LEFT ALIVE News and Tokyo Game Show 2018 Update
Originally revealed at last year’s Tokyo Game Show, LEFT ALIVE, our newest title by industry veterans Toshifumi Nabeshima (director, Armored Core series), Yoji Shinkawa from KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (character designer, METAL GEAR series), and Takayuki Yanase (mech designer, Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Xenoblade Chronicles X) returns to Tokyo Game Show with a brand new glimpse into the war-torn world of Nova Slava.
As you can see from this newest trailer, we got a glimpse into the three different characters caught up in this saga, a little of the story ravaging the world and …… MECHS! While the game won’t be released until 2019, we were able to sit down with the game’s director, Toshifumi Nabeshima, and ask him a few questions that we gathered based on community feedback that we saw during the week of TGS.
- Can you please provide quick background and setting of LEFT ALIVE?
TN: The main characters are three people who aim to escape from an enemy-occupied city, and the stage is set by a sudden war that breaks out between the two countries of Ruthenia and Garmoniya. In a turn of events that requires them to survive in an environment full of enemies, the mysteries and plots that lie behind the war gradually come to light.
The backbone of the worldview comes from the FRONT MISSION series, and it shares the setting with the past titles in the series.
- What is the meaning behind the game’s title LEFT ALIVE?
TN: There are many choices within the game, and the story and gameplay are affected by the players’ decisions. At the surface, “Left Alive” can simply mean “to live” or “to survive,” but we also have an additional layer of meaning in mind: “how do you choose to live?”
- The 3 main characters in the trailer seem to be part of some kind of military operation. What roles do they play in the world of LEFT ALIVE?
TN: The three characters have no prior relationships with each other, and each individual is found isolated within the same city.
I’ll introduce the character profiles for each.
The first character, Mikhail is a young member of the army, and is a Wanzer pilot who had been tasked with defending the city. After his army platoon is destroyed by enemy attacks, he finds that he is the lone survivor. Although he is a current member of the army, he’s still young and inexperienced as a person, and the story follows as he gradually grows within this trying environment.
The second character, Olga is a female police officer. Though she used to be in the army, a certain event caused her to lose her young daughter, leading to her quitting the army. With a strong sense of justice and a selfless spirit, she tries to devote her strength to helping others amidst the chaos of war. Her story follows as she is forced to face her past trauma in the process.
The third character, Leonid is a male inmate who has escaped from death row. In the past, he was deeply involved with the liberation efforts that used to take place in the city that serves as the backdrop to this story. It was here, a few years prior, that he was condemned to death as a result of a related incident. The sentencing should have been carried out already, and the public believes he is dead. In reality, he is being kept alive, for reasons unbeknownst even to him.
He escapes from prison under cover of the chaos of war, and while he is on the run, he tries to find the meaning behind his defamation while approaching the true identity of the plots and mysteries of the war.
- In the trailer, you note that there were “humanity’s mistakes.” Can you elaborate on this?
TN: Within the world of the game, large and small wars break out more frequently than in reality. With these wars come immoral experiments and weapons development, which should have reminded us time and again of the stupidity of these actions. And yet, these actions still don’t stop.
- The music in the trailer is beautiful! Who is the team that worked on it?
TN: Mr. Hidenori Iwasaki, a composer at Square Enix, worked on it. Mr. Iwasaki also worked on FRONT MISSION 4, 5, and ONLINE, so he has a deep understanding of the game’s worldview, and he’s provided us with some amazing music for this title as well.
- What inspired the concept behind the game and when did production begin?
TN: There isn’t anything very concrete, but I’ve used largely as reference an episode of the comic version of FRONT MISSION, which I’d been reading already in the past.
- Considering director Toshifumi Nabeshima’s background, can we expect the game to be extremely difficult for the hardcore players?
TN: You could say that. “Choices” are a theme in this game, and solutions change depending on the way you play, or on the situation. I think there will be differences that start coming to light, where the same situation could be either very challenging or surprisingly easy, depending on how you handle it. You might make mistakes sometimes, but I am hoping everyone will enjoy the process of trial and error as well, so I think the game will probably not be that easy.
- It was mentioned that the play method is up to the players. Can you elaborate if this means that we’ll have endless possibilities like an open world game?
TN: It’s not on a huge scale, as in an open world game; however, we are aiming to make this a kind of game that accepts multiple solutions in limited situations. The destination will be specified, but the road to get there, as well as actions like whether you decide to defeat enemies or move forward while hiding yourself, are choices you can make.
- What game engine is LEFT ALIVE being produced on?
TN: We are using Silicon Studio’s OROCHI engine.
- What was established first; the third person shooter gameplay or the Front Mission setting?
TN: If I had to say one or the other, I would say gameplay came first, but we focused a lot on how best to use the setting of the series, so there are some portions that have been affected by that as well.
- Who are the scenario writers?
TN: Members of our company staff, including myself, created it.
- Have you listened to the feedback on the gameplay of LEFT ALIVE at Gamescom. If so, what kind of improvements are planned?
TN: I get the impression that we’ve received both positive and negative feedback. There are elements that are different from the series so far, but as we move forward I hope to provide more information to help people get a better understanding of the game’s appeal, so please keep an eye out for that.
That’s all the time we had for questions, but more updates will be coming in the future so be sure to follow our official LEFT ALIVE social channels.
LEFT ALIVE will be available for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and STEAM in 2019.