One senses that soon there will be a lot of horror films in the spirit of “Friday the 13th: The Game”, that this genre will become as hackneyed as in the cinema. Nevertheless, so far there are not so many projects in this direction, and the most famous of them is the aforementioned Friday the 13th: The Game. But if “Friday the 13th” could have attracted us with the cult setting and the already classic killer Jason Voorhees, who is distinguished by extraordinary cruelty and sadism, then what has the less well-known Last Year has to offer? Let’s dive into the game and try to figure it out.
Last Year game review (review)
Thorny paths on Steam
It is worth noting that this game from the little-known studio Elastic Games had a very difficult fate. The game was released as an exclusive on the online store Discord and was called Last Year: The Nightmare. However, the store soon closed, and the game was only able to get into Steam a year later. In the Valve service, the game was already called simply Last Year and included all the updates and additions that were released. A lot of things have been added to the game: new heroes, customization, maps, etc. But how did this affect the essence of the game and in general – will we enjoy playing Last Year? After all, this is the most important aspect.
We attack or we flee
The concept of the game is eerily familiar. There is one killer and 5 students in the school. Each student has their own individual skills and abilities. The killer must carefully sneak up behind and kill each student, and they, in turn, must start the elevators using the found gasoline and escape from the killer. The team of “victims” has the opportunity not only to hide, but also to defend themselves with various objects, such as bottles with a combustible mixture, hockey sticks and even firearms. Also, the victims may have various gadgets that notify them of an approaching killer or help them escape from the trap itself. All this brings variety to the gameplay and no longer makes the game trivial “tag”, where you just need to find a victim and catch it. Correct tactics and well-coordinated team actions are at the forefront of the game. It is important not only to find the necessary fuel, but also in the future to “hold the point” before starting the elevator, so you must always be on the alert and attack and retreat in time. It is also important for the killer to attack not directly, but to try to catch the players one at a time, so as not to run into strong resistance and kill all the victims in time.
If the victims are divided into classes, then the killers in the game are also different. There is a standard bully with an ax, a large spider, a fearsome monster and many others. In this regard, the developers of Last Year did their best, and the killers themselves, in addition to their unique appearance, also differ in their abilities and cruel prey, so fans of blood and violence in games will definitely not be disappointed.
Last Year game review (review)
Visual and sound component
Before evaluating the graphics, it is worth remembering that Last Year is a project of a small studio, which is unlikely to have more than a dozen people. If we take this moment into account and exclude various bugs and shortcomings that necessarily arise after the release of the game, then the studio coped with its task quite well. The game has normal graphics, good effects, and the characters are well developed. Of course, the visual component of the game can hardly be compared with a large AAA project, however, the picture does not in any way irritate the eyes and creates a good horror atmosphere.
The game also has good sound. Several tunes that allow you to create an atmosphere of horror and suspense, good voice acting for heroes, including murderers. All of this is important for horror games, and the developers have paid enough attention to the sound here.
It’s not a secret for anyone that it is a good network mode that plays the main role in such games, since the gameplay here is more tailored for the game not with random players or bots (the latter have AI at a rather bad level), but with well-known friends, with who want to have fun and exciting time playing a good and unusual game. The network mode is well done here. The selection of players and the entrance to the game is quite fast, and here it is, in fact, much more interesting to play with friends than alone or with random players. Therefore, the game should be taken taking into account the fact that you definitely have several friends who are ready to escape with you from the hands of another killer or, on the contrary, take on his role.
Last Year game review (review)
What can be said about the game in the end. Last Year is a good project that has both the well-known mechanics of the genre and is distinguished by original aspects that can surprise and diversify the gameplay in places (one spider in the role of a killer is worth a lot). Due to the peculiarities of the genre and gameplay, such games should be considered, first of all, as projects for a multiplayer game, and in this regard, Last Year looks pretty good. In the game, it is interesting to be not only on the side of the killer, but also sometimes to be a victim, which the developers provided the opportunity not only to hide and run away, but also to fight back, although it is still impossible to kill the main villain here, as in other similar projects. Due to the emphasis on multiplayer and the specifics of the genre with an abundance of cruelty and violence, and a very non-standard gameplay, such games are unlikely to appeal to a large audience, however, Last Year will definitely find its fans, and deservedly so.
LID2PRO reviewer verdict
The specifics of the genre and the unusual gameplay here are unlikely to allow everyone and everyone to enjoy the gameplay (nevertheless, few people want to just hide and run around the map from the killer until they find a weapon), but nevertheless, all the mechanics in the game work harmoniously and well. So fans of these games won’t be disappointed.
As mentioned, the game can be discounted for by being developed by a small studio with limited resources. But nevertheless, even taking this into account, along with technical errors and bugs, the graphics in the game could be better.
The sound in the game is consistent with the horror and is done pretty well. He has some minor flaws, but in general he copes with his task of pumping up and strengthening the atmosphere more than well.
It’s easy and enjoyable to play Last Year online. In principle, such projects are created for playing with friends and live players, so it is better to start the game if you have a friend who is ready to share the game hours with you.
There is no single company as such, and playing with bots, where the AI is at a frankly low level, is such a thing. The best option is multiplayer for which such a project was sharpened.
In all aspects of control, the game does not cause any complaints. It is easy and pleasant to control the heroes here.
Last Year is a decent mid-range horror project about an assassin and a group of survivors. The game is tailored for the network mode, so it makes sense to take it only if you are interested in a similar genre and you have someone to try it out with. In general, the game turned out to be very atmospheric and deserves the attention of, at least, fans of the genre.