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The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human (Xbox)

Developed by YCJY, The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human was initially released on PC (Steam) back in 2016 and is currently available for £6.99, It has now been released on PS4 for £11.99 (currently on sale for PS Plus members for £9.59) and Xbox One also for £11.99.

The Earth’s waters rose and flooded the world and due to climate change, encapsulated the surface in ice, forcing humans to live under the sea. As the very last human remaining, you roam the waters in your little submarine trying to find reminders of what used to be and fighting bosses along the way. Your death is inevitable and there is definitely no chances of trying to save the human race, we’ve already made a mess of it once and now we’ve had to face the consequences.

The story of The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human is told through background art and holo-tapes found throughout the areas. Reading through the notes left behind certainly adds a touch of sadness which is magnified when you’re slowly making your way through in near darkness.

The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human is beautifully designed in pixel art form, giving it a nostalgic feel. The different environments which you traverse through are stunning to look at, from the vibrantly colourful vines and corals to the dark and dingy depths of the abyss.

The game runs fairly smoothly and I’ve had no issues with any framerate drops or screen tearing but I have had moments when fighting bosses where I have questioned the animation, more specifically, the way certain bosses move. I’ve also had a few moments when the bosses attack moves seem to blend into the background completely meaning I was instantly killed, this grew more frustrating when I had the boss within the last inches of their death.

Each and every boss is unique, well designed and require a little forethought before tackling. One of my biggest issues with this game is that in the beginning, you’re obviously quite weak but the bosses you have to fight are incredibly difficult. Usually, in games you’re allowed to warm up, get stronger bit by bit and feel slightly prepared for a fight. In The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human, however, you’re literally thrown into the deep end. You barely have any upgrades, and in order to improve, you have to defeat the boss.

It took me about 4 hours before I finally managed to scavenge enough upgrades and repeatedly fight the boss before I miraculously got through. I have to say that it took quite a lot of the fun out of playing it. It’s hard to persevere in a game where the odds are stacked against you and on top of that, the bosses aren’t predictable so you can’t plan your attack adequately. The difficulty curve between the third boss and the subsequent bosses was bizarre. After spending a couple of hours trying to defeat one boss and then being able to defeat the next five bosses in a similar timeframe, the game felt disjointed.  

When you’re not trying to defeat a boss, you are exploring the world around you. This part of the game can feel quite slow as there is nothing to tell you which way to go or what you have to do next. It doesn’t help that some routes are blocked by vines or rocks which can only be destroyed by certain weapons, which you only get from a boss. After a while, I got fed up of feeling like I was going around in circles so I enlisted the help of a map of the game online. This made my life, and enjoyment of the game improve drastically!

There are 26 upgrades to be found in boxes all around the world as well as crystals, holo-tapes and secret areas. As you discover new areas, you’ll find stations which will provide a save point as well as a fast travel point. Being able to teleport between other stations is so helpful, especially when looking for upgrades.

The menus are quite clunky and when pausing and trying to resume play, I had to mash a few buttons for it to work. The game does have an autosave feature but you can manually save at the stations if you want to ensure where you respawn if you were to die. If a boss manages to kill you then you’ll respawn right outside their ‘room’ so you can just go right back in for another go.

Once you’ve completed the story you can play through again on hardcore and if fighting the bosses once wasn’t enough then you can also play through boss rush mode! It’s nice to see these extra modes on games as it adds replay value. Although personally, I may need a little time before I head back down to the murky depths again.

Overall, the more I played The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human, the more I enjoyed it. I’ve already outlined pretty much my only issue with the game so if I had to give it a score it would be 8/10. It may be a tad harsh docking 2 points from the score but the inconsistency regarding the difficulty curve made the game feel backwards and at times, unbalanced.

The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human has 21 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A decent sized achievement list with the majority of achievements unlocked through natural gameplay, killing all of the bosses and finding all of the collectibles. There are a few tricky ones which may take a while to unlock, such as completing the game without any upgrades. I honestly can’t see me unlocking that one anytime soon! If you need any help or guidance then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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