Last Year: The Nightmare
The survival horror genre has been growing in recent years with more and more titles being released to a growing and receptive gaming audience. The goal for these games is usually simple; survive. The typical set up has four or more players working with one another to accomplish various tasks and elude a dangerous killer who is often randomly selected at the start of each match.
The latest game in this genre is entitled Last Year: The Nightmare and it sets players into stereotypical high school students as they attempt to survive against a killer.
Players will be able to select not only their persona but also a class such as assault or medic which will help the group survive the challenges ahead. Players will have to accomplish various tasks such as finding fuel for a stair car and locating computer disks as they attempt to open an exit which will allow players a time window to escape to safety.
Players will also have to find raw material along the way which can be used to construct and upgrade items such as a football helmet, weapons, and other tools needed for survival.
This is not a run and shoot scenario as weapons can involve a camera flash to temporarily blind your enemy, a mine to give them an explosive welcome, a shotgun, and a pipe with barbed wire and nails.
Playing in locales such as a gym, Bell tower, and a library, there is plenty of area in which to cover which allows the killer plenty of places to strike. Players can quick travel through vents but may also take advantage of being able to barricade various locales which will slow down the killer but also restrict access for fellow players.
The killers come in three varieties, an axe murderer, a strangler, and a slow-moving but dangerous bulk that will smash, strangle, and throw, any players that get close enough to his range.
The game is available only via Discord currently and has had quite a few bugs to contend with during our numerous play tests most notably with launching and map loading. However when the game does load properly aside from some occasional lag; the gameplay has been solid and enjoyable and the in game chat has certainly led to some enjoyable conversations as we strategize.
The game's graphics are solid but nothing spectacular and the same can be said for the audio and music. The maps are enjoyable but a little basic and I certainly hope that more of them will be released in the future. I also would like to see more options for the killers and might even be fun to allow more than one into a map to increase the challenge.
The killers are an intriguing mix as taking down players within ask is pretty much what you might expect but being able to last so a player with a chain and strangle them is an interesting new wrinkle. Once players are killed they can be revived after a certain amount of time as players will have to free them from a closet in which they are trapped. The same goes for the killers as once taken down; they will respond after a certain amount of time which also allows players to use a different killer.
Despite the issues; the game is enjoyable but depending on your tolerances some may find it becomes a little old and repetitious after a few games. I have not seen any major differences between playing any of the characters as the Jock seemed to perform exactly as the Nerd without any discernible advantage.
In the end the game is an enjoyable but fleeting diversion as after successfully completing a few rounds; it isn't compelling enough to keep players engaged for long periods of time and to draw them back again and again.
3 stars out of 5