Every now and then a game comes along that takes you by surprise and delivers something rarely seen.
That is true of Left Alive. But for the worst possible reasons.
One look at Left Alive will have anyone of a certain age crying out Metal Gear Solid.
That is down to the brilliant trademark artwork of MGS’s Yoji Shinkawa.
That, unfortunately for Left Alive, is where the similarities end.
Developed by Ilinx and published by Square Enix , like Metal Gear, Left Alive is a stealth game and is set in the Front Mission universe.
Left Alive takes place in 2127, in between the events of Front Mission 5 and Front Mission Evolved.
The game follows the three protagonists; Mikhail Alexandrovich Shuvalov, Olga Sergevna Kalinina, Leonid Fedorovich Osterman, who must survive the “One Day Incident” in the city of Novo Slava.
One thing LA does well is depict the war-torn landscape brilliantly and the setup for what should be an intriguing test of improvisation and stealth promises great things.
But it just never gets going and all the promise fades away to be replaced by what can only be described as a torrid grind.
Left Alive certainly did not deliver on my expectations nor did it come close. Everything about it from the design to the controls and some of the most rank awful enemy AI I have ever witnessed don’t give Left Alive a very solid platform to execute on its stealth strategy mech infused delusions of grandeur.
The clumsy nature of Left Alive also leaves little room for hope that it will somehow carve out a niche as a charming cult classic either.
The whole thing feels outdated from start to finish, although I must confess I am yet to finish such is my dislike of the game. It could and should have been much better as the ideas are tantilising, particulalry as there is a dearth in the stealth genre on his generation of console.
Despite plenty of promise Left Alive fails to execute its clever ideas on just about every level. The only hope is that problems can be remedied and in time it can redeem itself.