LEFT ALIVE ⚙ (The Front Mission thread)


#41

then SB should love it.


#42

All of our frothing demands are only increasing at this point.


#43

I’m in the middle of the second level, and one of the things that stand out is how unfortunately dull the game’s personality is. The game is very faux-Metal Gear in concept, and it’s low budget shines through in every aspect of it, but the more legendary janky games will still have some sort of quality that invites the player into it, that piques their interest. I don’t think this game really has that spark (not at the outset, at least), because while Shinkawa’s got some decent character design the environment design is quite bland. A simple level structure is to be suspected for the tutorial segment of the game but it should at least get your imagination going for how the gameplay could develop.

That doesn’t happen until the second level. And boy could this game have some Ideas.

So it’s got this sort of open ended level design where each level is one large map and you have objective points you need to get to as the story progresses, I assume moving you to different parts of the map. But the game is like MGS with worse combat. You don’t want to be shooting people, you want to be finding material and crafting items like trip wires, molotovs, and stuff that can distract enemies to manipulate what areas become hot with enemy activity. Because as enemies focus on one area, they appear less in another, opening up a safe avenue to another part of the map. The game calls this Enemy Vigilance and shows you hot zones with different colored circles on the map.

Manipulating enemy vigilance seems like it could also be cool because of this whole saving survivors thing. Throughout the map you can come across survivors, and some of them you can convince to head for shelter. You can choose one of several shelters on the map for them to head to but you don’t have to manually escort them; you see their designated path on the map and can command them to move and stop remotely, the idea being that you need to create a safe path for them to get to safety. So I guess you could manually escort them if you can, but you might also need to go elsewhere, pull the enemy vigilance away from the survivor’s path, and then tell them get moving and hope they don’t die.

The game also does the Souls thing where you can find other players’ dead bodies on the map, but you can pick up a random item from their inventory off their body so they serve as loot. But they also blend in as natural pieces of the environment design, serving as some of the various dead bodies you find among the war torn landscape. They don’t feel out of place. In fact, the game even tells you where people are dying on the map with player death Heatmaps, letting you estimate areas that can be dangerous to navigate but also possibly containing bodies with items to loot.

The game keeps hammering that Your Choices Matter. That survivor you saved? Maybe he’s a creep! Did you know that not choosing dialogue during a cutscene can be a choice? You can just let your dialogue fade out and not say anything! Everything Matters! But who knows how much actually changes. I do know that at the end of the first level it does the Telltale thing where it summarized some of my choices and it made me go “Wait, I did ‘X’? How was I supposed to not do ‘X’? I had no idea there was another result!” so maybe there’s some potential for variance in the narrative?

Also you can do some fun sliding.


#44

Drem these writeups give me life


#45

yeah the sliding looked cool.

as suspected, this game is going to be misunderstood as much as re6, devil’s third and umbrella corps were.

which means i’m probably going to like it. still, overall probably a poor bet for the devs.


#46

Was it actually? I’d honestly love to hear someone’s even half-positive take on that one after having only experienced it through a funnyman youtube let’s play and not seeing much potential at all. Did someone maybe already do that on old SB?


#47

Same. What I saw made it look completely mediocre and definitely not a Bullet Witch.


#48

You could always try Rockshot, a PC port of the MP portion of Devil’s Third which came out last June.

Oh, sorry, it shut down three months after release.


#49

Devil’s third owns I played the whole thing twice. The guns are good and the swords are good. The levels are good. It’s not a complicated game to enjoy. The main character looks hilarious he rules. I never played online.


#50

So this game now has Free DLC that’s a collaboration with World of Tanks. I’m sure they found some cool stuff to do, like fighting tanks with your wanzer, wait:

▼ Collaboration content:

  • World of Tanks icons are shown on the backpacks carried by the protagonists of LEFT ALIVE.
  • LEFT ALIVE players can view information about the tanks that can be controlled in the World of Tanks game from the database.
  • Posters and billboards for World of Tanks can be seen in LEFT ALIVE.

