The very underrated Let it Die has a lot to offer.
When it comes to free-to-play games, I tend to avoid them whenever possible because they’re usually full of play to win (P2W) purchases that essentially milk you for money. When I was suggested to play Let it Die, a free to play hack and slash tower climbing game on the Ps4, I had some serious reservations. Created by Gungho, the developers who brought you the popular mobile puzzle game Puzzles and Dragons, I had thought Let it Die would be some bizarre tower defense game adapted from a mobile game to a console. The “bizarre” aspect indeed was there, but the game itself is so, so much more.
The best way I can explain my first few hours with Let It Die is probably like experiencing a waking fever dream. The characters you encounter in the opening sequences are beyond normal and the slapstick humor and fourth wall breaking is ripe in this game. At one point I wasn’t really sure what I was playing until the game’s frontrunner character Uncle Death humorously described the game to me as a “rouge-like hack and slash” game. The fact that a character from the game described the game to me was concerning, as if the developers may have been aware of their own disastrous mistake. Fortunately, that was not the case and was simply just another of a series of fourth wall breaking humor.
The game itself is a surprisingly entertaining and satisfying experience. The objective of the game is to take one of your many fighters up to the top of the “Tower of Barbs”, the main focus and location of the game. As you progress the floors, you unlock different classes of fighters that have stat specializations. You also unlock higher grades of these classes that allows for higher level fighters. The difficulty curve in this game is no joke as well. The higher the floors you go, the more increasingly difficult the enemies become, with mid bosses and floor bosses greeting you every few floors. The game definitely has a Dark Souls level of difficulty to it, which is very fun and rewarding if you’re able to survive. The bosses and major antagonists in the game are also an entertaining experience, both story wise and gameplay wise. The first boss alone has you braving a gauntlet set in a moving train that you can fall off in, filled with traps and tough enemies. Towards the end of the gauntlet you face the boss, without any checkpoints or save points (Not like there are any of those in the game save for the elevators).
The recently added multiplayer aspect of the game adds a new dimension to the tower crawling game. In this feature, you can head on over to another player’s “Waiting Room”, which is your personal hub area, and steal their Kill Coins and SPLithium, currencies within the game. Depending on the player, you will be faced with their defensive fighters placed in their Waiting Room as defense units and defeat them. On your end, you can set your own fighters as defense fighters to slow down and defeat any incoming invaders as well. The more SPLithium you obtain, the more you can optimize your Waiting Room to fend off these pesky players. Combat is based on fighting against opposing regional teams (I’m in the amazing Team California to represent my home state!) starting wars, and whoever has the highest win count is rewarded with a very generous prize of kill coins and SPLithium.
There is a unique charm to this game that I can’t properly convey to this game. The mechanics are solid and provide a good amount of replayability, which is important because you will be grinding the same floors over if you’re trying to keep your Waiting Room safe from attackers in multiplayer. However the biggest thing I love about this game is how completely bonkers the characters and story are. The fact that you essentially have death lugging body bags where your potential characters are in to the waiting room so you can prep them for battle is a nice mix of macabre and funny as hell. The likable characters and the dialogue they share with the player create this chaotic post-apocalyptic/nerdom infused narrative that completely compliments the bloody, gory craziness that is Let it Die.
The best thing about this game is probably the fact that the premium purchase items are of no real impact to the game in its entirety. The purchases are limited to either a developer support pack that provides a blueprint for a decent mid game weapon, premium currency that you can use to instantly revive your character or purchase more storage slots, and a 15$ month long bonus that gives you more player slots and an extra daily login reward. The monthly bonus also provides a free elevator ride and instant retreat during pvp, but I’ve tested the game without these benefits and you’re honestly OK to play the game without these features, although it does save you in game currency in the long term (although it’s not very difficult to amass a huge amount of kill coins). The blueprints you can get with these purchases really aren’t the best and many of the good end game weapons and armor are found easily through playing the game normally. The premium currency’s really convenient storage increase and revives do make the game somewhat easier, but revival can also be done by rescuing your character in exchange for kill coins. Sure, you won’t be able to revive on the spot, but honestly that feature is best saved for boss fights. The good thing however, is that you can actually score these premium “Death Metal” by completing challenging missions or through playing the multiplayer. So in all honesty, so long as you continue to play the game and unlock these challenge missions that reward Death Metals, you will never need to spend anything to get these nice benefits. The month long Direct Hell Express pass does provide the benefits of free elevator passage and instant evacuation for pvp, on top of the extra daily reward and player slots, but those features alone don’t necessarily break the game’s difficulty or make you more survivable; they are more implementations for player convenience rather than to pay to win the game.
Check out Let it Die on the Playstation Network, it’s a free download and Playstation Plus users get a free complimentary add on that gives you some items to start your climb to the top of the Tower of Barbs!