OS: Windows 7 or later Processor: AMD A4-3400 (2*2700) or equivalent Memory: 3 GB RAM Graphics: Radeon HD 38xx (512 MB) or equivalent Storage: 1200 MB available space
Who it Caters to
This game is definitely for fans of classic shooting games. The variation in weapons, ships, and characters allows for a diverse experience that can be tailored to the playstyle of the gamer. The sound effects and soundtrack are modern, but definitely are inspired by classic shooters such as Ikaruga and slightly obscure shooters such as Einhander. You're definitely put into the mood to blow up alien ships and dodge as many incoming missiles are humanly possible. Roguelike elements such a procedural generated galaxies offer a fair amount of replayability. You will not play through the same stage layout over and over.
Last Encounter was created by indie company Exordium Games. They're known for titles such as Bear With Me, Agenda, and Zero Reflex. Though, this company has only been around for four years, they've managed to put out several great games in that amount of time. Definitely pick up Last Encounter if you're a fan of this studio and have enjoyed their past titles.
What to Expect
In Last Encounter, you expect fast-paced action, reflex-testing enemy encounters, and an overall very fun space shooting experience. As soon as you begin playing, you choose a synthetic body, then you choose the type of ship you want to pilot, and finally select your desired primary weapon. Each category has several options that will decide how your ship moves and the way your weapon will be firing. The customization makes you feel that there are a huge array of possible weapon loadouts and that you can prepare yourself for any type of enemy mobs that may appear.
Your goal is to equip yourself as best as possible so that you can locate portal keys which will open up a gate to the next galaxy. Each galaxy contains its own color scheme, enemy types, interactive stage elements, and music. You collect currency from killing enemies and from destroying objects scattered around each area. You can then spend the currency on researching weapon upgrade components, or purchase new weapon types that can be swapped out with the flick of the mouse wheel. Figuring out the best combination of weapons and ships to suit your needs will be key to taking down bosses and collecting portal keys efficiently.
Last Encounter - Announcement Trailer
Humanity has just concluded its research and analysis of a project known as Gilgamesh. This new technology could revolutionize how humans live and lead to possibilities that have so far only been considered unrealistic dreams. At the forefront of this research was Dr. Daniel Connor. He has discovered a way to grant humans eternal life. But before this technology could be implemented into society, the world was disrupted by a massive surge of energy near Jupiter's orbit. A portal had suddenly appeared. From there came out a fleet of ships. They wasted no time in traveling to earth and laying waste to the entire planet.
When all seemed lost, the last group of scientists managed to recreate the portal technology, though imperfectly. This portal was a one way ticket to whatever world the "Dark Ones" had come from. They hoped to find a way to close the original "Jupiter Portal" from the inside and prevent the aliens from ever returning to our galaxy. However, that was not the case. The faction that had been sent through the portal, on a suicide mission, never returned and the gateway remains open for the Dark Ones to return whenever they please.
You have been tasked with closing the portal and figuring out what exactly is going on. Dr. Connor has decided to use the Gilgamesh technology to bring you back to life as many times as necessary. You're the only person who has a chance of finding your missing comrades and scientists, fending off the Dark Ones, and closing the Jupiter Portal once and for all. You'll either succeed in saving humanity or live an eternity of fighting and dying at the hands of the Dark Ones or other alien life that you encounter. It all depends on your ability as a pilot and explorer.
Last Encounter was designed for a multiplayer experience. The myriad of loadouts you can utilize work perfectly for a local, cooperative setting. You and each of your space comrades can bring different weapons into battle that will complement each other's fighting style. There are also temporary boosts you can pick up to further augment your abilities. Those powerups include: invulnerability, increased fire rate, increased movement speed, and debuffs to enemy ships. Quick tip, health regeneration packs will drop sparingly throughout each level, as well. You should do your best to pick these up before they vanish offscreen. It's alright to take some damage in the process since your shield will absorb a large amount of damage before your health points can be affected.
Being able to collect several different primary weapons ensures that you don't need to restart the game to change up how you approach boss battles and clear our hordes of enemies. It's so quick and easy to switch your configuration by scrolling up or down on the mouse wheel (or the corresponding button on a controller pad). If you scout ahead for the enemy types that you'll encounter, you can quickly come up with a strategy for taking them out before they destroy your shield and deplete your health. Using your currency to upgrade weapons feels awesome as well. Anything to fight off those poisonous plant organisms and ships that melt through your shield with their lazers! Also, each of the playable ships has a special ability. For instance, you can drastically increase your fire rate for a short period of time. It's great because all of the abilities are useful and they're on a relatively short cool down. So, you can expect to use them multiple times throughout boss fights.
It's important that Roguelike games balance all elements of the game just right, otherwise it can feel repetitive and disappointing when you have to restart a playthrough. While Last Encounter does a decent enough job at attempting to keep things fresh through weapon variation, upgrades, and procedurally generated galaxies it's not quite enough to make the experience worthwhile. For example, The Swords of Ditto was a Roguelike action RPG that offered a fair amount of replayability through its engaging combat and dungeon exploration. But, more than that, the characters and story were entertaining and interesting enough that we were willing to play through the game as many times as necessary to progress the narrative and see how it unfolded. That wasn't the case with Last Encounter.
Multiplayer is the biggest function that prevents this game from becoming stale if you haven't completed it within a few tries. Playing with friends to take on bosses and completely explore all the galaxies is this game's saving grace. You could play this game for hours on end if you have the right group of friends and are enjoying the fast-paced action. A second reason for not being totally depressed after dying is that you get to keep the progress that you've accumulated on weapon upgrades. You keep it even after you close out the game and restart it later on. (That's pretty cool!) Having to upgrade components from scratch each time you played the game would be a bit too much and definitely soak out most of the fun out of this space shooter.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Overall, the immersive space opera music and sound effects, as well as the weapon modification possibilities present a game that's initially highly enjoyable and visually stunning. Multiplayer functionality allows gamers to make the most out of Last Encounter's weapon systems and stage layout. However, that's where most of the amusement ends. The game would have benefited greatly from voice-overs outside of the narration at the very beginning of the game. The story and supporting characters also needed to be a bit stronger so that you don't become increasingly fatigued after each playthrough. Basically, you need stronger reasons to see the game to its completion besides just wanting to shoot stuff over and over. Die hard fans may not have any issues with the gameplay of Last Encounter, but more casual fans will have a hard time justifying a playthrough on their own. Completing it through co-op mode is a different story.
Great soundtrack and sound effects
Weak characters and story
Lack of voice work
Relies on multiplayer for the full experience
Honey's Final Verdict:
Last Encounter is a space shooter that fans of the shooter genre and co-op games will enjoy for hours on end. However, more casual fans will be put off by the lack of encouragement to keep on playing time and time again. It's a good premise that was executed well, by Exordium Games, it just lacks a bit in the narrative department.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read our review for Last Encounter. If you have your own thoughts on this game we'd love to hear from you in the comments below or by tweeting at us. We hope you have a great day and we'll see you in the next article.
Author: Javier Garcia
Hey guys! I'm a huge fan of anime and video games. I used to be a competitive fighting game player (search my name in YouTube). So, I guess it was natural for me to make my way over here to Japan. I teach English, write anime articles, and put together videos when I have time. I hope you enjoy the content we've created for you here at Honey's Anime!