Ha ha ha ha stay­ing alive, stay­ing alive

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENT -

Front Mis­sion is a long-stand­ing Ja­panese fran­chise that, de­spite of­fer­ing a blend of turn-based tac­ti­cal role­play­ing and a strong nar­ra­tive, never re­ally found a West­ern au­di­ence. Front Mis­sion: Evolved her­alded the series’ trans­for­ma­tion to a third-per­son shooter. Left Alive, set in the same uni­verse, fol­lows the pat­tern.

We start our trek through Novo Slava, an oc­cu­pied Rus­sian city, as a soldier hid­ing from en­emy forces. She is craft­ing a molo­tov cock­tail while try­ing to sneak around a ware­house un­de­tected.

“The main draw of this game is how you take on very well-equipped, mil­i­tarised en­e­mies with a very lim­ited se­lec­tion of weapons and am­mu­ni­tion, forc­ing you to think on your feet,” game di­rec­tor Toshi­fumi Nabeshima ex­plains. You start on the bat­tle­field with noth­ing and need to gather the ma­te­ri­als nec­es­sary to con­struct weapons, smoke grenades, and sen­sors for de­tect­ing en­e­mies.


The ob­jec­tive of Left Alive is to make it out of the city as three char­ac­ters: a soldier, a po­lice of­fi­cer, and an es­caped con­vict. Nabeshima-san em­pha­sises you need to pick your bat­tles wisely: “Re­sources are scarce; you may run out be­fore de­feat­ing some­one. If you do, that per­son may leave some­thing new for you to use, how­ever.”

Some­times a wanzer, Front Mis­sion’s ver­sion of a mech, may spot you. Once that hap­pens, you need to en­gage it in a mech bat­tle. Due to their hulk­ing, slow na­ture, this will be one of Left Alive’s tough­est chal­lenges.

It’s not all about you – there are civil­ians to res­cue. Some­times you need to con­vince them to fol­low you first, ei­ther with words or ac­tions.

Un­for­tu­nately, Left Alive looks vis­ually rough for a game due to be re­leased early 2019. It’s grey and jagged around the edges, not yet show­cas­ing the full po­ten­tial of the great de­sign­ers on the project, such as Me­tal Gear de­signer Yoji Shinkawa. There’s still lit­tle de­tail avail­able about the over­all nar­ra­tive, but what we have seen looks like stan­dard fare that could use more ten­sion.


The wanzer (mech) bat­tles make a dif­fi­cult game even more chal­leng­ing – ex­pect to die of­ten.

Above Since the game is all about sur­vival rather than con­fronta­tion, stealth is en­cour­aged but not ab­so­lutely manda­tory.

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