This year’s PlayStation Experience was a blast! So many big announcements like The Last of Us: Part II, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, gave gamers plenty to be excited about. Lost in the all the fanfare, was a game that was free-to-play and released the later on the same day as PSX. Let It Die is a free-to-play hack and slash game exclusively for the PlayStation 4.
Developed by Grasshopper Manufacturer, makers of games such as; Killer 7, No More Heroes, and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle — Let It Die is a mash of ideas all crammed into a violent world. “Like a lot of Grasshopper’s work, Let it Die defies interpretation. It’s such a Frankenstein of influences and design ideas, such a mess of mechanics and tropes, that I can’t make heads or tails of it. It might be brilliant, an anarchic expression of carnal game violence in an absurdist parody world of the medium’s silliest ideas. Or it might be idiotic,” Wired said about the game.
The game starts off with the player starting off pretty much naked hooked up to tubes and wires (in a Matrix sort of way) on a subway train. A grim reaper on a skateboard, Uncle Death, instructs the player to fight their way up a 30-foot building. This is where the journey starts.
Being a game that draws clear influence from the Dark Souls series, combat is worth discussing. “Fighting feels like Dark Souls lite, with essential dodging and parrying as you attempt to land that “goretastic” finishing move on an enemy for extra rewards. It’s not as robust as a Souls title; many enemy attack patterns can be gamed with simple draw-out and parry, the “lock on” combat targeting is dangerous to use in melee, and the gunplay isn’t fantastic. While it’s far from perfect, the combat (and the different playstyles it supports) is a satisfying element weaved in with the rest of the progression and reward loop,” Daniel Tack of Game Informer said about the game.
While climbing the building, players will encounter other fallen players “ghost” that will attack players upon contact. This, combined with the myriad of enemies populating the building, this makes for a very tense experience when players are exploring. Trouble is always right around the corner. Each level progression breeds stronger enemies, but players continue to obtain items that make their characters stronger and equipped to handle the new dangers.
The more players progress the more options are unlocked. One piece of gameplay, Tokyo Death Metro, will prove rewarding for players. “Of particular note is the Tokyo Death Metro, which allows you to invade other player’s headquarters and rob them of resources. You have to fight through any defenders they may have set up in their base, but you have a chance to capture downed fighters and bring them back to your own base to drain their life essence for even more resources. This incurs the ire of the players you rob, who will likely come back and try to rescue their fallen fighter,” Game Informer explained.
By being a free-to-play game, microtransactions are a part of the world and players can pay real money to quickly access certain perks in the game. This can definitely create a divide among players who may think the game is too easy because of the way real money can be used to purchase improvements or challenging because of the long grind to achieve upgrades and perks naturally.
Players should at least try the game, seeing as it’s free, but Let It Die is sure to be a divisive game at this moment. Only time will tell how the developers can continue to shape this product to reach its full potential.