As I sat behind the counter at one of several local liquor stores, my mind started wandering to what I had to do that night. Cleaning my room, doing laundry, and drinking were at the top of my list, followed by playing Let It Die(LID) and sleeping. Despite being initially excited about the game I found the idea of playing it long enough to form a solid opinion quite dry. It’s not that it didn’t look interesting, just that I knew the free to play aspects were right around the corner of the well done tutorial. I do have to say, it’s a good thing I went back.
When first firing up LID the player is greeted by a bit of backstory to The Tower of Barbs. The fictitious structure stands at 1,686 feet and is rumored to house an invaluable treasure at the top. Reaching the summit of the tower requires fighting your way through each level, collecting new weapons and armor along the way, until you reach the end. Now I have no fucking clue what ACTUALLY lies at the top of the tower, seeing as I am atrocious at this style of game, but one can imagine it’s something disappointing.
You then get thrown into a subway where you choose the gender of your character, there’s only two available so this game is not approved for the state of California. After deciding what you identify with, you finally get to meet Let It Die’s mascot, Uncle Death. Uncle Death is a presumably Mexican, skateboarding, hipster grim reaper with a golf club scythe who guides you through your first few fights. Weeaboos rejoice as he refers to new players as “Senpai,” feel free to take a moment to vomit.
Before venturing up the stairs to your almost certain doom, Take in the silver, reflective, and almost luxurious decor around you, since it is likely the only bit of light this game will provide. The first few fights aren’t too bad ad give you a small taste of LID’s clunky yet ruthless combat system. dodging takes stamina and blocking isn’t the most effective, leaving you to decide if you want to run or fight. The suggestion I was given to help my efforts was “Strike, but with care,” which seems to help establish a mind set for this game. If you are familiar with Dark Souls or Bloodborne (which I am not) then this style of combat is nothing new.
Winning your first few fights rather easily, and acquiring some semi-decent armor, one starts to get attached to their fighter, just before their precious life is ripped, or should I say blown, away. This sets the tone for the rest of your experience as death is sure to be encountered again, and again, and again, and again.
Getting into the actual game, we arrive back at the subway where you can reassign your gender. This time Uncle Death is not there to greet you and instead you wander into the waiting room. Here you’ll find your mailbox, storage chest, a couple shops, a freezer for your lifeless bodies, and a gender-neutral bathroom. I’d recommend checking the rewards box before going into the first level of the tower. There’s also a box to open from Uncle Death by the escalator, I’m sure both things will provide you with something useful to ease your plight.
As you enter the first floor, your old body is waiting there to murder you. It’s a little confusing at first, seeing your once decrepit corpse reanimated, but it’s quickly explained that, upon meeting your demise your corpse becomes what is called, a Hater. Haters get a power boost and have a tendency to kick your ass. The first one, yourself, isn’t too much of a threat but still manages to give you hell. Proceeding through the rest of the level is fairly simple, beat down some punks, find some gear, kill/collect some frogs, and get to the elevator.
Here is where some of the free to play quirks come out, when you die the first time you meet Kiwako Seto, the lady in charge of insurance sales at the tower of barbs. She offers you the opportunity to try their “Continue Insurance,” basically if you die you get haterfied and sent back to the fighter freezer. If you wish to continue where you were killed it costs 1 Death Metal, the premium currency found in Let It Die, and you’ll be given a second chance to try and overcome whatever defeated you in the first place.
Direct Hell (DH) Service offers more than just continue insurance, you can convert your death metal into kill coins, get DH Express, which gives you access to the Royal Elevator along with a limited decal and extra slots in your death bag, reduce the time it takes to research weapons/armor, or just add more permanent slots to your death bag. Purchasing death metal will set you back anywhere from five bucks for 10 death metal to a hundred smackers for 280 death metal. At first glance it seems as if you can just pay a little cash and be the very best that no one ever was, but diving deeper showed me that, while you can get all this currency and cool weapons and shit, you can still get your ass fucking handed to you on a silver platter.
At the end of the day most of my issues with Let It Die reside in the fact that it is a free to play game. It does manage that fairly well and isn’t too punishing, at least as far as I’ve played, to those that choose not to spend the money. The style and aesthetic of this game is great, everything sticks to it’s theme and doesn’t stray too far from the dark and dreary. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy playing it, I’d also be lying if I said it didn’t make me angry. My recommendation? Give it a fucking try, it’s free!
“Fuck off you cheeky cunt”
“Just fucking die already”
“I finally found some pants!”
Times Controller was thrown : 1, being a level 1 fighting a level 30 hater doesn’t make for a good time.
Primary Emotion: Anger, but a good kind.