TGS 2010 - Gun Loco Hands-on Impressions

In September, I attended Tokyo Game Show 2010 as press. These previews were originally posted at criticalgamer and my blog over at 1UP.

Gun Loco is an Xbox 360 exclusive, third person shooter from Square-Enix. It’s set on a prison planet inhabited by a number of extremely disturbed individuals, where inmates entertain themselves by dressing up and massacring each other. The tone and appearance of the characters, along with the mix of humour and violence, initially reminded me of the Timsplitters series. However, a 15 minute hands on with the singleplayer campaign quickly tempered such comparisons.

During the hands-on, Gun Loco was plagued by random enemy spawning, terrible ally AI and “who can shoot the other person in the face more than five times wins” stand-offs. Other frustrations included being one shot killed by an unannounced mini boss, and constantly finding one of your rabbit headed allies wandering in front of you for a slug to the back of the head. It remains to be seen whether Gun Loco will be better suited to multiplayer, which was unavailable in the demo, removing the annoyance of sub-par AI friendlies.

On the plus side, the weapons have a nice ring and kick to them and the sprint and slide moves are enjoyable, allowing you to traverse different surfaces and slide under others at speed. When combined with the trigger, you can discharge a super powered shot which makes short work of the enemies and bosses alike. Run and gun seemed to be the most effective way of progressing through the demo’s urban setting and vicious finishers became available when close enough to your target. The opposition, unlike your comrades in arms, are pretty handy with a gun, keeping you on your toes throughout, wary of straying out into the open for too long lest you are shot in the chin.

Gun Loco is a good 6 months from release, so we may remain optimistic that there is time yet to fix some of the issues which clouded what is still an interesting premise. Only time will tell, but from what I saw at TGS, Gun Loco still has a fair way to go.


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