Free PS4 Game Let It Die Is Fun, But Clunky 

Goichi Suda, known better as Suda 51, has made some bizarre games. From the political thriller Killer7 to the highly satirical No More Heroes. His games are vibrant and unabashedly tongue-in-cheek. What happens when he makes a free to play dungeon crawler? Pure chaos.

Let It Die feels like it came out of nowhere. It was completely off my radar until this weekend's Playstation Experience, releasing on the Playstation 4 after appearing on the stage during the main conference.

I didn't know what to expect. Suda's last titles, Lollipop Chainsaw and Killer is Dead retained his brash style but were also messy and hard to play. Let It Die is much more engaging, offering a pseudo-roguelike full of brutal enemies and a solid core loop of gameplay.

Players are tasked with climbing up a labyrinthine tower. Each floor is filled with enemies, items, and hazards. It's as standard a set up as you can get and the game knows it. The game cracks wise when you die, calls attention to itself, and gleefully presents itself as an arcade romp.

As such, the gameplay strike a balance between the brutalism of Dark Souls with the weighty heft of Dead Rising. The addition of harsh, DIY fashioned weapons like a fireworks gun or a hot, steam shooting iron really seals the deal. At times, it can feel clumsy to play but that gives way after a while, adding tension to encounters.

The game's UI and menus are a goddamn disaster zone though. Selecting weapons and switching out clothing is a slower process than it should be. Worse, interface controls shift from screen to screen. You might press circle to move back a screen only to find that you must now press square. It's so bewildering to me that I've concluded that the game must be intentionally fucking with everyone. No user experience should be this awful.

Seriously, navigating these menus is a nightmare.

If you press through it and focus on the gameplay, there's some genuinely good ideas to be. Dying in the dungeon will turn your old corpse into a difficult, feral enemy that bars progression. If your friends die in their games, you might even run into their fallen bodies. This sometimes means that high level enemies crop up far too early but that makes defeating them all the more satisfying in the end.

Unfortunately, the game's monetisation rears its ugly head when you die. Player can spend "death metal" to continue on the spot. If they don't, they will need to start over with a new character or go through convoluted methods to recover them. These characters individually retain experience points, which makes the threat of losing them a true anxiety. I imagine plenty of people will fork out some cash to save characters they have gotten attached to.

You can only continue with your current character by spending in game currency

Surpassing the initial difficulty of the game takes some time but once you start to find weapon blueprints and level up, it becomes significantly easier to jump back for another loop through the dungeons. Let It Die's core experience takes time to open up but you'll eventually rush through lower levels to face off against bosses and far more interesting challenges.

In all, I'm pleasantly surprised with the game. It's easy to be cynical of free to play titles but there's a pretty good time to be had in spite of some of the wider convolution. Menus are tricky and the game drops a lot of information into your lap at the start. It can be intimidating and sometimes infuriating. However, perseverance reveals a wild game that's easy to get lost in.

If anything else, you haven't lived until you've beaten your friend's reanimated corpse with a hot iron.


Comments

    Nnnggg I want this but only if I can pay a one-time fee to make all the free-to-play crap go away :(

      Don't let the micros in this fool you, I've played the absolute ass out of it since launch day and I've been given enough Death Metal that I'm not too worried (Daily Logins etc).

      It's relatively easy to get a character back as well, just depends on the floor. When you die your character becomes a "Hater" which you have to fight and defeat to put back in the Freezer (don't ask lol). After learning a bit it's definitely an idea to have two characters at all times as well, while you play as one, the other hunts other players

      :) It's definitely fun though! STEAM IRON TO THE FACE!

    I had a quick look last night, but you're right about the amount of info they dump on you early on. I think I absorbed maybe 30% of it? Also - and you'll excuse the old man rant - but the text on those information pop-ups seemed way too tiny to be useful.

    In any case, I unapologetically love Suda's stuff, so getting a new Grasshopper game for 'free' is pretty rad.

      I find a lot of games on consoles that have been ported from PC have tiny text. They are obviously testing everything on monitors which they are sat close to and not on a large TV sat a decent distance away from. But if this is PS exclusive they don't really have an excuse!

    Where's the NSFW tag?

    This basically amounts to video game porn. Parallels to DARK SOULS (best game of all time), rogue-like/lite elements. Uncie Death riding a skateboard!

    Is it hot in here ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    I saw five minutes of gameplay and had to stopimready. Free and out NOW. Why am I at work today? What's wrong with me?

      Ah, don't take the comparisons to Dark Souls too seriously. Yup, it's similar in that there's a lot of attack/dodge/parry stuff, but it's nowhere near as polished.

    Played it after calming down. It's still fiiiine by me.

    Its the little things, like the surreal retro vibe it has. When the title screen loads all I can think is that should be on a t-shirt owned by me.

    Nowhere near as polished, correct. I sell all weapons I get because the fist affects poise like a two handed pickaxe wont. Want it to get harder. I imagine anyone that's played a souls game will get the exploit mechanics straight away and just destroy this game.

    It's stopped me from playing FFXV so that's something :)

    I just had a question does anyone know of a way to restart, i was going to do a stream or do a recording of me playing it for my YouTube channel but i cant seem to find a way to delete my progress or start a new save file so i can start the lets play from the beginning. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now