In recent years, the #SurvivalHorror video game genre has gone from strength to strength -- if you forget about the loss of #SilentHill of course -- as developers far and wide continue to push the boundaries of immersive, brutal, and terrifying survival horror games.
Fans of the genre have been treated to stellar titles such as #ResidentEvilVII, #UntilDawn, and #Outlast, each one keeping players awake night after night with their unique, riveting stories and their focus on raw, bloody, and downright spine-chilling gameplay.
However, each new release simply makes fans hungrier for more; like unsatisfied hounds barking and clawing for more scraps of the deliciously horrifying gaming experiences they crave. And sometimes, the responsibility of satisfying this endless craving rests on dedicated teams of #Indie developers, with their bold new ideas and fresh input into the constantly evolving gaming market. A team of Indie developers just like Elastic Games, whose latest project 'Last Year' is ready to jump into the ring and slug it out against some of the big boys of the survival horror genre!
But what exactly is Last Year?
'Last Year' Takes Players Back To School! But Not In A Good Way...
Ever been watching a horror film where a bunch of teenagers are being chased around by an axe-wielding maniac, and you've just found yourself screaming at the screen "Oh my God how are you so stupid?! If I was there I'd..."?
Well, now's your chance! In Last Year, five players will be tasked with surviving the crazed rampage of a killer lurking in East Side High School, crafting weapons and scavenging resources as they try to escape from the school and make it out alive. All the while, one player will be tasked with hunting the students down one-by-one, as they prowl the narrow corridors and dimly-lit classrooms wielding their murder weapon of choice.
But what makes Last Year stand out from other survival horror games, such as Dead by Daylight, which follow a very similar asymmetrical game structure?
Time For A Talent Show!
Firstly, Last Year offers a different spin on the standard survival horror format, because it's victims are actually useful. In too many survival horror games, the player controls someone who's choices are either to run away, or die. Do not pass 'Go', do not collect $200. If you're too slow then you get a one-way ticket to your grizzly demise.
With Last Year, each one of the killer's unfortunate prey is equipped with a particular skill which makes them useful to the team. 'Chad', for example, is the classic horror jock cliché, whose skills make him perfect for stunning the killer with strong melee attacks, allowing the group to escape. 'Samantha' on the other hand is the group's medic, helping her friends to heal up after a particularly nasty run-in with the killer. But after something like that, you're probably gonna need more than a band-aid to heal up...
Players can also choose between three killers, 'The Slasher', 'The Giant', and 'The Strangler'. They all sound positively lovely I know, and each one comes with different benefits and drawbacks. 'The Slasher', for example, can move quickly and specialises in chopping people to pieces, whereas 'The Giant' is slower, but packs one hell of a punch!
Furthermore, the killer can use 'Predator Mode', allowing him to move quickly and turn invisible in order to plan attacks, place traps, and coordinate ambushes. This might sound slightly overpowered, but the catch is that the killer can't activate predator mode unless he's out of sight, and it's mostly used as a tool for planning every gruesome kill. Now you'll really know what it feels like to think you safely got away, only for the killer to be waiting around the very next corner...
Leave It To The Pros
Now, if you're not impressed yet by the sound of Last Year, then listen to this. The game was successfully kickstarted back in 2015, raising $400,000 through Kickstarter, the Canada Media Fund, and also a $17,000 investment by Epic Games! That's right, the guys who made #GearsofWar thought this game sounded awesome, and this is surely a good sign that Last Year is already making a great impression!
However, the really impressive part is that Last Year's developer Elastic Games comprises of just three people. Me and two other people can't even get a group assignment finished to a decent standard, so the team at Elastic Games certainly deserve a round of applause for taking on such a monumental task.
Luckily, the Elastic Games team certainly have the skills to back up their huge ambitions, having previously worked at companies such as #Ubisoft and #SquareEnix to deliver famous games such as #FarCry3, #AssassinsCreed2, and #Crysis.
Man, I wish I had that kind of résumé...
Seemingly drawing on inspiration from iconic 90's horror flicks such as Scream, Halloween, and Friday the 13th, Last Year will certainly have #PC players (sorry, #Xbox and #PS4 fans, it's just a PC game for now) everywhere jumping and screaming with adrenaline-fuelled terror as they scramble down the deserted hallways of East Side High School, fleeing desperately from the nightmare-inducing killer.
School never sounded so exciting!
Check out Last Year's website here for all the news on the game and its release date, and make sure to check out the creepy gameplay trailer above!