Suda51 is a one of the more eccentric game designers around. The games made under his studio Grasshopper Manufacture always has a mixed of horror, gruesome and also wacky elements like Killer 7, Lollipop Chainsaw, No More Heroes and Killer Is Dead.
But for their latest game, it looks like they are taking a jab on the Dark Souls formula of methodical combat and RPG elements but with the trademark Grasshopper Manufacture/Suda51 vibe. That, and having it be a free-to-play title.
Let It Die tasks you to bring a fighter to climb up the Tower of Barbs, facing a lot of adversaries, ranging from normal looking humans to abominations made up of human appendages, along the way. You will pick up loot and weapons of melee (double-handed axes, swords, baseball bats) and ranged (crossbows, nail guns) variety. Combat is similar to a Dark Souls game, with stamina and circle-strafing being important, but you can suplex an enemy into insta-death. Along the way, you will meet a variety of zany characters. Your guide is Uncle Death, who is basically the Grim Reaper but wears 3D glasses, rides a skateboard and a habit of addressing you as senpai.
So far, it has all the right ticks for a Suda51 game.
But where comes the free-to-play hook? See, the game has a form of roguelike to it. If you die in Dark Souls you lose all your souls but can still be picked up the next time you respawn, all gear intact. Let It Die will literally let the fighters die, along with all the gear and loot on them.
All of it will be lost (you can keep some loot if you store them at your base) or if you invest in a life insurance where you can get your life back. The insurance agent will appear each time after death, so you could either spend some money to keep a good run going, or start anew with a fresh new fighter.
The dead fighter will continue on to roam and appear in other player’s game as an enemy they have to face. Sort of like a passive way to invade someone’s game. Proper PvP arenas are available should you seek that experience.
Details on pricing and other hooks of free-to-play, if there is anymore, is pretty limited. As long as it is priced fairly, and those not spending a dime can earn them in some form, this should be okay.
Considering Let It Die looks to be a pretty substantial game, having it free-to-play and exclusive to the PS4 is an interesting direction. This is the first game for Grasshopper Manufacture after being bought by GungHo Online Entertainment, famous for its many mobile titles and will be handling publishing duties. No release date has been revealed just yet.