It’s late, and you and your three other friends wake up in your old school and you don’t know how you got there. You realize all too soon that there are forces beyond this Earth that have banded together against you, and they would like nothing more than to murder you and your friends. The Nightmare has truly begun and you need to do everything you can to escape the school with your lives. This is our review of Last Year: The Nightmare.
From Elastic Games comes a new take on the horror genre. Last Year: The Nightmare takes us inside the walls of East Side High School where up to five survivors have suddenly awakened with no recollection of how they arrived there. All too quickly you start to hear noises around you and then boom you step onto a trap or get jumped on from a skylight as the killers take action to try and defeat you before the level timer runs out. Each level has a mission to complete before you try to get the exit and escape the killer.
Last Year is played as a five versus one game. There are five survivors and only one killer. This game is very similar to Dead by Daylight and you have to accomplish similar objectives to escape the killers. There are four different classes to use in the game with two slots for each class available. The classes are Assault, Medic, Technician, and Scout. The Assault class gives you a pipe weapon to start with so that you can bop the killer on the head like Peter Rabbit and those pesky field mice. The Technician class allows you to build turrets that launch projectiles at the killer. The Scout is a unique class that can use their tools to ping the enemy and then when you get close enough to blind him for a few seconds, and this allows you to attack them quickly or run away as fast as possible. Finally, we have the Medic who does what they do, heal everyone else of course. Choose the class that allows you to play your best game and head out against the killer. And how could we forget the Killer class, because yes it is a class. You have three different killers you can choose from. One carries an ax and a bad attitude, the next is a huge brute who rushes at you and picks you up to launch you across the map, and the final one can hit you at a distance with a chain and strangle you.
The missions are specific to each level, and there are three levels that are very big for this game. The levels are the Gym, the Library, and the Bell Tower. There are plenty of places for the killers to hide and set traps as you traverse the narrow hallways, classrooms, and basements of the school. You will need to find fuel, and floppy disks and other materials to help you achieve your mission to escape with your lives. Each level has shortcuts to get around the level more quickly as well. For example, the classrooms have vents that you can climb into that move you to another side of the school and into a different classroom or area.
The great news about the mechanics in this game is that if you die to the killer you can still be rescued. Unlike Dead by Daylight where you can ultimately die completely after being spiked up on too many hooks, Last Year sends your character into randomly locked closets around the map. If your teammates can get to those areas and unlock the doors before the killer gets them then you have a new lease on life. This makes accomplishing your goals just a tiny bit easier because you can have someone getting all the dead friends and the rest can work on the goals so that your escape is inevitable.
Weapons may seem weak when you play at first, but then you quickly learn about the upgrade mechanics. As you walk around the maps you will find scraps that can be used for upgrading each classes weapons. Upgrading your weapons will be key to your survival, and this is because the killer is so powerful and you are kind of weak. Each upgrade will lessen the gap between you and the killer and provide you more of a chance to beat them into submission as you plan your escape from the school. Within this world of hand to hand combat, and close range fighting you will need to move as quickly as possible to upgrade.
One more thing that makes this game interesting is the killer’s predator mode. This mode allows you to leave the physical world of the game and zoom from one place to another to try and get closer to your prey. *Note – you can’t spawn too close to the survivors. Within a distance of them but out of sight works best. The other thing that helps you in predator mode is the ability to set up traps all over the map. You can set up traps to grab their feet, you can make metal grates drop out from beneath them, and you can utilize the skylights to drop in on them as well. Playing as the killer in this game is actually more fun than playing as the students trying to escape. There is something about how they can move and react to the map that makes it so much fun.
Overall, Last Year: The Nightmare is basically a Dead by Daylight clone, some things are similar and some things are different. The main aspect of the horror genre for these games is the same. Survivors try to do beat the levels by finishing your tasks and evading the killer. There are different classes you can use which makes it very fun, but ultimately some people may play for a few hours and then get super tired of this game quickly. Some people will continue playing it just for its co-op fun time with friends. Coming in at a price of $29.99 USD this game will not break the bank, but you are basically paying 10 dollars a level at this point, and it feels like at that price that you are playing DLC for Dead by Daylight.
- Unique class play
- Predator Mode adds that something special
- Decent graphics
- Feels like Dead by Daylight DLC
- Repetitive gameplay
Note: Our copy was reviewed on the Discord Store with a code provided by PR.