Deathverse: Let It Die

I love Let It Die from Grasshopper Manufacture and GungHo Online Entertainment. I think about that game a lot. I still play it regularly. I never reached the 40th floor, but I’d like to think I will someday, especially since I’ve made it to floor 27, so I’m more than halfway there. Thus far I’ve put a lot of hours into that game. Seriously, I love Let It Die. The tone, the gameplay, the look and sound. That’s why I was intrigued about the game’s follow-up on PS5 and PS4, Deathverse: Let It Die, in development by Supertrick Games, Inc.

Intrigued, but also cautiously optimistic. See, Deathverse: Let It Die is basically a completely different type of game. It shares some similarities with its predecessor, but it’s a unique beast altogether. After playing the second day of the limited time open beta last week, or Network Test as it was being referred to by the dev team, I went through a range of emotions — some good, some bad, but all ultimately curious about what the final product will turn out like.

The original Let It Die was released in 2016 for PlayStation 4, and a PC version followed in 2018. The game is a roguelite Soulslike set in a gritty post-apocalyptic world where players are tasked with climbing the Tower of Barbs and defeating all kinds of deranged, demented, and deformed enemies and monsters. It’s all very Grasshopper-esque, and it’s a great deal of fun.

Deathverse: Let It Die Battle Royale Gameplay

Deathverse: Let It Die will seemingly strip away the story-based component in favor of an exclusively multiplayer battle royale formula. This is both cool and a bummer. First, let’s talk about why Deathverse is such a darn curiosity.

At the core of Deathverse: Let It Die is the Death Jamboree, a televised event that showcases 16-player free-for-all deathmatches. I’ve always liked the idea of twisted game shows, so the ultraviolent nature of the Death Jamboree is equal parts silly (in a good way) and brutal (also in a good way). As one of the participants of the Death Jamboree, it’s your job to stay alive and, more importantly, make your 15 foes become, well, un-alive!

The combat is a nice blend of the faster-paced stuff you’d see in a Grasshopper game and the slower Soulslike style. If you played the original Let It Die, combat is right in line with that for the most part, with a few minor differences. I get the feeling Supertrick Games brought over the basic formula and idea of the original’s combat and tweaked it a bit for the purposes of this arena battle royale setting.

The open beta let me select a large blade as my weapon, and I was eventually able to use coins to unlock, or craft, new weapons, such as giant gauntlets that allowed for ground-pounding and full-on pummeling. In Let It Die, you could find and pick up weapons and armor from fallen foes. That doesn’t seem to be the case here, though defeating enemies does level up your attack stats. This makes you deadlier the more involved you are, and it discourages hiding around and waiting to attack.

Deathverse: Let It Die Combat

As a battle royale brawler, Deathverse: Let It Die reminds me of a few games. First, the game show format gives me MadWorld vibes. Also, the stage design and beat-’em-up combat is a little reminiscent of Ninjala, GungHo’s other multiplayer action game, which is a great deal of fun and currently playable on Switch. Like those games, there’s a lot of running around industrial environments, climbing up walls, and doing a little bit of platforming.

The character animations and controls in Deathverse: Let It Die work well, though they have that very slight stiffness that may be familiar to you if you played OG Let It Die. It’s not that the game feels bad, though. I like the mild jankiness as it gives it a more old school, arcade-like scrappiness.

Scattered throughout the arena are consumable mushrooms and upgrades that act as buffs, though some mushrooms can be unpredictable. I consumed a mysterious mushroom during one round and the screen became distorted and filled with wild, psychedelic colors. It instantly gave me anxiety as I couldn’t see if any enemy players were approaching. Thankfully, the effects wore off after a few seconds.

During the open beta, I mostly got destroyed by my opponents. I was, however, able to come in second place once and win one round. That was pretty cool, and it never felt like I was at a disadvantage. It’s like everyone playing Deathverse: Let It Die, at least the open beta anyway, has a fighting chance, which is pretty integral to what makes a battle royale game enjoyable.

Deathverse: Let It Die - Death Jamboree

Overall, Deathverse: Let It Die seems like a fun time. Where I have some issues, though, are in a few very specific areas that may not apply to everyone. To start, as I previously mentioned, I freakin’ love Let It Die. As such, it bums me out just a little bit that this isn’t a straight-up sequel or expansion, but rather a completely different game altogether. Of course, because of my adulation of the original, I’m still pretty stoked that there’s a new game set in that same world.

In addition, while the combat in Deathverse: Let It Die is fun, I’m still not sure how well it’ll lend itself to playing rounds over and over again. Like I said, I spent countless hours on Let It Die. While I can definitely see myself playing quite a bit of Deathverse, I don’t know if I’ll stick around as long as I did with the original. Then again, I also played a lot of the Splatoon-colored Ninjala, so with the proper events and unlockables, this could keep me hooked for a while.

It’s probably not the follow-up that fans were expecting, but if the open beta is any indication, there’s plenty of fun to be had with Deathverse: Let It Die. The setting is lighthearted yet over-the-top. The combat works really well. And the beat-’em-up action fits the battle royale formula surprisingly well. We’ll have to see how this one turns out, but thus far, Deathverse is an interesting title that could turn out to be pretty solid overall.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x