#51

maybe this is all very well executed subtle parody


#52

The WoT and Half Life collabs were actually there from Day 1. Its the kind of thing added because someone really loved war machines and wanted an excuse to write about tanks in the database. The game’s database is loaded with historical and technical details that are completely ancillary to the game, like all good databases.


#53

Also the way to melee kill enemies is by knocking them down and impaling them with your pipes or crowbars like they’re vampires. Maybe this is secretly in the Vampire Rain universe?


#54

I still see you playing this on Steam sometimes. Still holding interest?

This video is mostly dunks and nothing new but the part @10:40 is good


#55

Yes, I laughed so much at their reaction. The enemies in this game can make some real super human leaps to get to where to want to be.

Haven’t actually played it too much more until today, where I was replaying the same city intersection over and over for around 30 minutes because I keep getting to comfortable at the end and getting caught. I’ll try to post some impressions once I’ve gotten noticeably farther. But in the mean time, clips of tactical espionage action and A.I.

https://streamable.com/jebv3

https://streamable.com/7z288

https://streamable.com/6leg3

https://streamable.com/w5a5i

https://streamable.com/y157q


#56

If my choices also affect character personality then I’ve accidentally turned the young new recruit into a jerk and a dope. Even when I try to make him competent the game just turns it around on me.

https://streamable.com/7e5xs


#57

Definitely a Metal Gear game.

I’m almost halfway through the game now and I think I’m going to want to replay the game to see just how much variability in approach the game truly allows and how much your choices actually matter (outside of the multiple endings acknowledged in the achievements). I’ve taken a very straightforward approach to all of the scenarios presented thus far and done alright; there have been a few situations where I had to run the same 5 minute stretch over and over again as I tried to figure out some way through whatever street I was on to get to the objective but most of the time I haven’t had too much trouble such that it got annoying.

I’m still not sure just how flexible the game system is and whether or not I’ve been bruteforcing solutions in slower methods than necessary, usually distracting enemies with a can and running behind them while they’re turned around or using the opportunity to melee kill them. You rarely need to engage in combat to progress the game so it’s a lot of distracting enemies so you can cross a street or sneak around a corner. But the game’s got all sorts of gadget to use, like trip wires and automated turrets and flash molotovs and throwing knives that debilitate enemies and so on. I’m not sure how flexible the game truly is so I want to play around with it more deeply on a second playthrough.

So far, though, the game is nothing like the disaster of a game it’s reputation has gotten but I don’t think it’s really some diamond in the rough either. It’s a somewhat competent stealth game at a time when we’re not getting a lot of stealth games and it has some unique ideas with open map design, manipulating enemy presence and behavior, and resource management that I don’t feel have really been fully utilized in the overall game design.

A lot of it comes down to the level design. The game actually seems like it’s going to have only a handful of maps in the game; they’re just very large and different chapters will have you starting in different parts of it and trying to get to different locations. The maps are large enough and enemy placement gets varied enough that it never feels monotonous even if you do technically run through an old area, and that’s actually really cool that it accomplishes that. As you accumulate knowledge of an area you can use your knowledge of the map layout to plan around the new enemy formations.

But for an “open” game it usually feels like there’s a particular path to your objective that is most straightforward. Gunplay is marginally better than Hitman, which means offensive strategies are actively discouraged (unless offensive gadgets are better than they appear). This leaves you with stealth as your only real option but despite the open level design it doesn’t feel like there’s really that many options for pathfinding in the grand scheme of things. Or rather the straightforward path is probably good enough to get to where you need to go.

Then again, maybe that is a testament to how freeform the game is if my plans worked just as well and felt just as natural as some other alternative. The chapter I’m on now has certainly felt more transparently open in it’s branching paths than some previous chapters, placing objectives on opposite corners of a map seemingly split into two disparate halves and letting me choose the order I approach them.

If you want to play a PS3 era B-quality stealth game it’s fine so far but it’s not something I feel like I’d tell people to specifically seek out unless they’re looking specifically for that kind of experience without having to pull out their PS3 or 360. I don’t think it deserves to be the laughing stock it’s become either though. It’s got some wonky hitboxes and AI behavior but it’s competently made overall, if glaringly low budget.

Alternatively you can go play the hottest game in Novo Slava.