ARE THEY TO LIVE, OR LET LIVE
The game is a spinoff the of the Front Mission series, taking place in between the events of Front Mission 5 and Front Mission Evolved. Unlike in the main series however, Left Alive will focus on the experience of being a foot-soldier struggling to survive on a battlefield dominated by Wanzers. Players will see the events of the game's story unfold through the eyes of three characters embroiled in the Garmonian invasion of the Rutenian city of Novoslava: Mikhail Alexandrovich Schwarov, a rookie Rutenian Wanzer pilot with a habit of getting in trouble with his superiors; Olga Sergeevna Kalinina, a Novoslava police officer who left the military after the death of her daughter; and Leonid Federovich Ostermann, a former soldier-of-fortune now aiding the cause of a local resistance group.
Left Alive was announced during Sony's 2017 Tokyo Game Show press conference, and was officially released on February 28, 2019 in Japan and on March 5, 2019 for the rest of the world.
Left Alive provides examples of:
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Judging from Announcement Trailer, this seems to be the case.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: This game switches between playing as Mikhail, Olga, and Leonid.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: Unlike the main series, this game mainly focuses on the experience of footsoldiers, with only one protagonist being a mech pilot...who loses his mech at the very start of the game, and only get to control other Wanzers in brief segments later on.
- Artificial Stupidity: One of the most notable examples is when enemies notice the player before they retreat behind a wall, and simply start shooting and throwing grenades at that wall instead of trying to go around it.
- The Garmonian troops also ignore grenades exploding nearby and wounding their allies, so it's possible to keep throwing explosives at them until they finally die (since it usually takes two grenades/Molotovs.)
- Boom, Headshot!: Downplayed: Because of the Garmonian troops' helmets (which resemble metal ushankas), a single headshot is only sufficient if it comes from a shotgun fired at point-blank.
- Breakable Weapons: Both melee weapons and firearms have to be regularly swapped out as they degrade from repeated use.
- David vs. Goliath: The game is primarily played across battlefields on foot. In a world where Humongous Mecha are common on those same battlefields. Similarly, the Garmonian soldiers wear heavy futuristic armour, which none of the protagonists have.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: The fate of the defeated Wanzers. Even if they were destroyed by a lead pipe.
- Dialogue Tree: There are some instances where you get to pick your current character's replies during the dialogues. Often, these do not lead to any lasting consequences. I.e. you may give wounded character a medkit, but he'll get killed next time you see him regardless.
- Escort Mission: Rescuing civilians works like this, and is necessary for getting a good ending. Notably, all civilians have a predetermined route to the safe place, and you have to follow them, and not vice versa, even though one would have expected civilians to follow the lead of those with actual military experience. As it is, their routes are always placed in such a manner that you have to engage better-armed Garmonian patrols and risk your and the civilian's life, even if there were plenty of ways to walk around them.
- Faceless Goons: Garmonian soldiers wear full face-covering helmets...which are also styled like ushankas, for some reason.
- Glorious Mother Russia: Players might assume the trope is in play when hearing names Rutenia and Novo Slava. Subverted when the game shows you the map of Rutenia and Garmonia, which is literally the map of Ukraine◊ split in half, with Rutenia using a slightly altered version of the current Ukrainian flag. Meanwhile, Novo Slava is best translated as "New Glory", and has nothing to do with Slavic ethniticites.
- Gratuitous Russian: The graffiti in the game are a good source of Narm for the Russian speakers. For instance, this graffiti◊ translates to "Dear readers! We ask you to pee. It smells a lot!"
- The purple graffiti here◊ states "There's no happiness in wealth" (while misspelling happiness), and the grey one below it says "The Universe no longer exists".
- Even the somewhat grammatically correct graffiti still convey out-of-place messages and themes. One says "Eat the rich"◊, which is odd given that the conflict in the game doesn't involve a revolution. There's also the Straw Nihilist "You have found the life, but so what?"◊
- Heavily Armored Mook: Pretty much every Garmonian soldier is one, to the point they'll consistently outdamage you in a straight-up firefight, unless their attention is diverted by a civilian you are escorting. Otherwise, you'll often have use multiple grenades or Molotov cocktails to bring one down, or to knock them down in melee and keep beating them to death before they get up.
- Hollywood Darkness: Averted for once - it really is difficult to see things at night-time, to the point some consider messing with brightness settings.
- Humongous Mecha: As expected from a Front Mission game, with the trope perhaps becoming even more clear due to being a foot soldier.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Vodka is used to heal injuries.
- Item Crafting: Mainly used to create grenades and Molotov cocktails.
- Menu Time Lockout: Averted, whether you are engaged in crafting, or trying to change equipment.
- Molotov Cocktail: Due to the Garmonian soldiers' armor, it's one of the few ways to kill them reasonably quickly.
- Multiple Endings: A good and a bad ending; which one you get is mainly dependent on your success in rescuing civilians.
- Obvious Beta: Besides the AI bugs, the release version of the game is known for severe FPS dips during the Wanzer sections, and for frequent crashing due to memory leaks. Other glitches include textures failing to render completely and enemy squads falling through the environmental objects.
- Product Placement: You can often find banners advertising World of Tanks. Weirdly, there are similar banners for Half-Life 2, presumably as a show of nostalgia by the developers.
- Rare Candy: Enabling online integration leaves the bodies of players who died on the same level earlier in others' campaigns. The first player to find them gets both their loot, and a beacon, which raises their health by 1%.
- Rock Beats Laser: Not only are wrenches and lead pipes often more effective against power-armored soldiers than firearms, but the same lead pipes can destroy Wanzers, as depicted here.
- Short-Range Shotgun: Played straight.
- Smoke Out: Crude smoke grenades are one of the craftable items.
- Standard Status Effects: Unusually for a Third-Person Shooter, the game includes a chance of a bleeding effect if the enemies get hit in unarmored areas, which was likely inspired by games like Darkest Dungeon. Its implementation is still questionable, however: whereas a single throwing knife to a forearm will always trigger life-ending bleeding, an entire magazine of bullets fired in the same spot may still fail to do it.
- It's also strange that futuristic soldiers in heavy armor apparently lack first aid kits that would let them bandage such wounds, and are instead doomed to slowly bleed out once they get hit by a knife.
- Take Cover!: The mechanic is present, but is usually used to avoid the enemies' gaze, rather than to outlast them in a firefight.