Square Enix’s shooter/stealth title launches soon- here’s what you should know about it.
Left Alive might not be the most high profile upcoming release (exacerbated by the fact that it is launching in the midst of a surprisingly busy window), but those who have been following the game are looking forward to it fervently. Bringing together stealth, storytelling, and excellent art style in a single package, it’s looking quite promising, and though we can never really know how a game will ultimately turn out to be until it releases, hopes are certainly here. In anticipation of its looming release, in this feature, we’ll be taking a look at fifteen vital pieces of information you should know about Left Alive. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Left Alive is part of the Front Mission franchise, taking place between Front Mission 5 and Front Mission Evolved, but by and large, it’s being treated as its own thing (which is why it doesn’t have Front Mission in its title either). One of the reasons for that is the fact that the team working on the game is not the team that makes Front Mission, and is instead choosing to make a different kind of game with Left Alive.
STORY AND SETUP
Left Alive takes place in the year 2027, set between the events of Front Mission 5 and Front Mission Evolved, as we’ve already mentioned. It places its focus squarely on the eastern European city of Novo Slava, which has come under attack by in invading Garmoniyan force.
Players will be playing as three separate protagonists in Left Alive, and following them as they attempt to fight back against the invading forces. These three protagonists will be Wanzer pilot Mikhail Alexandrovich Shuvalov, Novo Slava police officer Olga Sergevna Kalinina, and former mercenary turned Novo Slava liberation movement group NGFP member Leonid Fedorovich Osterman.
The development team of Left Alive boasts of several well know industry veterans. Yoji Shinkawa, known for his artwork in the Metal Gear Solid games, is one of the talents attached to the game, including other such as Shinji Hashimoto (who has been heavily involved in franchises such as Front Mission, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts), and Takayuki Anase, who’s worked on games like Armored Core and Xenoblade Chronicles X.
BLEND OF GENRES
Left Alive is a game that will feature stealth and third person shooting in equal measure, while also introducing survival elements, as well as sections that will feature mech combat. It is, as you can imagine, promising to be an interesting blend of genres- it remains to be seen how well it balances and utilizes all those different elements.
So how exactly does the combat side of things function in Left Alive? It’ll play out mostly as an over the shoulder third person shooter with cover mechanics- not something we haven’t seen before, but what makes it interesting is how it balances that with stealth. Which brings us to…
Yep, stealth- it’s going to be a pretty central mechanic in Left Alive. When approaching encounters, players will have the option to approach it as they want. Go in all guns blazing, or take the quite approach, and pick off enemies one by one to increase your odds of survival when things do inevitably go to hell.
Mechs – or Wanzers, as they’re called in Left Alive – are also going to be pretty important in Left Alive. During certain sections in the game, players will be able to take control of mechs. Most of the times, these will be encountered as enemies, and players will have to hijack them if they want to take control.
BALANCE BETWEEN ON-FOOT AND WANZER SECTIONS
Mechs won’t be a persistent mechanic in Left Alive– Titanfall this ain’t. You can’t just pilot a mech whenever you want. The developers have said they’ll be making sure these sections aren’t too infrequent, but not too frequent either, so that when you do get to pilot a Wanzer, it feels nice and special.
Left Alive will also feature crafting mechanics for players to engage with. From medicines and health items, to traps and gadgets, players will be crafting several things in the game- that said, it’s been confirmed that Wanzers in Left Alive won’t be customizable. Though given the fact that these aren’t going to be appearing all too frequently anyway, that sort of makes sense.
Left Alive will also have elements of survival mechanics thrown in- it won’t be a full-blown survival game, of course, but players will be expected to keep an eye on ammo and health, and making sure that they conserve both, by – respectively – engaging in stealth when possible, and crafting medicines and healing items.
TRAPS AND GADGETS
While employing stealth to take down enemies, you will also have several tools and traps at your disposal to help you along the way. From IEDs, to mines, to traps, to various other kinds of traps that you can craft or pick up, you’ll be able to use several of these to your advantage. Meanwhile, players can also use items and tools such as radars to pinpoint the locations of enemies and aid them in stealth situations.
There will be some level of choice and consequence mechanics in Left Alive as well. From dialogue choices to chancing upon civilian NPCs in need of aid and deciding how to deal with them, players will be given some choices to make. These will ultimately affect specific character stories, though how deep the game will be going with this and how divergent we can expect differences in outcomes to be isn’t something we know about yet.
It seems a vast majority of games these days feels the need to have some sort of multiplayer component just so it can check that box- we’ve been seeing an increasing number of games lately that don’t feel the need to do that, and apparently, Left Alive is going to be another one of those games. The developers have stated that though there will be some online elements in the game (they haven’t gone into what those will be), Left Alive will, by and large, be a single player experience.
MAY COME TO OTHER PLATFORMS
When Left Alive launches on March 5 (February 28 in Japan), it will be coming out only on the PS4 and PC. But though its audience will be limited at launch, Square Enix haven’t ruled out the possibility of bringing the game to other systems entirely. They have stated that Left Alive might come to other platforms as well- but they haven’t really said much beyond that.