Preview: Gun Loco

Gun Loco isn’t Square-Enix’s typical venture. A company known for its high-quality role-playing games are now developing their own in-house third-person shooter. Described to me as a game “meant to be complete chaos”, as well as “over the top violent”, Gun Loco actually looks pretty damn fun.

The presentation opened up with a cutscene, showcasing comic/artwork-style storytelling that reminded me a bit of inFAMOUS‘ cutscenes, moving characters and all. I was introduced to Maddox (the guy wearing the magenta coat) and his creatively-designed accomplices, all characters based on Kenny Wong’s action figures. They’re all trapped on a planet where those destined for solitude go for eternity. It’s a big battlefield, really, full of the universe’s craziest criminals. What is now a prison wasn’t always a prison, though, as the planet was once a place where space crafts were manufactured. If you hadn’t guessed it, that’s the team’s key to escaping the place.

Shoot and kill.

It didn’t take long for the action to commence. I saw Maddox take out a few guys, by means of firearms and by means of a finisher. Each character has their own signature weapon and finisher move; Maddox’s finisher literally ripped the guy in half, so that all you saw left was his lower area with a large bone sticking out of the center. By no means was it serious or gruesome, though; think comedy body ripping. Of course, if you’re feeling a little old-fashioned, hand-to-hand combat is always an option, as well.

As the game puts a high emphasis on “chaos”, you can expect it to be fast-paced. Players can sprint while going throughout the stage and even shoot while sprinting, which I thought was a neat little addition. There are several parkour-esque elements added to the game, as objects highlighted in blue signify those the player can interact with — which he’ll usually slide under, hop over, or do some crazy trick on that most of us wish we could do in real life.

The game’s actual shooting elements are pretty standard. If you could think of the way you’d shoot in any other cover-based third-person shooter, that’s the way you’ll shoot in Gun Loco. I did notice a few glitches in the demo I was shown, though. There was a point where Maddox came up to a cover-spot behind two men arming turrets. Both of the guys were just sitting in their seats, ready to shoot if someone came up front. Maddox took out the first guy with a few shots and the enemy didn’t even react — he just sat there looking forward. The guy on the other turret didn’t react, either, not even when the first guy was getting shot. He ended up taking out both guys, easy. Another glitch I noticed: during a point when the player died, he was shot to the ground, fell on the floor, and after he was down his body magically ripped apart. It felt pretty off. Luckily, though, the game isn’t out till next year so they’re most likely still working these kinks out.

By the end of the stage, Maddox and company’s objective was to take down a tank. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get past that point.

We’ve got multiple 187s, over.

On the bottom left corner of the screen is a small wanted meter. Players can use this meter in order to earn money, which they can use to customize their character and buy upgrades. I was told the meter is essentially more meaningful in the game’s multiplayer mode, though, which makes sense since you’ll be able to use all those upgrades against your friends and enemies.

Speaking of multiplayer, the game features eight-against-eight online play with fifteen characters to choose from. I wasn’t revealed the modes, just yet, but I’m sure we could expect the latter from most online shooters — Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, etc.

An offer you can’t refuse.

Closing off my showing of the game, I was told that Gun Loco is in development exclusively for Xbox 360. Of course, any time a third-party developer chooses to make a game exclusive to a console, you’ve got to wonder why. So I asked.

Money has a mouth… and some pretty good vocal cords, too.

Gun Loco is out for Xbox 360 in 2011. Stay tuned for more updates.

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