Locus is an enjoyable game in the Here's-a-sport-I-made-up tradition. Part demolition derby and part hockey/basketball, its rules are simple but the gameplay is actually quite challenging and enjoyable.
You ride around in a sled inside an arena. Two other sleds the same color as you are on your team while there are two other teams competing against you. Get the ball in the other team's goal using the magnet at the end of your sled and you score against them. Three scores against a team and they're out. Last one standing wins, and you get to move up the Locus League ranks if your team wins the best-of-three competition.
The graphics are vector-based and simple, but they do their job. The arenas are fun in their variety and each offers a different challenge than the one before it. Sliding down the tube at the beginning is fun, since you get to blast your opponents along the way, but it's a shame they didn't include a crowd. It would have been fun to hear the roar of the crowd every time you scored a goal or slammed the other guy.
Since this is a game born in simplicity, it doesn't get bogged down with a lot of superfluous stuff. Get the ball, stick it in the goal. Sounds easy, but in reality it's hard because six other sleds are after you the whole time (well, actually it's less than that since there are always multiple balls floating around), and they have the same lasers you have, along with the same electromagnet with which to steal the ball.
The gameplay is challenging because you can't just shoot your lasers to your heart's content and leave the electromagnet on all the time. You have an energy supply which drops real fast, and there are these beams of light you need to pass through in order to replenish it. In the easier arenas the beams stay still, but in the tough ones they move around on you.
There are even stats to view at the end of each contest, and they're saved under your name for the next time you play. While this game doesn't lend itself to the pile of stats which football and baseball games have, they're still fun. Too bad they didn't go the distance and include leagure standings along with league news and other tidbits. You work your way up the ranks of the league, moving from team to team, but there's no actual season with a championship game. That might have been fun.
Locus is definitely a game to keep an eye out for.
Graphics: Very nicely done, although they looked a bit pixelated on my system, especially the cut scenes.
Sound: Great sound. Very ambient sound.
Enjoyment: Fun game. Definitely challenging.
Replay Value: Lags a bit here. Not a game you'd want to spend all afternoon playing.
Locus is a virtual reality sports game where you race at break-neck speed through the unimaginable geometries that compose the Locus arenas. With next gen 32-bit game engine and first-person fast game action you make your way though 12 challenging levels, using laser weapons and gadgets. Surrounded by Gouraudshaded graphics, digital and MIDI music and specialized sound effects, you must score against two opposing teams in a game of cut-throat elimination.
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