Version Reviewed: 1.03
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Infinity Blade proved to iOS gamers everywhere that some spectacular things can be done on the platform with Unreal Engine 3. Last Man Standing proves that smaller developers can do some of those same spectacular things with the engine too. Unfortunately, while it may rival Epic's work in terms of visuals, it doesn't always hit the mark as far as gameplay is concerned.
It may take place from a third-person perspective but aside from that Last Man Standing is a dual-stick shooter like Geometry Wars or the recent Lock 'n' Load. The goal is simple: survive as many zombie waves as possible. While there are a few armor upgrades to collect and one unlockable weapon, the 25 stages are all pretty indistinguishable from each other. There is a decent enemy variety including a boss fight and the difficultly ramps up nicely but there's just no escaping how repetitive the game gets. The fact that it all takes place in one confined, bleak, grey forest doesn't help either nor does the painfully slow movement speed.
However, it's undeniably impressive on a technical level and dripping with survival horror aesthetics. Hordes of detailed zombies can be seen far off in the distance. Blankets of fog on fungal-covered ground create a lonely, oppressive atmosphere like something out of Silent Hill. The titular last man standing is a lovingly modeled, gross, bulbous monster man and his minigun gives him a striking resemblance to Resident Evil's Nemesis. Gun and gore sound effects are well done too but the music is nothing special.
As for the story, a virus has killed all of the Earth’s men while turning the women into horrible monsters. One woman has managed to avoid the infection and has decided to bring back the last man, the player, to help save the planet by mowing down the female hordes. Now that story admittedly has some super weird and potentially upsetting implications but outside of one cutscene, the player is hardly even aware of this narrative. Besides, the zombie spider babies are far more annoying than any of the lady zombies.
Last Man Standing is a middling game running on a great engine. Anyone who wants a cheap way to showcase the graphical prowess of their iOS device might want to pick it up. Just know that the game itself is never more than just average.