This is another one of those asymmetrical multiplayer titles, a genre of cooperative focused games that I actually tend to really enjoy. With Last Year: The Nightmare I'd compare it to being a hybrid of Left 4 Dead concepts with Friday the 13th. There are elements of Dead by Daylight in there, but it leans more towards the others in a number of ways. This is a 5v1 multiplayer title where the teenagers are trying to survive, and do so by completing objectives. You'll move around the map, usually as a group in an attempt to hold down certain prompts in areas to finish tasks.
This will give you another challenge and eventually you'll run towards an exit within a short time frame. The killer is obviously trying to stop this and can die, upon death they will then choose another option as there are three killer types present. Each is wildly different from the other in performing their goal of killing the folks and stopping them with unique skills. No matter what they've chosen, there's a fancy stalker mode where useless traps can be placed, areas can be tampered with and you can spawn in for a surprise. It's neat for sure, but the game's limiting factor is content since there's only a few maps and a limited roster of characters.
The cast do certainly have unique personalities, but it sort of just blends together as a large pack. There's four classes to choose from for the survivors and each plays a role. There's a medic, a scout, etc and the various skills help the team. The game also tends to heavily favor the group of survivors, rarely did a I see a killer be successful and it's very difficult to play as them when you do get selected. With the ability to destroy the killer and group up easily, it's hard to be a stalker of the night.
The teenagers can also save one another after death with them showing up trapped in a room like in Left 4 Dead after a small bit of time. The visuals are actually really impressive in this one. The school type areas you explore and scavenge within are very detailed and full of rooms. They're all rather large, with tons of small little nostalgic details to help place the setting and era. See, this is the late 90's so the world reflects that. The mechanics feel similar to Left 4 Dead, as does the movement and the visual HUD options for team work. It's a rather gory game which is great, and again those settings look fantastic.
I've enjoyed Last Year: The Nightmare, I do find it rather light on content and it favors the survivors too much. It was far too easy to escape, just by simply grouping up and there's not enough balance. It's great when you're running around working as a team, but I feel bad for the killer that just wants to take out these pesky teenagers. The concept of the tasks makes this come across as something different, but it's like playing Dead by Daylight in a lightning round situation.
The matches are super quick, often taking well under ten minutes to complete. I'm used to the more hardcore asymmetrical multiplayer games and this one doesn't really hold an axe to those for difficulty. It looks fantastic, I'm really impressed with the visuals and the quality environments you get to explore. I just wish it was more dynamic, having more content and characters as it seems limited. It can be fun in small bursts, but you get burnt out quickly. I will say the community was fun, good interactions there.
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Review Code Provided by Home Run PR