What do you get when you put the Doom marine, a dash of molotov cocktail, the entire catalog of ‘90s Techno-inspired video game soundtracks, ravenous alien hordes, and a fist full of Cuban cigars into a blender? Time to get a new blender… no amount of bleach is bringing this one back. Some might call that a bloody mess… I’d call it Let Them Come… In this article, we will be reviewing this indie title as it crashes its way onto Steam and X-Box One, as well as Playstation 4 later this month. This is our Let Them Come review.
Before we get into the review, let’s share a little history.
Last year at PAX West, VFX artist Klemen Lozar (of Gears of War 4 fame) announced that he would be partnering with Versus Evil (Banner Saga series, Guild of Dungeoneering, Antihero) to launch Tautara Games – a publishing company focused on independent releases and outsourced video game VFX. First out of the gate from Lozar’s fledgeling company is Let The Come – a frantic, visceral game that isn’t bullet shy!
In Let Them Come, you strap into the gore-drenched boots of Rock Gunar, a mercenary for hire with a pedigree spanning from active military service to cameo roles in Sci-Fi classics. He’s a gun-emplacement entrenched stereotype of every all-American, alien butt kickin’, belt-fed-machine-gun-lead-slingin’ macho man found in nearly every late-80s, early-90s Sci-Fi film with a mixtape for all occasions. The game’s website (cleverly, let-them.com) read likes a resume for Gunar, while giving details about enemies, weapons, and upgrades found along the way.
So, what IS Let Them Come?
Let Them Come is a 2-D shooter of a different kind. Instead of the Contra-style run-and-gun, you are entrenched in a machine gun nest with nothing but a pack of smokes, a big gun, and your hunting knife, Betsy. Since you’re bunkered down anyway, there’s nothing to do but fight wave after wave of alien nasties. It’s a pretty simple formula: point, shoot, survive, and move on, right?
Not so fast, Tex.
Where Let Them Come gets interesting is its use of customized load-outs. As you progress, you can unlock and upgrade your main machine gun, defensive options, melee weapons, and secondary ammo types. This means that you can cater your loadout to your play-style, but it also means that some waves and area bosses will require you to be strategic about your load-outs.
While versatile, this level of customization has its pitfalls. You can get yourself into situations where the wrong allocation of resources can put you in quite the pickle. I hit a situation with one of the boss fights where, having spent my credits on upgrades, I did not have the right ammo or grenades for the task at hand. I think I went 20 rounds with the boss before figuring out the right combination of gear to use. It was a pretty brutal and unforgiving moment!
That being said, Let Them Come does provide a few quality of life features which minimize these moments. If you find yourself failing at the same wave of enemies over and over again, the game will offer you a random starting bonus for your next round of play or the option to shuffle mob types. This came in handy on several occasions.
There is also a combo bonus system that will reward you with everything from damage modifiers to air strikes to ammo resupplies. These combos can turn the tides for you very quickly in your mission to rid your space station of it’s alien problem.
As far as the controls go, you have the option of keyboard and mouse or using a controller. I found that I had issues with the controller and promptly went back to the mouse and keyboard. With some minor key customization, I was back to the business of eradication in no time.
Let Them Come is an over-the-top call back to Sci-Fi tropes. If you like indie titles with self-aware, meta humor and RPG elements, Let Them Come is worth checking out. It’s got great pacing, it’s fun, and quite bloody! Seriously, who is going to clean up these hallways after Rock Gunar is done with them!?
Note: Our copy was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by PR.