At the end of the 21st Century, mankind made a near-fatal error. It handed over control of the machines that for decades had taken care of its menial tasks, assuming that its faithful servants would exist indefinitely in a life of subservience. However, once the machines realised their power was their own, they took it into their own hands - and waged war against their creators, plunging the Earth into darkness.
Assuming the role of the eponymous hero, one of mankind's last survivors, players must battle through more than 40 levels of futuristic mayhem in one of the most fast-moving and inventive 3D tactical team-based action adventure games of its type.
As the game progresses, Gunlok will be able to recruit a party of sympathetic robots, each offering different skills, weapons and abilities that must be combined and used intelligently in order to solve puzzles and defeat the enemy.
The adversaries within the game are so intelligent they'd qualify as MENSA geniuses. Each uses a unique 'view cone' to patrol the landscape, which the player must avoid or risk becoming spotted. Similarly, players must evade the enemy's 'hearing range', which will also alert them to intruders.
It's tense stuff - robotic guards will hunt down Gunlok and his team if they suspect a breach of security, offering many different styles of play. The most confident will brazenly battle it out with the enemy, whilst those that wish to conserve health and weaponry will seek vantage points and battle the droids from afar. A combination of both is probably the wisest strategy.
Once the battles are underway, the power of the graphics engine becomes apparent. The display technology allows an astounding level of detail, with players able to view the action from any vantage point - from high up above the conflict, to right over the shoulder of the characters. Dynamic real-time shadows and lighting make this a beauty to look at, too, with some amazing enemies and vistas.
Control is intuitive, with all options fully customisable. Players can assign hotkeys for all major functions, and drag and drop windows to suit their gaming styles.
Gunlok is a triumph of style and content, offering a fresh challenge in a genre exhausted by clones and wannabes. The characters within the game are set for further adventures both within games and, possibly, within the pages of 2000 AD, which Rebellion recently purchased.