After getting our first look at Twisted Pixel’s next game, we
think the developers must be big fans of the cult ‘80s film Short Circuit. Shown for the first time
at the Penny Arcade Expo 2012, the premise for Lococycle--a killer robot motorcycle
comes to life--is just as strange as we expected from the team behind Comic Jumper
and Gunstringer, but deep down it seems to be about an artificial intelligence gaining its
soul. Of course, she does that while shooting dozens of men.
Built by Big Arms Incorporated to be the ultimate superspy, I.R.I.S (the devs aren’t
revealing yet what those letters mean) is a heavily-armed, robotic motorcycle that
has now decided to escape her creator's clutches. She’s now on the run from her
former masters, driving across country in a search for freedom. As we saw in the
first demo, this brought I.R.I.S. into contact with an unlucky mechanic
The demo began as a fast paced driving stage, I.R.I.S. darting
between cars on a highway while dragging her new friend Pablo on her back wheel. When some enemies began shooting at her, she blasted the black cars until
they exploded as Pablo screamed for his life. For her next trick, I.R.I.S. pulled out her first
crazy counter, jumping into the air and smashing a guy in the face with her
The real fun of the demo began when Big Arms called in henchmen that were outfitted with jet packs and heavy armor. At first we assumed I.R.I.S. would keep using her guns to take
them down, but instead she jumped into the air and basically stayed there while
she fought the fliers above the road. At that point Lococycle shifted from being a
driving game to a combo-filled fighting game, where I.R.I.S. moves with the
speed of Chun-Li, except without arms or legs.
I.R.I.S. also doesn’t keep the fighting fun to herself, using Pablo as a
weapon all across the highway. The unfortunate man gets tossed like a
boomerang and swung like a bat at attackers. However, despite how harshly
I.R.I.S. treats Pablo, he’s pretty much intact by the end of the stage. Though
I.R.I.S. doesn’t seem to understand the health needs of her passenger, she treats
Pablo like a friend, albeit a friend she bashes into guys wearing jet packs.
The devs were stingy with details after the brief demo ended,
including how big of a part Pablo will play in the story, or just why I.R.I.S. embarked on
her trip across the US. We can at least say that the unique mix of comedy, high
octane car combat, and acrobatic martial arts is just the type of lovably strange concept that we’ve come to enjoy from developer Twisted Pixel. Even though the company was recently purchased by Microsoft, on the surface Lococycle follows the developer’s oddball tradition, but we’ll have to wait until it comes out next
year on the 360 to see if can maintains Pixel’s tradition of quality gaming as
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