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Left Alive looks more Alpha Protocol than Metal Gear

Despite being set in the same universe as Square Enix’s old Front Mission strategy series, Left Alive is ostensibly more of a Metal Gear-styled stealth game with the occasional mech fight. At least, that’s the plan, but for better or worse, today’s fourteen minutes of new footage reminds me most of Alpha Protocol, Obsidian’s endearingly janky spy RPG. See what you make of its slightly offbeat blend of stealth, branching dialogues, equipment crafting and even a little bit of mech combat in the video below. The game launches on March 5th, just ten days from now.

Left Alive seems like a truly odd duck of a game that I can’t get much of a handle on just by looking at. There seems to be some depth to its stealth, survival and crafting elements, building on the idea that you’re a lone character in a warzone. Still, the character movement seems stiff in a way that I’ve not seen in a long time. Enemy combat animations feel a little too sharp and repetitive too. Even the mech combat feels rigid, even considering that Front Mission’s Wanzers (pronounced here without the German V-sound’ which sounds real weird) aren’t the most agile of bots to begin with.

What stands out to me most is the dialogue sequences. There’s a confusing, slightly alien cadence to it all. Despite your character(s) being plenty chatty during most of each sequence, your choice of dialogue options isn’t voiced, resulting in what looks like mindreading. It’s a genuinely strange looking game, and I’m unsure what to make of it. There’s a lot of talent involved, including Metal Gear character designer Yoji Shinkawa and Armored Core director Toshifumi Nabeshima. Here’s hoping there’s some interesting depths to Left Alive, even if it it’s looking a bit robotic, even on foot.

Left Alive launches on March 5th for £45/€60/$60 . You can find it on Steam and Humble.

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Dominic Tarason


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