My after school viewing was always a little different to most. The likes of Bambi or The Lion King never graced my television set, but rather solo, mercenary men sent on suicide missions. Reaching the pivotal moment, the climax, where the protagonist faced what seemed like an entire army by themselves, they would unleash a ferocious storm of bullets, mowing down anything that stood in their way. These were golden moments of my childhood, and somehow Let Them Come has managed to reignite them.
Rock Gunar is a gun for hire, with twenty years experience in the special forces. He has ventured everywhere, fighting anything you can imagine- but he isn’t done. Stuck behind a heavily machine-gun mounted barricade, you’re stranded and alone on an alien planet. Luckily, your side of the barricade features a stockpile of arsenal that even Kim Jong-Un would applaud. Before preparing to face your enemy, you lie there, smoking what could be your final cigarette, blasting tunes from your boom box. You contemplate how different your life could have been… And then the waves of enemies start.
Initially equipped with unlimited ammo for your mounted gun, the first few waves are there for you to get used to the controls and gun movement. But as the waves become more intense, you will find yourself dying. A lot. Death can be quite difficult to get right when you’re looking to create a fast paced, yet demanding shooter. However, Let Them Come manages to achieve this, using coins and the inventory store.
While annihilating your alien foes, coins accumulate that can be spent within the Inventory shop. The only way to access this shop is through death. Each death will return you to behind the barricades (think of it as Ground Hog Day, in space). From there you can purchase various items that will aid your relentless fight. Grenades, chainsaws, and various other different ammo types can all by equipped, but having the right load-out is the key to success. Its not just a simple case of loading yourself up with a hundred grenades; you have to know what enemies you’re facing. Researching the different alien species using the encyclopedia is one route you can take, but eventually, dying will be your real key. After death you will repeat the wave you have just succumbed too, but this time you can return with a load-out to overcome it. Some waves will take multiply tries to complete, but even then Let Them Come tries to help you out by giving you the option of shuffling the enemies or providing you with a perk for that upcoming wave.
Its the action within the waves that makes Let Them Come so addictive. With Rock Gunar placed on the mounted gun, you get that initial anticipation. What will you face? How fast will they attack? When that first alien crawled its way into the shallow light, my twitchy finger pulled hard on the Left Trigger. From there it was all about precision and timing. Small spiderlings will easily sneak past gunfire, pouncing for my face- but a quick tap of the B button unleashes a melee attack that confides them to a pixelated mess. Using ranged weapons can give you the upper hand, but the length that it takes to throw can be risky. Getting the balance right will not only keep you alive, but also adds to your combo meter. Filling this meter will grant you a temporary perk. Air Drones, Health Regeneration and Twin Turrets are just a few perks you obtain. These are great for prolonging your inevitable death, turning Rock Gunar into a one man overkill.
After each wave ends, you breathe… unless you’re dead. Pixelated carcasses are left scattered throughout the corridor. Blood smeared everywhere…. Another wave begins again. The throwback, pixelated design choice works fantastically well. Let Them Come keeps things simple. Keeping the room layout identical throughout keeps the core game focused on the gameplay itself. You can distinguish between enemies, allowing you to change your attacks accordingly. The soundtrack blast from behind your barricade. It stays on a constant loop switching between tracks, with more that unlocks the further you progress. It’s never really a distraction- not, however, because it never bothered me, but because I couldn’t even hear it over the constant machine gun fire.
The tactics on Let Them Come play an even bigger part when you encounter the boss fights. Appearing every twenty five waves, each boss provides its own unique challenge. Stocking up on some heavy ammo isn’t necessarily the answer. Looking for attack patterns and weak spots can be key to defeating the gigantic foes. Once you have conquered a boss, you can replay any of those through Boss Challenges. The challenges allow Let Them Come players to be more competitive amongst themselves.