Deathverse: Let it Die is a brilliant and brutal battle royale | Practical overview


Let it Die was a single-player action game from Suda51’s Grasshopper Manufacture. It came out in 2016 to a bit of a mixed reception, with many of its positives overshadowed by an unpopular monetization model and a few insignificant gameplay issues. Deathverse: Let it Die is the kind of follow-up, canonically a direct sequel but nonetheless a very different experience.

I recently spent some time with a live multiplayer version of Deathverse, which is essentially a melee-based battle royale. Comparisons to 7-Year-Old Let it Die are a little unfair, despite the fact that the two games share a universe. Nearly a decade of microtransactions and battle royales have taught us a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and Deathverse is definitely skewed in a good way.

It centers around a TV show called Death Jamboree, the first form of entertainment in a world several hundred years after the Let it Die apocalypse. The show is set on a mysterious series of islands rich in a compound called SPLithium, capable of creating deadly monsters and powering outlandish technology. It also keeps Death Jamboree contestants in a constant cycle of resurrection, competing to the death over and over again for the amusement of the audience.

Battles take place in grid-like arenas littered with bonuses such as collectible buffs and edible mushrooms. The battlefields hang above a red sea filled with deadly sea life that will kill anyone who bathes. All 16 players are dropped into random positions on the map, then directed to the ‘Showdown Zone’ by fast-spreading contamination, until the last survivors remain to fight for the coveted title of One Last Star. .

Combat is primarily melee-based. Weapons such as machetes, katanas and massive hammers round out the arsenal. Each weapon is associated with a special attack, although you can also equip abilities in two separate slots on your character. Your HP is called tension, and it’s the energy that keeps you alive and kicking. Taking damage drains it, while dealing damage replenishes it. It emphasizes aggressive play, rewarding the most brutal players with greater survivability.

Deathverse: Let Him Die

You each have an energy shield that can absorb a few hits or redirect into a limited ranged attack. In each island arena, you will find hostile lifeforms called Cryptids that will attack you, but can be killed to increase your tension. They can also be used to good effect against other players, to harass them and give you a chance to deal free damage or escape.

More lethal, however, are the hunters. Codenamed Q, D, and M, these powerful NPCs will be rotated weekly after launch (more should be added later). Hunters add an even greater element of danger. Q is a melee fighter who stalks the map and will likely kill any player she finds; D takes the form of an old-school Game Hunter and will come after you with a powerful gun and illusions to confuse you.

Finally, Hunter M is an alien beast with buns of steel and a devastating melee attack. Successfully knock it down and you’ll become it for a limited time, gaining increased damage and tension for the duration. These fighters create a more dynamic battlefield. Players are already forced to move and fight to survive against each other and contamination, but hunters are something else entirely.

Deathverse: Let Him Die

There will be a “Jamboree Pass” available at launch, which contains cosmetics like weapons and character skins, projections for your energy shield, and emotes. Developer Supertrick Games is careful to avoid pay-to-win Let it Die pitfalls, and you’ll be able to craft plenty of weapons and even cosmetic items with materials scavenged from arenas.

The four maps we saw set the stage for competitive multiplayer matches, exhibits, and private “rooms,” and featured multiple levels, routes, vantage points, and bushes to hide in. While I couldn’t try out all the skills and abilities, I’ve seen players disguised as bushes, or performing elegant executions on opponents down to just 1 tension.

Where Let it Die drew ire for lack of variety, Deathverse certainly aims to avoid the same problem. I’ve seen dozens of weapons and character skins, emotes, and decorations for your private quarters. Upgrading your character and weapons gives more skills and survivability, allowing for variety in tactics and strategies – although I’ve seen little that could offer a compelling argument against a huge hammer to the face.

To help you out is your own little companion robot similar to Destiny’s Ghost, called Wilson. It offers field assistance, allowing you to scan the environment for other players, power-ups, and Hunters. You can, of course, customize Wilson with a wide variety of skins.

With some time until full release, Deathverse: Let it Die is shaping up to be a colorful and fun multiplayer game set in a brutal and unforgiving future dystopia. It’s effortlessly funny, knowingly campy, varied enough to draw people in, and accessible enough to keep them. While there will no doubt be more to see after launch, what I’ve played so far has caught my attention at Supertrick Games.

Deathverse: Let it Die comes to PlayStation on September 28 and to PC on October 5.

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