I'm going to be upfront about this: I don't like games with tons of gore. Gore has always been a turn-off for me, as it makes me feel a little uneasy, but man, when I got to play a demo for Let It Die, a free-to-play action / survival video game exclusively for the PlayStation 4, did I have a great time!
I had the chance to also sit down with the CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture, Goichi Suda (also known as Suda 51), who was kind enough to walk me through the details of the game and cheer me on when I actually did something good (which doesn't happen often for me in video games)!
Let It Die is a game that you can play for hours.
The demo plops you in at the very beginning, where you literally start with no clothes or weapons. The demo forces you into the game as the male avatar, but Mr. Suda assured me that the player will be able to choose the gender of their character from the beginning.
At first, I was absolutely terrible and died pretty quickly, but I got into the swing of things after getting used to the controls. The player can wield two weapons at once, using R2 and L2 to utilize the weapons that correspond to the appropriate hand. You can also toggle your weapon using the right and left D-Pad buttons that correspond with the appropriate hand. This was probably the hardest thing for me to get used to, but it does not hinder the experience. I got really good at wielding dual crossbows... and I felt pretty cool.
Some other gameplay functions included stealth (crouch and sneak up on enemies for the first hit or on frogs/rats for food) and a super move that unleashed an unforgivable blow to the enemy. This was my saving grace on more than one occasion!
Possibly the coolest thing about Let It Die is the online functionality.
When other players die in the game, they can appear in your game as enemies. Mr. Suda pointed out to me that you can tell which enemies are other players when they have a name under their health bar. These enemies run on a different AI build and are quicker and smarter than your average zombie. These enemies have various behaviors and tactics that are influenced by the player that they once were.
Having this functionality opens doors for the player to obtain awesome weapons and armor early on- all of the weapons and armor of the fallen players are now obtainable for the player to snatch up as a reward. At least you know that when you die and lose all of your inventory that it's being put to good use and going to someone else! I quickly obtained a very powerful sword from a fallen friend that allowed me to completely annihilate everything.
Mr. Suda explains that Let It Die is more than just a gore game.
Gore games have one thing in common: that there's a lot of hacking and shooting, and in the end, there's basically just a lot of blood. Mr. Suda explains that when developing the idea of Let It Die, he wanted it to have a sort of humor or charm.
Part of the reason I enjoyed Let It Die so much was because it separates itself from the realistic tone that we see in many gore games. The realm of this game has such a heavy emphasis on fantasy that you almost forget that you're playing a gore survival game. Mr. Suda explained that even though Let It Die involves lots of violence, "the game is set so far from reality that it becomes its own genre." That in itself says a ton about the game and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of taking down zombies with a sword and a crossbow.
Walking out of the demo, I was pleasantly surprised with what I was presented with. The game holds its own and can get the player hooked just moments after starting. Fans of the fantasy and horror genre: be sure to check the free-to-play game when it launches exclusively for PlayStation 4 later this year.