Tag Archive: MMO


LetItDieHeader

Whenever I hear Suda51 is working on a new game, my ears immediately perk up. Since he made his North American debut with Killer7, I’ve always at least been curious to see what zany scenario he can come up with next. Some of them I’ve been absolutely enamored with, like No More Heroes; others have missed their mark with me, like Killer is Dead. But no matter what, if Suda is attached to it, I got to try it out. So, naturally, when the chance came up to try out Let It Die, I was all for it.

Let It Die is a free-to-play third-person action-RPG exclusive for the PS4. In it, players will have to work their way through what can only be described as a waking nightmare, fighting horrific creatures in twisted environments. In the demo I got to play, I specifically had to navigate what looked like a macabre carnival on the outskirts of a city before finally finding myself in a tunnel system filled even more grotesque horrors.

Some of the enemies were simple enough—mostly just other humans like my character, but they were sadists getting off on the carnage and mayhem around us. Many would try to use their bare fists, but some carried weapons ranging from clubs and bats to nail guns and shotguns. If I was lucky, I’d be able to loot their carcasses for their weapons that I could assign to one of six weapon slots (three for each hand, with two-handed weapons taking up a slot on each side).

BirdcageTubers640

Some enemies also wore armor for various body parts that I could also collect and customize my character with. On one play through of the short demo, I had a gas mask and a leather vest on, but no pants. In another, I was able to confiscate jeans with kneepads, but was left bare-chested. Longer playthroughs that go deeper into the game would surely warrant more impressive gear.

There were also enemies floating around that looked completely otherworldly. One creature had a birdcage for a head and long, forked claws protruding from the end of each arm. Moving through the tunnels, I finally came upon the boss: a monstrous creature comprised entirely out of dead bodies, conjoined by a seething hatred for the living. Its charging attacks were not to be taken lightly, but more serious was its habit to rip human limbs off its form and chuck them at me as projectiles. Yup, definitely a Suda game.

Fortunately, I could use the environment to my advantage, finding small animals like frogs and rats to eat in order to replenish health, or mushrooms that gave special boosts to attack and defense. There were also some “grenade” mushrooms that would explode if I tried to eat them, though, so I had to be careful.

Besides the weapons I could find scattered about, my character also had some basic melee attacks. Punches, kicks, and running dropkicks could keep the more difficult enemies off of me for long enough to find better items, but I needed to be careful that my stamina meter wouldn’t run out, as doing so would render my character near useless until they caught their breath.

RagePunch640

Beyond the dark and twisted design of the world and enemies, you might think Let It Die sounds like a pretty straightforward action-RPG. There’s a leveling-up system that we didn’t get to see in action, and there’s still no talk of exactly how monetization will work in the game. There’s one additional significant twist that makes Let It Die unique, however.

When players die in Let It Die, their characters and loadouts are placed into other players’ games, becoming new enemies for people to fight and new loot for them to possibly collect. This cycle of death and rebirth is an interesting concept, as while you might be playing by yourself at any given moments, a half-dozen clones of you from different levels could be out there invading other games and wreaking havoc. It’s a two-way street, of course, because as was proven to us when one of the Grasshopper Manufacture devs suddenly popped into my game, seeing a human-controlled face isn’t necessarily a good thing in Let It Die.

Let It Die still has some big question marks circling around it, especially if it’s still going to drop in 2016 as is currently planned. What I saw in my brief time with the game is a solid core for Suda51’s latest twisted vision of a tried-and-true game genre. Whether there is a market for a F2P action-RPG exclusive to the PS4 of this style is yet to be seen—but, at the very least, I can confirm at this moment that Let It Die is far from dead.

CriticalHit640

THE BUZZ: Newzoo, a market research group that specializes in video games, released a report yesterday that Americans are spending 24% more money on the micro transactions of free-to-play (F2P) games this year than they did in 2010.

This number equates so far to a total of $4.9 billion dollars across the nation being poured into F2P games. The report also warns via a prediction for 2012 that a time for consolidation could be at hand due to the market being saturated with high quality F2P games and that some may fold up shop before even getting started.

EGM’S TAKE: This report comes hot on the heels of the news that World of Warcraft lost 800,000 subscriptions last quarter and really seems to be painting a clear trend in the MMO market in that gamers do not want monthly fees anymore. With such high quality MMOs like FireFall, WildStar, Auto-Club Revolution, and more coming out as F2P in the coming months, it should be interesting to see just how much consolidation happens as Newzoo predicts.

It is also interesting to note that DCU Online, City of Heroes, and the soon to be re-released All Points Bulletin, games that started as subscription based, have also all switched to F2P in order to survive. It makes you wonder about games like The Secret World that have announced subscription plans at launch and if they will be able to buck this trend. You would think though EA would have learned this lesson after APB tanked last year.

What do you guys think of F2P MMOs? Are you fans? Do you prefer subscription based MMOs? What do you think of the micro transaction business model? Let us know your thoughts with comments below!