The Hellcat Saints at Let It Die game Launch, E3 2016

Among the many E3 parties that went on during this year’s video game convention was a concert celebrating the upcoming release of the free-to-play PlayStation 4 game Let It Die, developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and led by Suda51. The concert was hosted by GungHo Online Entertainment and held at the Conga Room, a venue which is no stranger to E3 parties as there is usually at least one held there each year.

To kick off the night’s festivities, famed video game composer Akira Yamaoka took to the stage for a live performance. Yamaoka, mostly known for composing the eerie Silent Hill games, also provided the music for Let It Die, which definitely is in line with the punk and rock spirit that Suda51 is known for.

Following Yamaoka’s set was an appearance by The Hellcat Saints, a collaborative group consisting of a variety of band members. For the Let It Die concert, the lineup consisted of Dave Kushner from Velvet Revolver, Blasko from Ozzy’s band, former Nine Inch Nails member Robin Finck, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, Queens of the Stone Age drummer Joey Castillo, Apocalyptica vocalist Franky Perez, and as a guest vocalist for a portion of the concert, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington joined the group. Whew! Definitely a packed lineup.

During their set the band broke into a ton of excellent covers, including Black Sabbath’s “Hole in the Sky,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” Stone Temple Pilots’ “Down” as well as Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades,” for which they were joined by Akira Yamaoka and was by far the highlight of the evening.

On hand were also demo stations with Let It Die, and I got to give the game once the festivities slowed down. Basically being a survival action game, Let It Die features a fantastic visual style, with cel-shaded characters and great animation. The environments are dark and gritty, but still maintain some level of humor in different props that are scattered around.

The demo starts off with your character being placed into the environment in just his underwear, and you’re left to search around for a weapon or clothing to upgrade your stats with. At first you have to resort to fist fighting, but eventually you can pick up weapons from enemies who you’ve defeated along the way. You can hold weapons in each hand, and each weapon has an alternate attack as well. This leaves room for a variety of ways to fight your enemies as your progress through the stages.

Along the way you can find power ups which you can use right away or store for later; for instance some will give you higher attack power, increase your defense, or some will be poisonous. This comes in handy because you can actually throw items in the game, and certain enemies may use those to your advantage. 

The demo concludes with a boss fight, a large creature that bolts across the battlefield and you have to swiftly use the dodge maneuver to avoid attacks, before using whatever weapons are at your disposal to destroy it. The game overall is a bit reminiscent of Dark Souls, though certainly not as difficult. Being a free-to-play game there is some apprehension from fans about how the whole system will work out, but we can only hope that Suda51 and GungHo know how to handle that aspect properly and won’t let the game meet the fate that other F2P titles often seem to face. Let It Die will be releasing later this year for PlayStation 4.

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