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Grungy, wacky free-to-play hack n' slasher Let It Die hits PC September 26th

Grasshopper Manufacture’s offbeat dungeon crawler Let It Die hits PC on September 26th after nearly two years on PS4. While studio head Goichi “Suda51” Suda isn’t director on this, his influence feels clear – as blood and rust-caked as Let It Die is, it’s a very silly game, with an absurd joke to offset every Mortal Kombat-esque fatality animation.

Part Dark Souls (especially in its combat) and part roguelite (there’s long-term progression), players climb The Tower of Barbs – a massive dungeon – at the behest of Uncle Death, the game’s ever-cheerful skateboarding reaper mascot. Let It Die is free-to-play, and after playing it a lot on PS4, I reckon it’s worth at least a peek. Below, the original 2016 launch trailer.

Having played a lot of it on PS4, Let It Die has my guarded recommendation. It has a lot going for it, but some maddening flaws. While Let It Die’s story is paper thin, the way it’s delivered is a borderline hallucinatory collage of mediums. Traditional cutscenes, comics explaining boss backstories and sometimes it just lapses into a paper cut-out puppet show. Uncle Death himself is remarkably likeable and encouraging, too. The handful of other characters you can chat with are a similarly strange lot, although less handsomely skeletal.

Another reason to play is the soundtrack. Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka commissioned a hundred Japanese rock and metal bands (and a few more esoteric and indie acts) to each produce one song called Let It Die. The end result is a very confusing track listing, but a great and varied accompaniment to the violence that introduced me to a few bands I’d never heard of.

As for my gripes, lack of enemy variety is probably my top problem. A few weird weird cyborg monsters and the occasional (frequently recycled) mini-boss aside, most enemies are howling loons armed with weaponry (knives, guns, fireworks, clothes irons) the player could use. Let It Die’s business model may also rub some people up the wrong way – while hard, it’s beatable without paying, but an optional subscription files down some of its sharper edges. Cash-shop tokens can be exchanged for instant respawns in the field, an ever-tempting and potentially expensive option.

Grumbles aside, I still happily poured a couple dozen hours of my life into Let It Die, and reckon you should give it a peek when it launches later this month. If nothing else, a halfway decent PC should bypass the PS4 version’s occasionally wonky performance and creaking load times.

Let It Die is free to play, and will be available on Steam here come September 26th.

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Dominic Tarason

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