Review | The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human

The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human chronicles the return home of humanity’s last hope – long ago sent into a wormhole to try and find another place for mankind to survive, with what remained of the race living in underwater cities due to raised sea levels claiming every ounce of land. The new land was never found, and while they were gone, the remaining population on Earth came to an end.

The crumbling ruins of humanity are amazing, and set a wondrous backdrop.
The crumbling ruins of humanity are amazing, and set a wondrous backdrop.

It’s very much an exploration game, with beautifully drawn backgrounds, amazing control of lighting, and an amazing soundtrack. Actually, as an exploration game it’s probably one of the best I’ve played, all of the above combines to completely capture the wonder, and awe that an underwater city would bring, as you bob between it’s sci-fi, futuristic seascapes.

Dangers lurk, of course, as they always do. Certain pipes now vent gasses that injure you, giant clams snap at your trails, wall-bound creatures spit attacks out in set directions, at set times. They are obstacles, like the netted weeds and rocks that block your path, the hard jets of current which push you back, and the bigger messes of gas which destroy you instantly.

These obstacles make up the adventure part of the title, turning humanity’s former bastion into a maze of paths and short-cuts, all blocked off until your little ship starts gaining upgrades – a saw, a boost, a stronger hull or weapons. Weapons are important too, because the peaceful and wondrous, if sometimes haunting, search for the truth is interrupted as you wander into certain areas. You see, the upgrades you seek to find out the full story of humanities last days are guarded by giant, mutated sea creatures. They are not happy.

Nightmare-fuel shatters the dreamy world
Nightmare-fuel shatters the dreamy world

The atmosphere shatters, peaceful music replaced by sharp, haunting music. Haunting is the word, each of these boss creatures feel simply too powerful, too fast, too adept – each moves in it’s own way, has it’s own lethal set of moves. Your tools are restricted, you are an exploratory submarine, your harpoon gun initially only fires one shot, and can only fire on the underside of the vessel – but the creature you are first challenged with bursts forth from the ceiling and floor, bobbing and weaving through the surfaces, fast and deadly.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, the quirks and patterns of a new enemy, and with no warning. You will die, and then you’ll retry, and then you will likely die again. Eventually the mucus-laden, crawling-flesh of the first boss – your introduction to combat – will reel back and succumb to it’s injuries. The second it dies, the music stops, then the peaceful, awe-inspiring world returns, as you leave it’s corpse behind, this time something more impressive than the last.

Billboards and news stations deliver a glance into the fall of mankind.
Billboards and news stations deliver a glance into the fall of mankind.

As the name of the game infers, humanity is dead and gone, and you’re exploring the ruins, picking up hints of what happened from still-powered news bots, or billboard tickers. Little nods to the people being not too different from how we are now remain, quarrels over humanitarian matters, roadside restaurants with large letters as logos, corporations ruling the waves.

Thorough exploration brings certain bonuses too, after several bosses I found my way into a corner of the map which was still labelled as one of the areas, even though it was away from the main hub (you can teleport from hub to hub once unlocked,) as I had a look around I found an area which had an upgrade crate within – one which gave me triple harpoon shots.

It’s a fantastical journey that you go on, and once you’re done with the story there’s also the Boss Attack mode in which you pick an upgrade before facing off against each of the game’s bosses in order – although I wouldn’t recommend attempting that until after finishing the main story, in the least to keep the appearances and dwellings of the beasts a surprise for when you play through.

You can find it’s Steam information below, check out an official trailer [here], check out the dev’s page [here], and as an alternative to Steam, you can find it on itch.io [here]. We’ll have some gameplay footage of it up later in the week, so keep your eyes peeled.

 

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