App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Let Us Prey: Surrender to Hell from beActive Interactive is an odd duck. It's technically based on a movie starring Liam Cunningham (best known in recent years for his portrayal of Davos Seaworth in HBO's Game of Thrones), but it doesn't appear to revolve around the film's plot.
Technically that's fine. With games, particularly movie-based games, gameplay should come before plot every time. However, Let Us Prey's intentional extreme difficulty combined with poor controls and free-to-play trappings don't make for a very fun or engaging game.
Let Us Prey starts the player off in a police station, one of the game's few nods to its source movie. The fully-rendered 3D environment looks weird next to the actual gameplay segments, which take place in a sprite-based environment. Each level of Let Us Prey is stuffed with devices meant to shred and spear you, including arrows, buzzsaws, blades, and more. There's also a time limit, and if you miss it your avatar blows up rather gruesomely.
If you get to the exit you get to move on. However, whereas Let Us Prey cites its inspirations as Mega Man and Super Mario Bros, neither of those games forced you to pay coins to respawn from checkpoints. Unsurprisingly, coins can be purchased from the in-game store using real world cash. Even if you pony up to continue from a checkpoint, your time limit doesn't reset. So if you triggered a checkpoint with five seconds left on the clock, five seconds is what you get before you blow up into Cunningham chunks.
There are bugs, too. I triggered checkpoints that I couldn't use, and sometimes poor Mr Cunningham would randomly die even when nowhere near the presence of anything sharp. Also, the controls are sub-par. The d-pad is locked in one spot, and you can't walk diagonally. Given how many of the game's passageways are diagonally-set (and bristling with traps), not being able to move freely is a problem.
Sure Let Us Prey is tough, but it's also not fun. Nor does it drive you to try again like a high-death game should (think Super Meat Boy). You can just pray for Let Us Prey and move on.