Speculations on Square-Enix’s ‘Left Alive’ Game

Square-Enix makes an exclusive presentation for Left Alive the E-Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) for their upcoming games early next year (2019). Starting with a formal presentation of what they can show in the game and footage that’s already been presented before and then moving onto questions. We’ll be sharing what we believe the game will be like based on their presentation and the answers we got out of the many questions asked to them after.

Left Alive is a brand new title that has connections to the Front Mission universe. A world where countries are replaced with economic blocks and giant robots leading the frontlines of warfare. This title revealing that it has big names like Yoji Shinkawa, known for his character designs with Metal Gear; Toshifumi Nabeshima, the producer for much of the Armored Core series; and Shinji Hashimoto, a name that’s been around since Square-Enix was still called Squaresoft. A lineup such as this would certainly get many excited for a new mecha action game.

Nabeshima was generally the one speaking for most of this press conference, presenting what some may have already seen in Tokyo Game Show. It was demonstrated that there will be moments of live-action combat with Wanzers (the mecha of the Front Mission universe), and you’ll also have times of doing tactical combat as a soldier with limited tools at your disposal. It was also presented that there could be side objectives during certain sections of the game that may contribute to the story later on. this was seen with an opportunity to save unarmed civilians, where it’s up to the player whether or not to save all of them, just a few or skip them entirely. Nabeshima hinted that you may end up saving an unpopular politician or characters that won’t really impact the story, so there may be some actions that won’t make it obvious when or where there will points of divergence from the story.

Many lined up to ask questions about the game after their presentation to their own surprise. I’ll be going through with the questions and answers that I found most relevant in figuring out how the game will be like.

It was brought up that you will be playing three characters in the game, a new pilot in the army, a police officer who had retired from the army, and a prisoner who is known to be dead. Considering the various types of gameplay, it was asked what kind of progression system would be implemented in Left Alive. They answered that there would be no traditional progression system in play, where what truly ‘leveled up’ was the knowledge and awareness of the player itself about the situation. It was also revealed that customizations of mechs would be rather limited to the kind of armaments they carry, allowing upto 4 at a time. They also answered that they’ll be like Front Mission in terms of deep characters and their development, rather than focusing on mech customization or its strategy-focused combat.

The events of the game will transpire in one day, in a city at the border of two warring states. It was emphasized that Player choice would affect the results of the narrative. And finally that they will be playing to a set order of stages rather than be playing in an open world. Where it wouldn’t be required to successfully ‘solve all the puzzles’ of the game and that would of course play a part in how the story progresses and ends.

Now, putting all these descriptions and answers together. I’m very quickly arriving at the idea of what Left Alive will seem very close to, and that would be Detroit: Become Human. Now, while I said that Detroit wasn’t exactly a for everyone, perhaps the more action-centric elements that Left Alive will be adding into its own hypernarrative is what will make it a far more interesting and engaging experience.

Admittedly, I find some of the combat, especially the mech combat, feels like it has a lot of refinement needed. But there’s still a lot of time before the game’s official release, which is March 5, 2019. Here’s to hoping we see more and better stuff on the way.

 

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