Left Alive

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a game by Square Enix
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 2/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Action Adventure Games, Mechs Games, Gore Games, Stealth Action
Left Alive
Left Alive
Left Alive

I’m a huge proponent of games that take risks at each corner. Based on consumer trends, taking a risk in design can be profitable, though the success rate is quite variable. Additionally, there’s a special place in my heart for games that try to break the mold by combining ideas in a sort of melting pot where you can create a new, synergistic game that has complementary bits of gameplay.

Then, there’s Left Alive, which exhibits some of the worst aspects that the mixing of genres has to offer. It vainly tries to being a survival game while it clearly wants to be a straightforward military drama. Even looking at the game with that lens, its still falls a bit short of expectations. Though you can appreciate what this game tries to do, its impossible to ignore that it essentially fails to present anything that’s notable.

Curious Mechanics

One of the aspects that held Left Alive back the most was its core mechanics. Normally, games with endless enemy spawns are easy to swallow – sure it can get a bit annoying, but there are designated rest areas that let you regroup with in-game reasoning. Think about how well the safe rooms were implemented in the Left 4 Dead series. They were functional and lore friendly while also providing players with a chance to catch their breath. Left Alive has inexplicable enemy spawns throughout each level that are sporadic – you’ll be swarmed by enemies throughout the entire mission, then somehow they all disappear when you reach an objective.

Stealth was also a blemish on this game that left me frustrated rather than intrigued. It obviously tried to utilize ideas from the Metal Gear series, and perhaps a bit of Alpha Protocol, in that you could sort of try to approach an objective with different angles, but the AI and enemies make this task nearly impossible. It feels like the overall idea is close to being well made. Left Alive falls apart because the enemies are so unpredictable – you’ll never know if you’re hidden enough because, in some instances, you can slink past unnoticed only a few feet away, whereas in others you can be tens of feet out and be noticed instantly.

On top of that, the controls for combat and maneuvering are messy, imprecise, and downright maddening for a game focused on stealth. You’ll be finding yourself in the midst of an unnecessary battle no matter your skill.

A Thorough Disappointment

As if the gameplay weren’t disappointing enough, the story, action, and setting are incredibly underwhelming. You’ll assume the role of three different protagonists that are all facing the same odds in the least remarkable ways. One’s a cop, one’s a mech pilot for Wanzers (a major tank force in this game), and the last is a revolutionary. They’ve got their own stories, missions, and side missions, though the developers took no advantage of their differing circumstances whatsoever.

Bottom Line

Its true that the pilot will have you controlling a Wanzer at some points (honestly fun, if a little hard to control), but the gameplay is identical across all three. Additionally, the storytelling and progression elements are hard to get through. Above all else, I just wanted to make it through each level and be done with it since it seems like little thought went into the overall design.

2

Just avoid this one. It really tries to blend stealth/military elements with some compelling gameplay but fails spectacularly and leaves you with an experience of little value.

Pros:

  • Wanzers are cool
  • At least some effort to diversify story elements

Cons:

  • Combat, movement, and wanzer controls poorly optimized
  • Action/stealth sections are hard to trudge through
  • Characters, world, and settings are dull/uninspired

Download Left Alive

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

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