Name: Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier
Developer: The Imaginarium, Creative England
Publisher: FoxNext Games
Released: 21, November 2017
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: *A self bought copy of this game*
Videogames based on the player’s decisions have been more and more popular through the years. And I would say that Telltale and Quantic Dream is stealing this “show” for now with The Walking Dead and the upcoming Detroit: Become Human. But there are other as well that dares to challenge them, enter Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier.
The story takes places between The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The War of the Planet of the Apes, and tells us the events that took place during a battle between apes and humans for survival. You as the player have to make the decisions for both sides, and this is something that was suppose to define the your story.
Unfortunately this is one of the biggest weak points in Last Frontier. I felt like my decisions didn’t mattered so the story just went on “ignoring” my decisions. Yes I know there are some ramifications of a main story that we have to “return to”, but games in this genre should tenk to make us believe that our decisions matter. In Last Frontier there are multiple times that if I tried to take a different path than the game wanted me to do, it leads us back to the “original” path. For example: they give you the decision to shoot a human or not, you choose not to, but the second comes another ape and kills it for you. I do have a lot of different examples than this or from what you can see from the gameplay video below. The main point is that I do not feel that my decisions matter. But the story they want to tell us does giving me a small interest, so if you enjoy this series / universe it might be worth your time.
The game is created by using the Unreal Engine 4, and that is quite visible. The character designs for the apes is impressive, and some of the environmental scenes are beautifully made, but Last Frontier struggle to impress me with the character design on the humans and the audiovisuals is a bit problematic and static. One of the biggest issues that you will encounter from the very beginning to the end of the game is the late load of textures. And in a game like this, where we change planes constantly, will we see the loading issues a lot. Otherwise it’s quite solid.
It is a little hard to talk about the gameplay part on games such as this. As the whole experience is the story and how you’re decisions impacts it. After all, you just have to choose between different options / answers time to time. I didn’t enjoy this game as much as I wanted to, mediocre story with bad performances / voice acting and script. There are of course some decisions you make that impacts the story, with multiple endings etc. But I’m not sold yet.
Last Frontier uses the new mode from PlayStation called PlayLink, and like all PlayLink games for far, Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier has great production values. Its integration with PlayLink is completely anecdotal ; to the point that you can also play with a normal remote control. When we open the application we have virtual buttons on the screen to move through the menus, and then two buttons to choose between the two options when you play. Then, we can see a short description of the main characters of the game, and that’s it. If we play with friends (up to four players at a time), we can vote the decisions. There’s no more than that.
As I mentioned, there are multiple endings here. So there is a bit replay value here, and you can always try to play the story completely different than the first playthrough. But I think it is enough with one playthrough in overall. As there is a few other topics that makes me lose interest.
Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier got potential. It is an interactive film which would seem perfectly fine, if the playable element “the decisions” would have been better executed. Games in this genre should always give the player the sense of that their decisions matter to story and might give consequences other places. But in here, the story pushes forward in the direction they want and not the player. The integration with PlayLink is unfortunately anecdotal. There are better options to play in this genre, but the plot here is strong enough so it might be a good option if you enjoy this universe / series.
Replay Value: 5/10