The Last Guy Review

Sony is quickly earning the rights to be called the deliverer of zany, Japanese-centric downloadable titles. With PixelJunk Eden, fl0w, and the upcoming fl0wer, those who like off-kilter entertainment with a slightly skewed leaning have ample to choose from in Sony’s lineup.

Their latest release in the odd PSN marketplace is The Last Guy. Originally heralded as a unique gaming experience, the game seemed to drop off the radar for a bit when gamers were slightly disappointed with the PSN trailer. Thankfully, the game is now out and we’re able to see why it was so hyped in the first place.

At its most basic essence, The Last Guy is a top-down maze game which could fit in as Pac-Man’s odd cousin. It revolves around a world which has been hit by big purple rays, turning everyone outside of safety into monsters. Zombie monsters, naturally. It’s up to you to corral survivors and guide them to safety through the zombie monster filled streets of various locales.

That’s really what the game is about at its core. While it doesn’t sound like a $9.99 purchase based on the description of gameplay and how boring it seems like it would get, The Last Guy does an admirable job of keeping things refreshing. As you progress through levels you’ll face newer types of zombies, each with their own unique abilities and patterns. Some run straight for you, some spook humans into hiding, some are gigantic bug monsters, etc. It results in slightly different tactics each time, even if your goal is still to lead humans (like ants!) to safety.

While the gameplay seems rather straight forward, the art direction is anything but. As someone intimately familiar with zombie fiction, it’s odd to play a game where zombies are walking bison, or giant bugs. Sure, it adds some nice spice to it-but humanoid zombies just seem right.

Coupled with the disjointed viewpoints (you’re almost always either too close or too far from the action), the visual aspects can be very frustrating. Not only are you running from a zombie which looks nothing like a zombie, but you’re probably going to run into a zombie you either didn’t see because you’re zoomed in at a closer view, or because you’re too far out to cleanly make out what’s around you.

The frustration is different from Eden’s, as it’s more due to design rather than a fact of gameplay. The Last Guy is a challenging title-don’t get that wrong-but not so challenging that you want to throw your controller. It’s a shame when the biggest frustrations of a game come due to a camera, and not the gameplay itself.

Still, The Last Guy is a unique experience. Whether or not it’s worth the $9.99 depends on how much you care about topping a leaderboard, as there’s not much reason to go back through the game other than that. If you’re like most gamers, you can get through The Last Guy (frustrations and all) in less than a day and a half of casual play, making it a rather expensive title for what it offers. If you’re a perfectionist or a leaderboard hog, however, there’s an infinite amount of gameplay available, making it a steal at only $9.99.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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