Left Alive is a third-person stealth survival shooter game by Square Enix that is set in the Front Mission universe. We have recently played the game on PS4 and the experience was pretty disappointing. Here is our review of the game.
Watch our gameplay of Left Alive here:
Left Alive tells a survival story from the perspective of three different protagonists during the devastating invasion set in war-torn Novo Slava in 2127. The three protagonists are Staff Sergeant Mikhail Shuvalov, police officer Olga Kalinina and prison escapee Leonid Osterman. There are a total of 14 chapters in the game and you need to fulfil the goal of each protagonist to progress in the game.
The storyline is probably one of the few positives that can be taken out of the game but it is only decent at best, added with a few twists and turns. It is like the usual old boring military story where an army pilot comes crashing down in a war-torn city, losing contact with his comrades and getting surrounded by enemy forces. The storyline could have been so much better but the script was poorly written. Or, they could have just done it with one main character instead of three which would allow the script to be written at a smoother flow and not to mention, the character development would have been much better off with just one protagonist in the game.
Left Alive tries too hard to be everything. A third-person shooter, a survival game and a stealth game, combined together as one but it fails miserably. In fact, the game actually focuses on stealth as the most important element of the game and yet it still falls way below expectations. Being stealthy means taking down your enemies one-by-one in silence but in Left Alive, it is obnoxiously hard, since most of the maps are somehow wide open, which leaves very little spots to hide. Games like the Batman Arkham series will give you many tools or routes such as underground tunnels to bypass enemies but in this game, we can only run and throw some cans to distract the enemy.
Enemy soldiers are extremely oblivious at most times and they would not even flinch one bit when I got so close behind them. I could hear my own footsteps clearly but it was the opposite for them. I know it’s just a game but it just felt so unnatural. A lone enemy soldier is an easy target for sure but when one of their comrades gets taken down, the entire platoon gets alerted immediately and just comes straight at you with everything they have got. Those deadly Wanzers would be firing at you and you will have no choice but to go into hiding until they completely ignore the threat. I had to go into hiding everytime after I killed one of the enemy soldiers because when I did not, I got killed almost immediately.
They are insanely tough to kill so it takes time to kill them one-by-one. It is difficult to land a successful headshot kill because they absorb damage like it was nothing and even explosives do not kill them in one go, much to my surprise. Not to mention that they instantly become expert marksmen when they are taking aim at you and after just a few shots taken, your character dies.
Furthermore, there are no guides or clues that lead players to checkpoints which makes progressing in the game very tedious. Worse comes to worst, the replayability is awful which means that after coming so close to a checkpoint but due to to a costly mistake, players may have to start a whole new level again. Clearing a level in this game is time-consuming and it just felt so frustrating having to play the same level multiple times before I progress to the next one.
The combat system is awful in this game especially the recoil. It just makes no sense whatsoever that the enemies are able to land almost every bullet on you while your character struggles to even land a few on a non-moving target. You can take it slowly to aim properly and get your crosshair locked perfectly on the enemy’s head since they would not notice you anyways but you still would not land your shots.
Another thing is, it is so hard to find better weapons which would obviously make things much easier. At the start as Staff Sergeant Mikhail Shuvalov, you are stuck with just a pistol that is always running out of ammo. The game literally allows you to obtain resources but it does not allow you to pick up a dead enemy’s assault rifle. What’s the point of storing up its ammo then when there is not even an assault rifle for you to pick up?
What I also found out is, melee weapons are actually better than guns in the game. They deal more damage to the enemies but the endurance level runs out very quickly and not to mention that they are extremely scarce in the game.
The crafting is another one of the positives that can be taken out of the game since the crafting menu is easy to use. However, bringing out the crafting menu will not pause the action so players have to always find cover when crafting consumables. On a special occasion, I tried crafting my consumables just a few feet behind an enemy soldier because I was confident that he would not notice and he did exactly what I expected.
Materials and resources are easy to find and you can easily craft them into consumables such as medical items, grenades and traps. Grenades are extremely essential to your character’s survival chances and since guns are bad in this game, I put the grenades to good use although it still takes like a few explosive grenades to take out just a single enemy.
I usually enjoy games of this genre but Left Alive just falls short in almost every department. The storyline consists of some interesting ideas such as the inclusion of Wanzers and other high-tech weapons in a war that takes place in the distant future but they could have done so much better with the script. Other positives which I can take out from the game are the sound effects and background music, that’s about it. I really hope it gets patched up in the future or even a remake version would be cool because I think this game, if developed properly, has immense potential to succeed.
If you still want to try out the game, it is currently available for PS4 and PC. For more information regarding Left Alive, you can visit their official site.
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- Storyline is okay, could have been much better though
- Decent sound effects and background music
- Not as stealthy as expected and it's way off
- Graphics made me feel like I was back in the days playing a PS3 or even a PS2 game
- Combat system is arguably one of the worst I've seen
- Poorly-written script
- Pretty much everything else
An absolute disappointment. 4/10.
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