Some of you may remember LET IT DIE from its announcement trailer a few months back. It didn’t impress the few of you who commented, but the new free to play online ARPG from Grasshopper Manufacture and Gungho Online may be worth your time if you’ve got a PS4. It’s an asynchronous MMO, which means everything you do is stored and shared online, but you don’t play with other people. Instead, everything you do is recorded and shared to other players’ games.
That may sound strange enough, but if you’ve played any of Grasshopper and SUDA51’s other games (No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw, Killer is Dead) you’ll know that a simple genre categorization is not where the oddness stops. At its heart, LET IT DIE is a roguelike Action RPG. You fight from floor to floor inside the Tower of Barbs, collecting gear, money, and trying to get higher and higher because a supposed treasure of immense power and wealth awaits you at the top.
Oh, and LET IT DIE is the name of a game inside the game you’re playing. Which is hosted by a guy named Uncle Death that wears a skull mask, has a golf-club scythe, can teleport like Nightcrawler, and rides a skateboard.
Like I said, LET IT DIE is weird. But in a good way.
At the bottom of the Tower of Barbs is the Waiting Room. It’s sort of your home base, where you can buy gear, have a guy that looks like Hitler inside of a fish bowl helmet make your items, and cook mushrooms and frogs to get buffs (I swear I’m not making this up). None of this weirdness and admittedly slick punk style would amount to a hill of beans if LET IT DIE wasn’t any fun. Thankfully, it is, and the roguelike nature makes it addictive as well.
Each time you die, you must start as a new fighter in their underwear. Think Matrix, and you get the picture. But your Waiting Room, its upgrades, and any stored gear you manage to bring back from the tower before you die is saved for your future fighters. In this way, when you die you don’t start completely from scratch – if you’ve been heading back to the Waiting Room any time you gain access to the elevator.
The gameplay loop is tight. Floors seem to be procedurally generated, and you’ll face a whole host of different grotesque and macabre enemies. The asynchronous multiplayer comes into play here: your friends, strangers, and even your own dead bodies can come back to life in your levels as “Haters” – powerful enemies that died in the Tower and now are after you. The good thing? They have whatever they were carrying when they died and that means some great loot and weapons can be found on them.
Speaking of weapons, there are loads – guns, daggers, irons with razor blades attached, flamethrowers, wrist-mounted crossbows human bones…. You know, the not so usual. They all have durability, and break eventually, and early on the pieces you find will be pretty garbage. But as you progress through the tower you’ll find blueprints that the Hitler-lookalike can craft for you, which last a lot longer and are sturdier in general. You’ll also find armor, pants, and helmets to equip and increase your stats in various ways.
Combat is actually pretty straightforward, with a bit of nuance. Left trigger controls your left arm, while right trigger controls your right arm. Consumables can be eaten or thrown (if you have negative effect mushrooms for example) with the touch pad. Combat is a lot like the Souls games in this way, and you must dodge and block a lot as well, all while making sure you don’t tire out your fighter – if you do, you’re left vulnerable while you catch your breath.
Eventually, other players will also raid your Waiting Room, and you can counterattack in the Tokyo Death Metro – take their guards, and use them in your base, take their money, their items, and so forth as well. I haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but I expect someone will raid me while I’m at work today (add BillMurphyMMORPG on PSN).
I’ve only dabbled for about 45 minutes so far, but I’m anxious to go back. LET IT DIE is F2P, and I’ve noticed there’s a real-money currency called Death Metals which can let you immediately access floors you’ve reached without having to re-traverse the earlier floors, as well as buying life insurance that’ll let you resurrect when you die. One metal buys you a revive, and they can be bought with in-game currency (5000 = 1 death metal), so it’s not entirely a for pay only service. The game even starts you with about 4-5 as a freebie, which is a nice gateway drug to tossing them money.
The rest of the digital store is not life yet, but an Express Pass (monthly subscription) is coming that gives you some pretty big boosts - The Express Pass allows players to climb the tower and improve their Fighters more efficiently. After purchasing an Express Pass from DH Service, you will have the following benefits for 30 days. What
- Acquire more Kill Coins inside the tower.
- Acquire more SPLithium inside the tower
- Acquire more EXP inside the tower
- Acquire more ABP inside the tower
- Increased HP recovery rate
- Slows the rate at which equipment durability decreases
In my short time with LET IT DIE, I’ve been impressed. It’s a fun game, with the signature SUDA51 and Grasshopper Manufacture style, and it seems to have loads of replayability. I wish there was actual multiplayer, not only asynchronous but maybe it’ll come down the road. It’d be great for co-op or real-time PVP raids. We’ll finish our review in the coming weeks, but right now if you’ve a PS4, the game is F2P and worth the download to try it out.