I stated that I wouldn't be touching Left Alive, but I was too curious about its premium bundle for the PS4 - the so called "Mech Edition", which had considerably gone down in price to low sales of the game itself.
I went through the game once, and I would compare my experience to that of playing a generic shooter on a PS3. I certainly didn't play it how it was meant to be played where you would sneakily make your way past augmented soldiers and wanzers while defending yourself by using bombs and traps constructed from all the scrap material strewn all over the place. I tried it that way for a few hours of gameplay and it was just no fun with the dumb enemy AI, the clunky menus, and inconsistent enemy reactions. So for the rest of the game, I opted for the "Casual" setting where ammunition and firearms would be far more plentiful than usual. It's a real damn shame, Left Alive had a a lot going for it: great atmosphere in an eastern European setting, friggin Yoji Shinkawa as a character designer, a decent story, and wanzers-wanzers everywhere! It seems like Left Alive was trying to be the hot new Splinter Cell or Metal Gear experience, not only with Shinkawa's work, but also with certain sound effects and musical cues. The execution was just terrible, and gameplay is no where near the depth of any of the later Metal Gear games. Wanzer combat rounds are too far and few in between, and feel like watered down Armored Core bouts. It was a real trudge of a game.
The Mech Edition package contains a vinyl stationary keeper, a steel case for the crappy game, a decent artbook containing containing concept and character illustrations, and most importantly-the star of the show: a toy of the new wanzer design introduced in the game-the Volk:
At approximately 7 inches, I would estimate its scale to be around 1/48. The Volk comes with an assault rifle, a shield, a shoulder mounted multi-missile launcher, and a shoulder mounted rail gun, plus an alternate pair of hands:
The instruction sheet indicates that this figure is part of Square/Enix's Wander Arts line, and it shows with its excellent paint apps. It has a nice matte dark green scheme and the printed details are crisply applied. It's all ABS and PVC, no die cast here.
Articulation at the major joints is regulated by ball joints and swivels which all seem secure for now.
Just a couple of notable gimmicks here like the extendable rollers attached to the upper legs and the foldable shoulder mounted rail gun which is as long as the figure's height itself.
I love the design on this thing. It certainly looks like it belongs in the Front Mission theater, and it reminds me of a Landmate from Shirow's Appleseed. As a huge Front Mission fan, I can confidently say the Volk is a great toy, I would go so far to say that it would be worthy of a release on its own. In my head, the Left Alive game was the bonus in this package.