New to Alaplaya's line up is a brand new action game that mixes DotA inspired RTS gameplay with RPG and third person action called LOCO. The game features 13 different heroes to choose from (with 17+ more heroes on the way), each with their own strengths and weaknesses to bring into battle. LOCO brings players fast paced gameplay and intense team based PvP, all wrapped up with Unreal 3 Engine goodness, and I got to try it firsthand!
For starters: I have never played a DotA style game before. In fact, I didn't know that this sub-genre of RTS titles existed until a month or so ago, mainly because I suck at RTS titles. Looking at LOCO on the surface, I didn't know that it was a DotA style game until I got into it. So let's take a look at what makes LOCO Gold such a unique experience, shall we?
The tour started with me selecting my primary hero and then taking a quick romp through the tutorial mode. The heroes available run the gambit from looking generic to looking incredibly bizarre. I decided to go with Irene, a melee tank character that uses spears or maces with shields in combat. In the tutorial, the game explains just about everything you need to know about basic combat, and only took me around 10 minutes to run through (although I did skip a bit of the dialogue along the way.)
After the tutorial: Hendrik went on to explain what they have in store with the game's AP shop. Like with Alaplaya's other titles, LOCO Gold is free-to-play with an optional cash shop for players to purchase items with real money to enhance their experience. The thing about free-to-play games is that some people are under the impression that you'll have to spend real money to be able to compete, but that isn't the case with LOCO Gold because the available cash shop content does not provide any major advantage over non-paying players. At the moment, players can buy special outfits for their heroes which gives them 50% more coins (in-game money) from battles. Players can also buy extra quest boards that give players mini missions to complete during battles to earn extra items, equipment and bonuses.
It was just about time to get to the root of LOCO by participating in a live match. At the moment, there are only two game modes available (elimination and battlefield,) but there are more coming down the pipeline. While elimination mode was more of a straightforward team deathmatch kind of thing, battlefield is the real draw behind what LOCO Gold is all about. While Hendrik started up a fresh battlefield room and waited for other players to join in, he explained the game's simple reputation system: Next to each player's username, there's a small smiley face showing that the player is in good standing. If player leaves a battle without finishing, they can have their reputation level lowered and that smiley face will be turned into a devil. Players with the mark of this little devil can get booted from games without vote kicking, so you better not think about running away from a fight.