One of the most exciting highlights of ESGS 2018 was Square Enix entering the scene on the second day. Specifically, Shinji Hashimoto and Toshifumi Nabeshima. The former being the game’s producer and the latter being the game’s director himself. There really wasn’t much revealed about Left Alive, so the fact that we could talk to these two directly made our day. We hoped to get some coverage for some really exclusive details regarding the game itself.
On Them Demonstrating the Game
So it didn’t start off with us asking some questions, it really started off with them showing us scenes from Left Alive, both cutscenes and actual gameplay footage. It’s isn’t really anything new and you can check the footage for yourself in Youtube, but they go more into depth about how the game works.
It was mostly Nabeshima who did the talking while Hashimoto was silent in his seat. The director explained the mechanics of the game while the video was playing the background. Of course, they did have a translator for them.
Hashimoto explained that Left Alive was a very tactical game. They once tested it out by telling a player that Left Alive was just a shooter before he tested the game and he had died a lot and told them it was much too difficult. This is because Left Alive is actually a tactical game despite what the gameplay trailer shows. There are many ways to dispatch enemies if you even decide to dispatch them at all as sneaking is a viable option as well. You can set up traps for enemies to trigger giving you an edge in thinning them out depending on how you choose to use it.
One the highlights of the game are the mechs (otherwise known as Wanzers), and Hashimoto went into detail about their functions in the game. Mechs are technically customizable he mentioned, as you can freely decide to pick up a weapon from a bigger enemy if you so choose. Though he didn’t quite go into detail about appearance of the mech itself however.
Hashimoto also went on to discuss about how choices affecting the game. Each of the three protagonist can influence the story depending on how they choose to interact with others through dialogue. There will also be multiple endings depending on the choices you make for this game.
This level of choice is also present in gameplay as well. As shown in the trailer, it is possible to save civilians from being shot and killed if you choose to help them. Ignoring them is also an option. While there are rewards for saving people, there are also times where you can get nothing out of it or even save the life of an ungrateful asshole.
Us Asking Questions
After they presented their game, each of us got a turn to ask our own questions for them by forming a line. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Since the line was large, many of us had the decency to only ask a few questions to give others a turn. Unfortunately, I couldn’t record all of their questions, but here are some of the things I found out.
Philippines will have nothing to do with Left Alive – it was the very first question that was asked. I myself didn’t think it mattered if my country was a featured battlefield or even just a mention, but it’s something worth noting down.
The events of Left Alive are only 24 hours – the plot of Left Alive only last a day. The events surrounding Novo Slava from a story perspective will only last for 24 hours.
Left Alive is meant to be a single player experience – for those hoping for a multiplayer experience, there are no plans for it yet. Though there is an online mode available, the developers really want to focus on a single player experience.
Left Alive is not open world – the game is set in stages. While you can’t explore Novo Slave like Phantom Pain, you can have a lot of choices in those levels. The gameplay isn’t completely linear.
Possibility of story branching – if you can solve all the puzzles within a certain scenario or you could pick not to do them to unlock new stories depending on how you choose to play the game.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get more notable details regarding the game. The Left Alive press conference didn’t last too long. But it was still nice to get some details from the director and producer themselves. Personally, I’m still hungry for more details regarding Left Alive as I still really don’t know much about the game. But I am excited to see what it has to offer.
My Thoughts on Left Alive
I really believe that Left Alive is really interesting. I’ve not seen much of the mech genre recently, and a game that takes place in the Front Mission universe is a welcome addition. Seeing a battlefield with mechs running around reminds me a bit of Titanfall.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t very impressed with the gameplay demo. While the story trailer was captivating in this dramatic scenario questioning humanity’s habit of waging war, the showcase of gameplay seemed very lackluster. The aiming felt rather stiff and enemies seemed too much like bullet sponges. There really wasn’t anything much notable in the third person shooter perspective other than setting up traps. Besides the Wanzers, I don’t see much in terms of innovation in this game.
Hopefully, I’m wrong though. This is just a short showcasing of what Left Alive has in store for us. Maybe it was just a poor display of the game’s true potential. In any case, the only thing to do is to wait and see what March 2019 will give us.