle is probably never going to win Game of the Year. After all, it’s just a game about a motorcycle. So maybe it’s a super intelligent weaponized motorcycle that gains sentience in a freak accident and decides to race towards a biker rally for freedom while evading the heavily armed forces of the company that created it and its evil rival motorcycle, all while literally (and quite unceremoniously) dragging its Spanish speaking mechanic along for the ride. Whew.
If you just read that and it left you wondering, “WTF?!”, then you’ve probably missed out on some of the previous insanity that has come from the minds of the folks at Twisted Pixel. This is the same studio that’s brought us the likes of ‘Splosion Man (and his female counterpart, Ms. ‘Splosion Man), The Maw, and a personal favorite of mine, Comic Jumper. When it comes to Twisted Pixel, it’s always best to plant your tongue firmly in your cheek, toss aside common sense (and occasionally, political correctness), buckle up, and just enjoy the ride … and LocoCycle is no different.
LocoCycle is hard to really pigeonhole into one specific category. It’s a sort of odd mashup of an on-rails shooter, a fighting game, and a racing game. As the newly self-aware motorcycle, I.R.I.S., players race down the highways and byways in a straight ahead course, swatting down jetpack clad security baddies like oversized horseflies. Whether you’re blasting foes from a distance or getting up close and personal, using poor Pablo as a human nunchaku, the action is fast paced, frantic, and sure to wear down both your thumbs and the buttons of your shiny new Xbox One controller. Admittedly, things can get a bit repetitive at times, but in smaller, bite sized chunks, the game doesn’t get old.
One of the coolest things LocoCycle has going for it is also its most polarizing feature. The game’s presentation and sense of humor plays out like a cheesy B-movie. Its live action cutscenes have a distinct (and intentional) low budget flair, and the whole game is loaded with quirky cameos, including horror FX legend Tom Savini and filmmaker James Gunn, who gave us awesomely offbeat flicks such as Tromeo and Juliet, Slither, and Super, and is also currently directing Marvel’s upcoming big budget Guardians of the Galaxy flick. Some people may find parts of the game offensive, but like any good(?) B-movie, it’s that same offensive, over the top parody of stereotypes and clichés that fans absolutely love … and critics absolutely hate.
Okay, okay. LocoCycle is a little more than “just a game about a motorcycle”. Still, it doesn’t have an epic storyline that’s meant to act as a parable for human nature, it’s not a technological marvel that will revolutionize the way you play video games forever, and it’s not likely to leave you with any deep sense of satisfaction . What the game does have going for it, though, is that it’s actually a goofy, off the wall, warped bit of fun. It’s like that cheesy late night B-movie you can’t help but watch after a burrito and milkshake fueled bout of insomnia. LocoCycle may not be the Citizen Kane of gaming … but it might just be the Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Twisted Pixel
Release Date: Available Now
Platform: Xbox One
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)