Just so you know for the purpose of this review, underwater areas in video games scare the absolute s**t out of me. There is just something so un-nerving about exploring what we know as humans as ‘the unknown’. There is still around 95% of the world’s oceans yet to be explored, and not knowing what lurks in the murky depths I find really quite frightening. This is why I approached The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human with one eye shut.
As the title describes, you are the last remaining human on planet Earth. After having been sucked into a giant wormhole in space, you’re transported to an unknown year and fired back at our home planet, only to find it covered in ice and snow and fully submerged under water. The intro is short, but explains enough to set the scene. The only information you have on the human race is found through holo-tapes, scattered about the game.
You as a player pilots a small submarine, big enough to hold at least one person, although scale isn’t really a huge issue in this game. You’re the smallest thing in the ocean. Colourful fish and seahorses and jelly fish populate the map. So I take off, using W, A, S and D to pilot my one crew sub. Everything is so serene, it’s nice in fact. Come on, I can do this!
So as I explore, taking in what’s left of the infrastructure of an underwater colony, my peaceful excursion is soon interrupted by a booming soundtrack and rumbling. HOLY S**T! A GIANT WORM? Adrenaline is pumping around my body now. The underwater world, as calm and friendly as it makes out is populated by giant monsters. Eleven of them in fact, all with unique ways to destroy your submarine. Reminds me a lot of Shadow Of The Colossus on the Playstation 2. These bosses have to be defeated, and what’s nice is they can be taken on in any order you want, give or take a couple that fit in with the storyline.
While adventuring, you will come across submarine upgrades. These can be anything from the weapons on board, to tools to use to get to hard-to-reach places on the map, and even hull upgrades which is relayed as a health bar. These are so essential to find, as it seems that some bosses are too powerful to take on without.
The game looks absolutely stunning. Dated, but none the less beautiful in a nostalgic kind of way. It almost feels as if each frame has been hand drawn or painted giving it huge amounts of personality. The game also uses an electronic soundtrack, which just works. The music is strange, and gives the game an ambiance that makes you think twice about exploring an area in fear of being scared out of your skin.
Although the game for me lasted for about seven hours, I definitely still feel the need to play through again. I know for a fact I haven’t explored each of the map’s nooks and crannies. Although I really enjoyed my time with The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human, it still hasn’t got me over my fear of underwater areas in games. Damn you, YCJY, you’ve created a wicked game, but scared the hell out of me in the process. Hats off to you.
One more thing, the game was fully funded on Kickstarter. You can find their campaign here.