By Jackie "UniGameJackie" Verweij on March 12, 2019
I was really looking forward to playing a brand new stealth-based action gameplay from Square Enix! Them being the designer from one of my favorite game series, the Metal gear solid series, I was excited to see to see this dark and gritty world were the only option is to survive. As a gamer, you have many challenges to survive, like having a crappy internet connection. Or when you're gaming comfortably, suddenly your controller needs to be charged. You get the notification that the power is low and think, damn it! Ok, in a minute. I just need to get to the next save point or finish this battle and you will get your charging cable, deal!? But alas, no deal. At least, that is usually my luck when gaming.
Left alive is set in 2127, so 108 years from now. Think we still have to charge cables by then? Anyway, *pours herself a vodka and proceeds with her story* from the perspective of three protagonists you will enter a devastating invasion set in a war-torn Novo Slava. Left Alive plays out in this far future where countries formed some sort of regional blocks. As is often the general consensus, in the future our armies will be backed up by Wanzers (huge machines). The Garmoniyans, have ruthlessly invaded Ruthenia. Most of the action takes place in the city of Novo Slava.
Unlike a lot of other games, you will follow the story of three characters. You start with Mikhail, a young soldier, and an inexperienced Wanzer pilot. Funny fact, I was sincerely wondering if this character was a boy or girl for way too long. Another survivor is someone I relate to, meet the mysterious police officer Olga, an "always at the wrong time at the wrong moment" type o' gal. And last but not least, Leonid. He's got to escape his captivity during the chaos in Novo Slava. As the story goes on all three stories are entwined as they meet one another in the ruined city. Along with other characters, of course, all of them trying to survive, escape or (like some people do in all wars) trying to make a profit.
Now, like the lives of the characters in the game, this review is a real struggle to me. Normally it doesn't matter much what game I play; I can usually easily find something entertaining. Alas, Left Alive was another story altogether. At first, my enthusiasm was pretty hyped. I'm not the type to nag about graphics; the main thing for me is if the gameplay is worth it, or are the characters interesting. I mean, for example, I don't play any Tekken or other fighting games with the sound on because the hits and hearing the same sound over and over again gets to me after a while. But other than that, it's not holding me back to play for hours. Or like PUBG on PS4, graphics wise it's nice but certainly not the best but gosh I love it! Getting used to controls is also no biggie most of the time. Listen, I know I am not the most patient person, but with my biggest passion, gaming, I try to be as patient as possible! For example with my beloved Dirt racing games, I drove tracks countless times even to a point I saw them in my dreams and I still know the exact route of the track. So, where am I going with this, I hear you ask?
Well, when I was playing Left alive my hopes, enthusiasm and happiness kinda turned into a feeling of annoyance. I was trying to keep in mind that it was probably just me. Maybe I was hungry, time to get a snack. Maybe I was tired, get coffee. Maybe I just need a drink. Well, even that didn't work. The longer I played the game, the more it disagreed with me.
I do feel bad for saying this, but I wouldn't be myself if I lied about it or made it seem better than it is. is. The game's controls and gameplay didn't feel or work smoothly at all. It lacks on giving you the right tutorial to start of the game. The enemies are way too predictable, and thing occurred that really gave me a wtf moment. I shot an enemy, from maybe a few feet away, right in the head. Now, usually, when people get shot in the head, it's fairly noticeable, but not this chap; it was like he got a little smack around the ears like I would get for behaving like a complete ass when I was a young girl. The guy just turned around and killed me with a couple of bullets. I get that it won't be easy but I must most sternly call bullshit on that! Something that really grinded my gears was a character in the game that would give you a 'notification' that there was an enemy approaching. Those thoughts are nice lady but please, shut that pie hole.
As far for being stealthy, most of the time the areas are crowded by enemies and it's nearly impossible to find a good route to reach the objective. To put it simple, either you die over and over or keep rolling as fast as you can in order to avoid getting hit. This is how I got through the chapters. Like I said before, I really take to a challenge in difficulty, but this has nothing to do with that. I would expect different ways to stealth my way through enemies using lots of different gadgets. This game does have gadgets and you can craft for example an explosive can. As I will try to be positive this was easy to understand but the small explosives were much more useful than the more intricate devices that were available.
In Left alive, there are side missions in which you can save civilians, which are optional. I tried to save a couple but I failed completely. Somehow, they all died on their way of getting to safety, so, I stopped trying. When I got to the part that I was able to pilot one of the Wanzer mechs, the gameplay and the experience was already to a point that I honestly wasn't getting my hopes up. Surprisingly, this was the best part of the game. In the Wanzer battles, I felt unstoppable. All though, it was simply a case of spamming my strongest weapon and dodging.
When I was talking to a friend of mine he said: Dude, didn't you read? The game is getting bad scores & reviews everywhere. Well, the thing is I aim to stay objective so I will only look at trailers when I get to review a game and I don't think it's fair to go on other people's opinions. Some games that get bad credits were some of the most amazing games for me! Today however, I will admit I am with the crowd and critics.
Sci-fi and mechanical action really appealed to me and I expected this game to be so much more, you know. This is not what I expected. Here I am, feeling bad for saying this but the truth is that I didn't like the game. For the sake of my blood pressure and the well-being of my controllers, I will refrain from playing this game anymore and I will pretend this never happened. I do have high respect for Square Enix. Thankfully, this game won't change that, I will keep on loving them to death!
March 5, 2019