A few years ago there was a title revealed by the insane minds over at Grasshopper Manufacture and their then new-found owners at GungHo Online Entertainment, much to the surprise of Grasshopper fans worldwide. This title was known simply as Lily Bergamo and would star a young woman by the name Tae Ioroi, but all would not fair well for our would-be protagonist. Fans looking forward to Ioroi’s adventures of “extreme action” would never get the chance, as she seemingly vanished without word.
One year after the sudden silence regarding Lily Bergamo, Grasshopper Manufacture and GungHo would announce a new title. What of Lily Bergamo? Was it dead and buried? Well, not quite. Lily Bergamo as a concept would continue within this new title, with one caveat… Tae Ioroi would no longer exist as a character. Lily Bergamo ditched its protagonist and instead became Let it Die.
Fast forward to PlayStation Experience 2016, and fans who stuck around even after the Lily Bergamo bait and switch would find out that Let it Die, after a few years of teasing and a delay from the previous year’s target date would finally be released, seemingly out of nowhere. Which brings us to today…
I want to start off by saying one very important detail about the following review. While we at Games Chemistry try our best to remain unbiased, there’s one fatal flaw with those attempts… this flaw? It’s the same with any review of any kind, really… All reviews, no matter how much the writer tries to claim otherwise, are inherently biased in some way. The following review is no exception. You see, I’m a huge fan of Goichi Suda (more commonly known as Suda51) and his company Grasshopper Manufacture. While Let it Die isn’t really a Suda title, as he was only the executive producer, it is DEFINITELY a Grasshopper joint through and through. That being said, I’ll try not to let my love of their work alter my review too much, but I’m not making any promises. Without further adieu; let’s start this thing.
Let it Die, as previously mentioned is an “extreme action” hack and slash title from Grasshopper Manufacture and GungHo Online Entertainment that’s surrounded in misconception and misunderstandings. For some reason, a good handful of people like to compare it to From Software’s “Souls” series of games (namely the Dark Souls trilogy), but it’s really not anything like them.
Yes, Let it Die allows you to equip one weapon in your left hand and one in your right. Yes, there are consequences for your death. Yes, there is a sense of difficulty throughout… however, where the Souls series of games rely heavily on cheap tactics and trial and error gameplay, Let it Die is nowhere near as cheap and unforgiving. One other important aspect of Let it Die, is it’s entirely free-to-play in every sense.
Having played Let it Die a few hours a day since it launched , I can safely say that the Souls comparisons are false and unjust. If anything, Let it Die is more akin to previous Grasshopper titles such as No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw, and Killer is Dead only with more challenging aspects.
One of these aspects is the prospect of death. When you suffer a death in Let it Die, that character as you built them is gone. You’ve lost them. Any gear or resources you had on them that you didn’t return to your waiting room is gone. Your fighter can be retrieved, however… for a fee. If you were really keen of that fighter, it’s not necessarily goodbye, but you also have the option to, as the name of the game implies, let them die and begin from scratch.
One method of maintaining a character you want to keep around is by using a premium item known as “Death Metals.” Death Metals are shown in game as a small rainbow colored skull icon and can be purchased with real-life cash, or granted in-game for completing certain tasks such as going I to the center of your Waiting Room, accessing a fourth-wall breaking arcade room where a stereotypical teenage girl stands behind a counter by a computer that has a it of “quests” you can accept. Death Metals may also be received as daily login bonuses, or from daily premium crates sent by one of the best characters of the year–if not of all time– Uncle Death.
The thing about Death Metals is they’re a very useful resource for many reasons. You can use one Death Metal upon death to revive your fighter, for example. You may also spend two Death Metals to gain ten extra slots in a storage unit kept within your waiting room, which comes in VERY handy the higher you climb the tower.
Oh, yeah, about that tower… You see, the main goal in Let it Die is to climb a massive tower, one in which our previously mentioned friend Uncle Death claims nobody had reached the top of. The higher you get in this tower, known as the Tower of Barbs, the tougher it gets. Stronger enemies, crazier bosses, you name it. The higher you are, the more Death Metals you’ll want to maintain, because losing a high level character might cause some frustrations if you’re not one for repetition. Then again, Let it Die, much like most Grasshopper titles, is full of repetition and isn’t exactly for everyone to begin with.
So, climbing towers, trying not to die, and unique characters such as Uncle Death, who is a skate boarding grim reaper, by the way… what else does Let it Die offer? How about a very competitive PVP mode, where you raid the waiting rooms of other players in a massive team-based feud? Yup, there’s multiplayer… kindof.
While I called it “pvp”, it’s probably not what you think when you see the term. You’re not fighter player controlled fighters, but AI Co trolled variants of their custom fighters that they’ve saved from death. The goal in this pvp, which is accessed by talking to a robotic man named Tatsuo and riding a subway train called the Tokyo Death Metro, is to defeat any fighters the player you raid has set as defenders, then destroy their Waiting Room by attacking their banks. There are two bank in every waiting room. One contains “Kill Coins” which is the in-game currency obtained from pretty much everything, but mostly, well, killing enemies throughout the Tower of Barbs. The other, is a blue gas-like currency called SPLithium obtained primarily from Raids. SPLithium is also obtained throughout the tower by running into lost fighters from other players. When another player dies in the tower, you have a chance of running into their fighter, revived as a “Hater” which are similar to basic enemies, only much more powerful. One other method is by defeating Hunters, which are similar to Haters, only purposefully sent out to patrol and are generally even tougher than Haters because why would a player send out a weak fighter to attack for them?
Anyways, the main aspect of Raiding is to build up rank for your team, which is changeable at any time free of charge but is split into regional teams. For example, there are multiple US teams, one for each state, a Canada team, a UK team and so on. The more your team attacks a certain other team, the more a bar fills and eventually, when the bar fills enough between two teams, an all out war ensues. I have yet to experience one of these, however.
“Okay, so you’re telling us what the game is… but is it any good?” You may be asking… well, the simple answer is, absolutely.
For a free to play title, Let it Die has a large plethora of content and constantly keeps me drawn into the action. Every day so far, I’ve logged in to collect my daily bonus and every time I wind up playing much longer than I had planned. While there are some pay-to-win aspects, they’re mostly only beneficial to you, and don’t actually affect PVP much if at all. There is a story, and you get more the higher you climb the tower, there are unique, interesting and over the tip characters as it wouldn’t be Grasshopper Manufacture without them, and one other thing, Grasshopper and GungHo clearly care about the players. There have already been a handful of times the servers have needed maintenance, but every time they reward players “apology packages” which tend to include a decent amount of Kill Coins, SPLithium, and even some Death Metals. Really guys, you don’t have to keep rewarding US for YOU making the game better… but I mean, I’m not going to argue.
So, in summary, here’s a TL;DR —
Grasshopper Manufacture quirkiness
Unique, interesting characters
Challenging, yet fair
TONS of content, especially for a free to play
Pay to win aspects
Stiff controls to those not used to Grasshopper games
Over all, we at Games Chemistry feel we love the game enough to give it out highest ranking… again, this may just be the bias if being a huge Grasshopper fan, but nonetheless, we have decided to certify Let it Die with our Platinum rating! You’re welcome, Uncle Death!
PS: I know this isn’t the most well-written or constructed review, and for that, I apologise.