Sometimes there comes along a game that just screams bad news. “The Last DeadEnd” by developer AzDimension is one of those. It was an absolute train wreck from start to finish. I was the unfortunate soul that had to experience this, which means it is my duty to warn people. The warning signs were there from the beginning. The trailer looked as bad as you would expect from a game like this, and it didn’t get much better once I started the game. So without further ado, let’s get stuck in!
Now, I always like to start with a positive, but there isn’t really anything here to compliment. I guess the environments look okay. The game was made with the Unreal Engine, which means you can’t expect that much, but the dev team tried to make the game look nice, and they somewhat succeeded in doing so. Apart from the character models, which I will talk about later, the environments look better than I had expected. You can sense that I am really grasping at straws here to find anything positive about this game, which is why this section is so short. Now it is time for the much longer list of negatives.
First off, the story. I ranted on endlessly about how “Solo” didn’t have a story, but The Last DeadEnd actually having a story ended up working against it. The story is so convoluted from the get-go that you don’t understand what is going on. The characters just start talking about things that the game never cares to explain, and the player is just expected to go with it. But the problem is when the player doesn’t know what is going on, then the events in the story aren’t going to have any weight to them. From what I could pick up, the story is about the fight of good vs evil and the Apocalypse, and also, if we didn’t have enough tropes in there already, your character is the “chosen one”. Now, I often critique games for having endless amounts of exposition, but some of it is needed for the player to understand what’s going on. I could drone on and on about the story, but trust me, there’s a lot more to talk about.
I mentioned the character models earlier, and let me tell you that they are not pretty. The characters look like early 2000s CGI, and the way their mouths move when they talk is just horrifying. The problem is that the characters don’t look human when they talk. The facial animations are almost nonexistent apart from the mouth opening and closing when they speak. And the worst part is that the facial animations don’t match up with the voice acting. The animations for moving aren’t much better. The movement of some characters is so stiff that it’s almost mannequin-like. Also, the main character runs in such a weird way that you’d swear he has a stick up his ass.
The voice acting is another thing I want to touch upon. While it isn’t the worst I’ve seen, it still isn’t good. The delivery seemed very flat and emotionless, which isn’t surprising given that the material they were working with was just your standard cliché dialogue with some really cheesy lines thrown in for good measure. The dialogue tries to build up the relationship between the main character and his old friend, but it just becomes so boring to listen to. I really don’t blame the voice actors for their performances because with the material they were given, there really wasn’t anything they could do to make it better than what we’ve ended up with. I think that with good writing and good direction, the voice actors could have given a good performance, but sadly, that wasn’t the case.
Other aspects that I consider important to talk about are the gameplay and atmosphere. I will talk about these two points simultaneously because they are pretty heavily linked. The gameplay in the sections that take place in the Dark World reminded me a lot of Cry of Fear. I forgot to mention that there are two different stages of the game, the Light World and the Dark World; the Light World being the normal everyday world, and the Dark World being the hellish nightmare world. The gameplay in the Light World is basically just running from point A to point B to then enter the Dark World where most of the game takes place. As I already said, the gameplay in the Dark World reminds me a lot of Cry of Fear, and the atmosphere also appears to be somewhat inspired by that game. Now, I am a person who gets startled fairly easily, so I kind of went out of my comfort zone with this game, and at first the game really had me on edge, especially the one and only jumpscare in this game which comes right at the beginning. It had me freaking out so bad that I screamed like a little girl. But after that first shock to my system, the game became less and less scary and soon became very dull to play. The bosses in particular frustrated me. The game tells you that each enemy has a weakness, so it got me thinking about how to approach each encounter, but it turns out that the only thing you need to do is shoot the boss until it dies. The final boss especially had me on the brink of just quitting the game because it has so much health and it kills you so quickly that you think the developers are taking the piss.
In conclusion, there isn’t much left to say except that you should stay away from this game if you can. I can appreciate that the dev team clearly worked hard on this game, but it just didn’t work at all. Maybe they could have fully realised their creative vision with a bigger budget and bigger studios helping in the development process, but I have to look at the game as it is currently and critique it as such. So my closing words for this game are “don’t buy it”.
Release Date: 5th May 2018