Suda51 is known for creating off-the-wall games, and that certainly rings true for his latest offering,Let it Die. It's a bloodbath of an action romp, and it boasts a ridiculously impressive rock soundtrack to boot.
Suda and his team at Grasshopper Manufacture are responsible for cult classic gems like Shadow of the Damned, Killer is Dead and Lollipop Chainsaw. Each of those games shows off their creator's eccentric tastes, as well as a unique sense of style.
All of that bleeds over into Let it Die, as well as an obvious love of thumping tunes.
During E3 2016, Suda and his companions from Grasshopper and GungHo Online Entertainment threw a crazy shindig in downtown L.A. Along with live music that left me hard of hearing for the rest of the evening (not complaining), this event served as a first opportunity for many of us to take Let it Die for a proper spin.
With a concert ongoing about 50 feet from my demo station and a guy dressed as the game's mascot, Uncle Death, cheering me on, it's safe to say that my experience with the game was not what you might call "average." Still, even without the insane atmosphere surrounding me, I had a fun time slicing my way through one of the game's levels and look forward to seeing what the full package has to offer.
As is tradition for a Suda51 game, Let it Die isn't exactly like anything I've ever played. A free-to-play game launching exclusively on the PlayStation 4, the best way I can describe it is a roguelike with buckets of blood.
The game is divided into dungeons, each one populated with random chests, items and enemies. I watched the person after me play through the same dungeon and they picked up slightly different gear in their session. I got a crossbow, for instance, while they picked up a machinegun. I got a katana and they got a sort of club with multiple pointy bits. It seemed like their enemies had different gear, too, but don't quote me on that one.
The level we tackled was a psycho circus of sorts, complete with ticket booths, bright lights, colorful (and bloody) signs and a fire-spewing T-rex. You know, just like you see at every carnival.
You can equip up to three weapons in each hand and swap between them on the fly. You've also got a slot for consumable and throwable items and, again, can rotate through your inventory freely.
You enter the world as a nearly naked zombie. Your job is to get to the end and slay the boss, picking up items from chests or looting them from fallen foes along the way. There's a simple combo system at play and alternating between your right and left hand's implements of destruction adds a nice little spin on the proceedings. You'll want to figure out each weapon's timing to do the most damage, as well as keep from leaving yourself too open to enemy attacks.
By the end of the level, I was wearing a baseball cap, a spiffy jacket and a pair of pants that I believe were actually armored. I was relying on a two-handed katana at the time, with grenades and a long-barrel pistol providing some backup.
The level's boss was a massive, grotesque monster made up of multiple zombies. He'd pull additional zombies from his back and swing them at me, as well as chuck them across the screen.
When you die, you're given the option to respawn right where you were standing and give it another go. My guess is that this mechanic will somehow play into the f2p aspect of the game, but those details haven't been revealed as of yet.
While geysers of blood poured from my enemies, I'm told that an insane soundtrack accompanies the equally insane action unfolding on-screen. Again, there was a live band playing right next to me, so I'll have to take Suda's word for it. He excitedly touted a roster of more than 100 japanese rock bands being brought together for the project, so expect to hear some rad tunes while you're busy slaying.
While you probably won't have a band and a dancing skeleton to keep you company in your living room, you can at least take Let it Die for a test drive when it launches for the PlayStation Network later this year.