The Last Stand: Aftermath is a Surprisingly Captivating Roguelite Zombie Game
The Last Stand: Aftermath maybe my biggest surprise of the year. The Last Stand: Aftermath, an isometric roguelite zombie-game that has a larger budget than Flash’s favourites, is extremely stressful and exhausting. I can’t stop playing it.
The world is in ruin, and only 5% of humanity remains, so you are tasked to venture out into the unknown and try to find “something” somewhere else than The City, where you started. It must be something, even though nobody knows what it is. What’s the twist? The twist? You are slowly dying and becoming 95% of the planet’s zombies, ranging from Romero shufflers or hulking beasts. After you are gone, it is the turn of the next survivor to make the most out of the inevitable.
This means that you will be racing against the clock to uncover and explore as much as possible while your maximum health is constantly being reduced, which will be replaced by new abilities from the virus. Your health bar will start to bleed, so you’ll be able to do more damage and ram into enemies. The virus is slowly taking over your body. The enemies grow in size and severity as you go deeper into the wasteland. You’re more vital than ever, but you also have a lower chance of dying.
This is a fascinating and clever design. Each run will be unique, and it’s a constant balance act. However, you can also acquire Antiviral to slow down the progress. In The Last Stand: Aftermath, you’ll constantly be scavenging Antiviral and ammo. You also have the option to craft random items so that you can see which ones work best. You can even use Knowledge to unlock new skills and upgrade your character, which you can then pass to the next survivors.
It’s not easy to survive. You have to search every corner of every house and every spot on the road for resources. To survive, you will need to be resourceful. Although they aren’t tricky on their own, the group of zombies can pose a logistical problem. Melee weapons are easy to break, so you’ll be making Joe Baker’s impression and punching at creeps. But there comes a time when you have to stop blasting.
Gunplay is also very snappy for an isometric game. DualSense’s features ramp up the drama. It is evident that you need to save every ammo possible, so tension from pulling the trigger with R2 allows you to take a moment to consider whether the bullet needs to be spent. You may also spend more ammunition if you are surprised by your enemy. However, it’s not as exciting as Astro or as creative as Ratchet, The Last Stand: Aftermath is still one of my favorite uses of the DualSense.
Although The Last Stand: Aftermath is more expensive than its predecessors, it still has a small budget. The story isn’t voiced, and there aren’t any audio tracks. There are also many bugs. Zombies always populate the environment, hitboxes can be inconsistent, loading screens last less than a second, and then the game goes to black on PS5 for some reason.