By Spencer . July 31, 2008 . 10:12pm
Monsters have taken over Asakusa, Tokyo. The Last Guy, indicated by a red figure over satellite maps, has no special powers to fight the invading “zombies”. The only thing he can do is lead panicked civilians to the safety of an escape zone where helicopters from the United Rescue Force rescue them up. Before you can save anyone you need to find them. Most people are hiding indoors barricaded inside their homes. You can scan the map for life by holding X which people glow green, but you can’t see zombies in this view. Actually, zombies, bugs, and giant stalker eyeballs are difficult to see in general. The best indicator that danger is near is when the controller vibrates.
The Last Guy adds people to his line by grabbing them off the street or by waiting next to a building. As your line grows you stop controlling a single person. You end up controlling a crowd which acts like a snake since each person follows the Last Guy’s movements. It’s easier for a zombie grunt to disrupt a long line since you’re taking up more space on the map, but the Last Guy has a few tricks up his sleeve. You can call the line to gather by you by holding the circle button. This move is useful when you’re waiting for people to evacuate buildings. People exit large buildings fast, but it takes people forever to leave a cluster of houses. The gather command prevents zombies from attacking the tail of your line while you are waiting. If you need to quickly run away from a giant bug you can hold down triangle which makes the Last Guy and the entire line dash. Both of these moves consume stamina, a limited resource at the beginning of each level. You can drop civilians off at the designated escape zone at any time, but the stamina meter grows as your line expands. One strategy is to pick up the accessible civilians first just to boost your stamina meter. Lead the required number of people to the escape zone and you win.
The concept is simple, but the Last Guy is novel since the setting is a real location. You can hide in the alleys of Asakusa and save people visiting the famous Sensoji temple. In general, Tokyo has many small streets so the layout naturally makes a grid like map for you to play in. The down side is the 500 yen ($5) purchase only has one map to play in. All three stages are set in Asakusa. Each stage uses the same satellite map too, but expands it with more ground to explore. When I beat the Last Guy yesterday a video showed the Last Guy in other locations like London, Yokohama, and Washington D.C. which makes me presume the Last Guy is going to be an episodic game where you pay for each map.
You can replay the three stages to get a higher score and see where you stand on the leaderboards. More points are awarded if you save more civilians, have a longer line, and rescue VIPs. These are indicated with a green indicator and if you save them you can read a small bio. The VIPs seem to be in the same location each time you play a level so there is a little bit of memorization in the Last Guy.
In the Last Guy: Japan Premium I only encountered four enemies, only one of them is actually a zombie.
Stalkers are giant eyeballs and they are the most docile out of the group. They will slowly chase you if their huge eye sees your line.
Zombie Grunts are the most common enemy. The walk around and turn red when they are about to attack your line Zombie Grunts chase you and lunge at you faster than stalkers.
Switterscuds are giant bugs that walk in a loop. These don’t chase you, but they run on the two roads that cross the river.
Tentaclians are sentries. These bugs patrol until they spot you and go into chase mode. You only encounter these on the last map and they patrol key areas like the second escape zone and a space with a return power-up that warps you to an escape zone.
If any of the monsters touch you it’s over. I tend to use the maximum zoom to and manually scroll the camera with the right analog stick to avoid running into death. If the monsters disrupt your line the people attempt to hide in nearby buildings, but waiting for them to evacuate wastes precious time.
Sony will release the Last Guy in North America, but I wonder which version we’re going to get. Are they just going to release Washington D.C. level or is the Last Guy going to come in a bundle as a world tour? Since they already have an engine for the Last Guy it must be easy for them to make more maps. All the team needs to do is place civilians and giant bugs.
Images courtesy of Sony.