Front Mission is one of those popular IP’s from the early ’90s that has found a new lease of life in the new generation of consoles. The original game was developed and released by Square Enix back in 1995, and it was hard to label under a genre given the number of things the player had to do in the game. Left Alive is a relaunch of the saga focusing this time around on stealth with mecha tactics. It’s sound like a great combination and a winner on paper, given the creative forces behind it.
Sadly it looks like Square Enix has dropped the ball on this game. The game is out for PS4 and X-Box One. After playing the version of the game that was available on release date, there are quite a few glitches that make the Left Alive virtually unplayable. The trailer should have been a warning sign for many people: stiff characters and forced dialogs plagued the visuals back then. It hasn’t gotten better as the game is out now.
Probably the worst offender for all the people who were expecting this game is the terrible mechanics of the mechas available on the game. Given the fact that some of the key confrontations of the plot demand two mechas to fight it out, it is frustrating to see our screens with cluttered graphics that make no sense and make everything confusing. It’s almost sinful that a reputed company like Square Enix released such a faulty product, we guess it can happen to some of the best eventually.
Since the moment it was announced Left Alive made a big deal out of having Toshifumi Nabeshima, the original director of the Armored Core saga, and Yoji Shinkawa, the lead character designer of Metal Gear. It seems the company wasted their talents, or the game was rushed. We can tell by having a look around other outlets on the internet that are currently firing shots at the game. There were signs of problems even before launch: SQE offered the game at half the cost of an initial release, and the game can’t be streamed from any service. If you want to play this one, you need a physical copy of it.
The Learning Curve for Square Enix
Is a sad state of affairs for Square Enix given that this game is one of their original IPs, our best guess is that they have been too focused on releasing Kingdom Hearts 3, a saga that has been heavily neglected by the publisher in the last generation and it0’s finally getting a new chapter on this one. While this is all good, it’s pretty sad to deny gamers of the unique experience of playing a gritty stealth game set in a sci-fi world. Left Alive should have been the perfect game given the talent it had working on it.
With the latest of SQE looking like a total dud, our best bet is to hope for a patch that can fix these issues. SQE could learn a lesson of Konami when it comes to spin-off developments from Konami back in the old days. Does anyone remember Metal gear: Revengeance? Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to let developers do their thing in their own time.