The latest title from Killer7, No More Heroes, and Killer Is Dead developer, Grasshopper Manufacture, is now confirmed by Suda51 (AKA Goichi Suda) himself to be releasing this year. Suda51 and Tyler Inoyue from GungHo America (GungHo Online Entertainment acquired Grasshopper in 2013) have been doing the rounds to reveal more details about the rockstar-esque studio’s upcoming game Let It Die.
Information regarding the game had been silent for over a year since its initial reveal at E3 in 2014, but a new trailer surfaced at PAX East 2016. Now at E3 there is a new trailer providing a clearer (and bloodier) look at the combat in the game, as well as some of the enemies that can be encountered. What makes this different to previous Grasshopper games is that this is free-to-play, possibly influenced the developer’s owner, GungHo, which has been very successful with its free-to-play mobile game Puzzle & Dragons. However, Grasshopper had wanted to create an online game, making the partnership a beneficial one. Yet the game doesn’t immediately present elements that are expected with free-to-play games.
Suda has been open about the free-to-play aspect of Let It Die, stating that whilst they have not yet figured out completely how it will be implemented into the game, they are currently aiming to use it in ways that “shorten the grind” whilst being careful to avoid the dreaded pay-to-win. Even though the game will be online, real players ‘invade’ other player’s games indirectly with their character appearing as an enemy, with all the clothing and weapons that were equipped when they died in their game. The trailer showed off some of the typical enemies which expunge an unnatural amount of blood, along with coins spurting out as well (this is a Suda51/Grasshopper game after all). It also showed one of the mid-bosses, a grotesque and sizable humanoid with body parts sticking out of it, presenting additional challenge for the player. Who knows what a full boss will bring?
Another trailer was also released detailing the prominence of music in the game. Akira Yamaoka – known for his work with the Silent Hill series and working with Grasshopper on Shadows of the Damned – is once again working with Suda, except he is not alone. For Let It Die he is working with over 100 musicians from Japan who are providing original music for the game (this trailer showing off some of the bands is at the end of this piece).
Let It Die is a PlayStation 4 exclusive and presents both a departure and a resurgence for Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture. It will be hoped that the free-to-play nature of the game can open it up and remove the financial barriers that might hold people back from giving the game a try. Suda games have never been for everyone and a rogue-like action survival game, set in a strange tower that suddenly appears outside Tokyo in 2027 doesn’t deviate from that. Regardless, they are trying something different, and it is in keeping with its rockstar persona, which is all we really want from Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture.