Befriend a skateboarding reaper, scale a mysterious industrial murderhell tower rising from futureTokyo, murder murdered-out zombies, eat frogs, and loot loot loot in Let It Die, the free-to-play roguelikelike action-RPG from Grasshopper Manufacture. Following its 2016 debut on PlayStation 4, Let It Die launched on PC this morning. As you’d expect from the makers of makers of No More Heroes and Killer7, it’s a bit of a silly one. I’ve played an hour and a half of it today and will at least return to get a better sense of what this procedurally-generated permadeath murderhell even is. First, meet Uncle Death.
Make sense to you? Grand.
So! We control meatpuppets sent into the Tower of Barb, a vast structure rising from Tokyo in the trashed future, to murder, loot, and hopefully reach the top to claim a mysterious prize. Our jacked bodies (controlled from an arcade through a video game on a Death Drive 128 console?) have to fight to the top, or that’s the plan. As we mash other looters and weirdos, we’re grabbing weapons and items with limited durability, levelling up, collecting cash, and… doing murders good?
The low-level combat is pretty simple, with three-attack combos, different attacks for different weapons, a jump, a dodge, a block, and some bloody finishing moves. I believe it gets more complex as our weapon skill levels go up but sheesh this game has so many progression and loot systems it’s all a bit much for me to get my head around after only an hour. Also, permadeath is a risk if you’re not buying life insurance, and you can have to fight your corpse (and other players’), and you can send collected folks out to raid other players and agh there’s a lot going on.
There’s a lot going on in general. The game has so many systems of resources and currency and crafting and whatnot that I honestly don’t have a sense of how it all works, let alone how grubby the monetisation of all that might be. I can say I find this all confusing right now and wish it simpler. And the controls can be just as weird; one menu is used by holding Back then scrolling through with X and Y. Load times are shocking too.
I’m curious enough to keep going, though. I’m not sure what this all is and would like to find out. And I want to do cooler murders. I do like Grasshopper’s stuff that I’ll trust them through this initial confusion.