Let It Die is a third-person RPG that is free to play on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. It is pretty much Dark Souls meets Dead Island with a ludicrous sense of humour. It’s a satirical RPG which breaks the 4th wall break, you’re playing a game within a game. You’re introduced to the game by Uncle Death, a crazed skeletal bad ass.
The story behind the game is that in the year 2026 AD, a large tectonic disturbance occurred causing mass destruction around the world. South Western Tokyo split off into the ocean and became an island covered by a deep fog. Continuous seismic activity then caused a large spire to rise out of the ocean through the island creating a tower-like structure that pierces the clouds. There lies the point of the game, climb the tower. The player must clear floors and ascend the tower by taking an escalator up to the next floor. There are various escalators on every floor so it’s not a set route up. The map also changes its layout every time the player enters. The rooms are the same, but they’re jiggled around like a puzzle. It keeps early grinders on their toes, and forces you to be aware of what room Hunters and Haters are in, but the walls and rooms have the same design throughout the game, so it's just blandness reorganised.
There are elevators available for players to take back down to the ground floor, or the ‘Waiting Room”, and act as shortcuts for resuming the hike. They are not in every floor, and they tend to get more scarce the more you rise the tower. Every third or so floor will have a mini-boss challenge. Some mini-bosses have a predictable attack pattern, so sit back and analyse before going mad. You’ve a precious and little amount of weapons and armour so keeping your wits about you is key, there's no supplies in their rooms, so you can't hack-and-slash, wasting up your amour, like in the main tower.
You can’t initially buy items, weapons or armour, you must scavenge off enemies and the environment. You rely on frogs (and various other beasts.) and mushrooms for health. Other types of mushrooms can be found to boost your stats. As in real-life there are ‘bad’ mushrooms, which can cause damage to you if eaten, and to your opponent if thrown. Weapons and armour are retrieved from fallen enemies, but the drops are random. In the tower you can find blueprints, which you trade in to the merchant, who can then create these items to sell. You can upgrade these items in the store granted you have the appropriate materials, which are also found scattered around the Tower. These items can cost quite a bit once upgraded, so if you’re struggling to progress early in the game refrain from doing so, as losing a 1000 kill coins of armour would be a significant set-back and more importantly a major pain in the hole.
Players can also buy tattoo like upgrades called ‘Decal’. Each decal has a different effect on the player, ranging from absorbing HP to decreasing fall damage. As you progress you begin to unlock different types of characters with each their own perk. Collectors have more bag space, while fighters will have less space but start off with more strength and stamina. These are called grade 2 characters, and they cannot be unlocked until the player defeats the first main story boss. Before this, all stat levels are maxed at 5, with the max level being 25.
The death mechanic in the game is also pretty interesting. The punishment system is that you must retry and kill your ‘hater’ (your dead character gone mad with all your equipment and stats) to reclaim your money and items. The first time you die, D&H Insurance give you a free life, whereas you would normally be required to spend one ‘death metals’ to start over, or you can forcibly reclaim a lost character from the ‘hatersfield’ for a fairly substantial fee. If you die twice in succession, this is something you’re destined to do. If you don’t wish to spend so much to reclaim a character, you can restart fresh by making a new one. All items in the shops and storage will remain available, it’s just a matter of grinding hard.
There is a possibility of encountering other player’s haters. Unfortunately for low level players, there’s not much element of matchmaking here. Players who have died will have their own haters appear in your world. In my experience, on floor 2 I encountered a level 20 hater (I was level 5), never had a hope of progressing. The same player I encountered on my second character, on the first floor. Luckily I was just off the elevator, so I could run up to avoid him… Except he was on the second floor too, the first enemy to greet me. Coincidentally, I’ve noticed that if a hater kills a player, the player’s hater takes the place of that foreign hater.
The other multiplayer part of the game is called ‘Raiding’. Players will have the chance to align with their country’s team and take part in raiding enemy Waiting Rooms. In raids, you can steal enemy resources (Kill Coins and SPLithium) and get points for your team by defeating enemy Fighters. There’s a chance that a Fighter you’ve defeated will be knocked unconscious, allowing you to capture them. While captured, enemy Fighters will remain trapped in your bathroom and generate a set amount of SPLithium over time. They also become inaccessible to their original user until they pay a set fee or rescue them during a revenge raid. You gain decent amounts of Kill coins and SP Lithium from this, and you’ll need these to upgrade your own defences.
It's helpful to note that PS Plus subscribers get a free start-up kit with healing items, coins, death metals and a solo shelter which lets you heal outside waiting room. This can be purchased in the PlayStation Store.
The game is far from perfect, the controls feel clunky, and not quite attached to the character as fluid as they should. While it gets compared to Dark Souls, it's mainly in the visuals. It doesn't require the cautious approach to everything, rather you run around hacking-and-slashing everything to heavy death metal (which in its own right is awesome). In fact, inside the main tower, a cautious slow approach is actually counterproductive. Defensive manoeuvres and perfect dodge-rolling are almost non-existent, it takes a second or two to recover from the motions, as it does with any action, so you dodge one hit, but you're vulnerable to a few after. There's next to no poise, and this makes stun-lock a serious issue, especially with the buzzsaw. You can be stun-locked consistently by multiple enemies straight until you die. The lock-on feature is trippy, as it doesn't lock the camera but only the player's attack interest. So you can get disorientated and end up rolling the wrong way. There’s an awful lot of grinding and grafting through floors, enemies and equipment, but the game is so engaging it all doesn’t seem too stressful like in most grind-heavy games.
Having said that, this game has the best thing going for it. It's a hell of a lot of fun. You quickly embrace the madness, and follow the Grim Reaper (who refers to himself as 'Uncle Death' and calls you 'Senpai') and tackle frustration as you hack, slash and climb away. It's not 'Game Of The Year' material. It's not one of those games you'll be playing for the year like GTA, FIFA or Rocket League. But it's an absolute steal that this is free, and I’d strongly recommend you download and play it before this fact changes. It's a guaranteed fun time, ridiculously entertaining and an overall great game.
Let It Die
Rating : 1
You'll like if...
You won't like if...
- You're looking for some mindless carnage
- You like games with a serious challenge
Don't understand the review score? Look it up, dummy!
- You prefer a more Dark Souls/ LoZelda style cautious combat.
- You don't have patience for grinding and prep-work.