Let It Die (PlayStation 4) Review

By Gabriel Jones 06.12.2016

Review for Let It Die on PlayStation 4

In the year 2026, tectonic plate shifting resulted in an unbelievable disaster that shattered the entire world. In the midst of all this destruction, a portion of Tokyo had broken off from the rest of Japan. The continuous seismic activity resulted in a massive spire that rose through the newly-formed island. This eighth wonder of the world became known as the Tower of Barbs. As society collapsed, millions of people started making their way to the tower, believing that an incredible treasure waits at the top. Let it Die is a free-to-play rogue-like hack and slash with asynchronous multiplayer elements. Whew. That's quite a mouthful there.

Grasshopper Manufacture games have always had their own style, and this one is no different. The theme here is psycherpunk. It's a coupling of cyberpunk and psychedelics, with a hint of the ceaselessly glorious 80s. This has to be witnessed first-hand, because no description could possibly do it justice. This vividly imaginative and absurd world is rife with violence and self-awareness. It also sports a pretty awesome soundtrack.

At the beginning of the game, the player is given a short tutorial that covers all of the basics. With little more than their two hands, combatants will make their way up the tower. Each floor is filled to the brim with enemies, most of them still somewhat human. Their twisted existence is defined solely by how much they want to kill the protagonist. They will fight to the death, wielding whatever they happen to be holding. If killed, these fiends might drop their weapon, or even their clothes. Weapons and clothes aren't very durable, and will break after so many hits, but they're essential for survival. The best scavengers will use anything they can find to make it to the next floor.

Alongside a plethora of disturbed foes, there's a fair number of valuables to obtain. Blueprints and materials can lead to more effective equipment. The flora and fauna are all edible, although that doesn't always mean they're safe to eat. It's also imperative to keep an eye out for shortcuts. At several key locations are elevators, and they're literal life savers, especially when the player's limited inventory space is filled with rarities. Alternate routes can lead to other surprises, such as hidden shops.

Combat is all about managing stamina, spacing, and weapons. Defensive manoeuvres like a well-timed block or dodge roll can provide an opening to attack. There isn't a wide array of moves, but since up to six weapons can be held at a time, it's worth keeping a few different types on hand. For example, the hot iron has a special attack that causes a searing cloud of steam to spread over a wide area. This is a solid counter for dealing with multiple enemies. As the player becomes more skilled with weapons, they develop new abilities. Even barehanded fighters can't be underestimated. With enough training, they can deflect the business side of a machete.

Screenshot for Let It Die on PlayStation 4

The fighting action is slightly clunky, and can sometimes devolve into button mashing, but there's still plenty of depth. This game takes great care in making sure that the hit boxes are fairly designed. If an attack looks like it's going to miss, then it will. Depending on circumstances, this can help or hinder the player. Stamina has to be managed, because a lot of dodge rolling and attacking will lead to exhaustion. Enemies can accidentally hurt each other, so it's wise to take advantage of that fact. The quickest way to end a fight is to not let it happen in the first place. It's possible to creep up to someone and take them out with a sneaky suplex. While a lock-on command is available, it has trouble keeping track of the enemy, especially if a dodge roll is performed. The camera is also unreliable during most boss fights.

The basic concept behind Let it Die is that death happens. Everyone that attempts the Tower of Barbs puts themselves at risk of dying long before their time. Unlike most other rogue-likes, death is not the end. That's a good thing…right? Well… It's complicated. When somebody loses their life in the Tower, they become a "Hater". What do haters hate most of all? Players. It's easy to spot a hater, but they're especially difficult to kill. This is where it gets interesting. The hater is capable of invading other player's games. Running into a level 25 hater when most of the other enemies are level 1 is a very common occurrence. Still, with smart playing and good weapons, they can be overcome. If necessary, a dead body (and their precious loot) can be resurrected with a monetary investment. However, it might be worthwhile to let them remain a hater, so they can spread misery to other players.

While there aren't any actual PvP modes, there are a number of ways to "grief" the opposition. It's possible to raid a player's home base, robbing them of precious cash and fuel. Adversaries can even be captured. However, other players are liable to seek revenge for this heinous act. It might be necessary to invest in base upgrades. Constant raids can be enormously profitable, but they paint an awfully big target on the raider. If their defences are lacking, they could be taken for everything they're worth.

As far as F2P games go, this one has implemented a very intriguing system. The most valuable perk is a currency known as death medals. They function similarly to arcade tokens. When the player dies, they can spend a death medal to revive on the spot. It's best to save medals for absolutely desperate situations, but it's also very tempting to "credit feed" through the game. However, if the player is dying frequently, then that probably means their gear and experience levels aren't cutting it, so they should head back to the easier floors. The other benefits to spending real money involve matters of convenience, like an extravagant elevator that's free to use, or R&D for weapons and clothing taking less time.

Screenshot for Let It Die on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Let it Die is a trippy brawler with a unique vision. Alongside its cool atmosphere and stellar soundtrack is thoughtful game design. Exploring and obtaining gear is entertaining enough on its own, while the twists on the rogue-like formula add a lot of spice to the spelunking. The online features are creative and offer a nice break from the horrors of the Tower. The F2P elements are nicely handled, and don't take much (if anything) away from the game. Although, as it becomes more difficult, the costs of everything from elevator rides to revivals gets more expensive, sometimes an investment of dollars might be necessary, just to maintain the pace. If nothing else, a pocketful of death medals might lend players the necessary confidence to challenge the higher floors. In any case, Let it Die deserves a look.


Grasshopper Manufacture







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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