Locus is going to take your eyes and ears for a ride!It's the ultimate multiplayer VR game! Network up to 9 players or go head to head with one of 12 computer teams! Locus is about speed. It's about action on the floor. Action on the walls... on the ceiling. Non-stop action everywhere you turn. It's about bashing your opponent to get the ball... and not getting creamed in the process. It's simple. Move. Crush. Score. Do it again. Until you are victorious and ready for the next challenge... the next arena... your next chance to become LOCUS.
- Next gen 32-bit game engine
- First-person fast game action
- Gouraud-shaded graphics
- 12 challenging levels
- Laser weapons and gadgets
- Digital and MIDI music
- Spatialized sound effects
- Networking for 2 to 9 players
- Plays great with a head-mounted display or monitor
~ from the back of the box
In the future, there is but one sport and billions are addicted to it. Well, at least that is the premise according to the developers at Zombie LLC when talking about their 1995 area sports racer Locus.
Each game consists of three competing teams of hovercraft pilots who enter a psychedelic zero-gravity arena. Here they must utilize every surface to outmanoeuvre and eliminate the other teams by getting the red balls into the corresponding coloured goal of the other teams. Sounds simple enough, but not only can the other teams ram you, they also come equipped with lasers to freeze you in place. Thus, giving them time to steal one of the two balls in play to score. You also have this ability, but the accuracy of other players far outweigh your own.
Whilst the game goes on, it is important to carefully monitor your red energy gage. This can quickly deplete slowing you to a crawl and rendering you useless to the proceedings. Luckily, there are shafts of shining lights erratically beaming their way onto the arena's playfield and a simple drive through their god's ray replenishes your energy.
Taking damage and using weapons will use up your red energy bar (left)
It can be replenished by driving through those beams of light (right)
Visually the game is very basic, with vehicles and tracks being very simple Gouraud-shaded polygons. The ever-so-90s day-glow colour pallet follows on a similar track, with the first arena I played being an interesting choice of what I would describe as sick green. There are some cutscenes before and after matches that look ok, but I have no idea what they are showing and seemed to me like a waste of time them being there.
My biggest gripe with the game is it doesn’t have the instantly fun to play and rewarding to master factor. Control-wise this is a game crying out to be used with a modern gamepad. Unfortunately, mouse and keyboard are what is offered here and in my first foray into the game I found it near unplayable. I constantly found myself looking at the ceiling or ground. If not that, it was smashing into other competitors and getting stuck on them, which comes accompanied by a delightful grating sound effect. You do have complete control over the keys in the options menu, and I highly recommend changing them before you play.
The in-game info tells you everything you need to know about the game (left)
I suggest changing the controls in the options menu (right)
Eventually, my constant wrestling with controls led to some form of competency and I was able to compete. Winning presents you with more blocky tracks and racers to play with, but I felt the time investment versus the reward was not worth it. There is very little in extra modes or unlockables, and Locus' main selling points - the network multiplayer and compatibility with VR headsets - no longer function in the DOSBox environment (although given its age, something tells me the VR didn't really function back then either)
Looking at the overall package the game feels antiquated, especially when you put it up against the excellent modern counterpart of Rocket League. One aspect that modern classic does so well is its ability to be instantly picked up and played for fun. Locus, on the other hand, for such a simple concept does not achieve that. I can’t recommend this to newer players, but it may be a nice to jump in if you're keen on the retro aesthetic or have long-held nostalgia of the neon 90s. In my eyes, arena games have come on so far since.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 98.2 Mb. Install Size: 150 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Locus is © Zombie LLC
Review by HeroOfAvalon
Cover Design and Installer created by me