Virtual reality (VR) has proven to be a great opportunity for IP owners to explore when they want to get in touch with fans in new ways. Primary examples include Owlchemy Labs’ Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality and The Walking Dead: Saints and sinners by Skydance Interactive, services fans who want new content just in a different medium. The latest to follow this path is Olan Rogers’ Last place series, which ends after three seasons, leaving fans of Gary, Mooncake, Hue and the rest of the Galaxy One gang longing for something more. The question is, can Final Space VR – The Rescue live up to the legacy of the cartoon?
In the hands of Knockout League creators of Grab Games, Final Space VR – The Rescue puts you in the shoes of either Gary, Avocato, Nightfall or Tribore on a mission to rescue the beloved, planet-destroying Mooncake. This brand new adventure sets you up against a new enemy STVN, an AI that wants to use Mooncake’s extraordinary powers for spooky means.
There is a lot to get excited about – if you are one Last place fan – as this is an official tie-in. Gary and the gang all sound exactly as they should, with their own character traits, such as Tribore’s classic phrasing. The clipped still images all look like they were taken directly from the cartoon, and if you play in co-op mode, it looks really great to see friends embody the animated cast.
What Final Space VR – The Rescue actually delivers, but is a fairly generic shooter that is very short and noticeably repeated in single-player. The campaign unfolds over three chapters, each of which took about 30-40 minutes to complete on normal difficulty. A tougher mode is available, but there is not really anything to encourage you to return in, a shot straight through felt enough.
Basically a complicated wave shooting game, as you get locked inside rooms that you have to clear before moving on, enemies come in three variants. You have the robots (called SAMES) with a basic grating that charges, one with a rifle that keeps distance (they actually dodge and dive a little out of the way), small annoying insects that whiz across the ground and then jump at. your face and flying drones. Aside from the boss sections to break up the gameplay, going through room after room with the same basic opponents is a real mistake considering the amount of creatures Last place included in its 33 sections.
To deal with these enemies you can pick up a variety of weapons along the way, a pistol, SMG, shotgun, plasma rifle and grenade launcher. None of them require ammunition and they are all reloaded automatically. The four cannons can be instantly reloaded by pressing the trigger at the right moment. This quick reload feature is common in shooting games, but in a VR game where you are double-swinging, it becomes an unnecessary burden as the bar is not always visible.
However, you can arm yourself to the teeth. With a total of four weapons – one on each shoulder and one in each hand – it is very easy to switch between them depending on your strategy for each situation. They can all be held with both hands for a better aim, but without any kind of recoil, why bother just going out with two shotguns flaming.
Final Space VR – The Rescue noticeably lacking other interactive elements. There is nothing to pick up as cookies to help heal. You will be automatically collected by going through them and the same with door key cards. You do not have to climb anything and there are no grenades to throw, the closest you get is being able to shoot enemies.
So the single-player does not really sell Final Space VR – The Rescue. However, Last place was never just about one character and that is in the co-op where the experience really shines. There is a random matchmaking option if you need it, even if what you really want is a lot Last place loving companions to team up with. Offers clear voice chat – with the settings that allow fully open or activated by pressing A or X – the experience quickly falls into place as everyone releases some Last place teasing.
However, something is missing. And it was not until the third chapter that the realization struck, it is devoid of Final Space’s crazy action sequences. Almost every episode seemed to feature Gary and the team making a death-defying leap down on a planet or flying into a sun. There is none of that here. The quirkiness of the comic has not been brought over, and feels very safe in relation to what could have been created.
Last place has a legion of loyal fans and that’s exactly who Final Space VR – The Rescue being accommodated. If you’ve never seen the show before and you buy this as a single-player shooter, you’ll be disappointed. It looks good, sounds good and plays well, but so much is missing to make this a great sci-fi FPS. You need friends who love comics to really get something out of it Final Space VR – The Rescue. Another concern was that there was no teleport to be found and no additional gameplay modes. A co-op like this would have benefited from a horde state or something to make you come back for more. Final Space VR – The Rescue had its funny moments, but like the show, it ended too soon.