Review – Last Labyrinth

“Escape a merciless mansion alongside a girl words cannot reach, in a tale that can only be experienced in VR.” That is developer Amata K.K.’s opening description of Last Labyrinth. At its core, this brief description is exactly what this Hiromichi Takahashi directed game is.

Imagine if you will: opening your eyes to find yourself in a completely dark room, with only a lamp being visible in the center of your view. An outreached hand turns the lamp on to reveal your young, green haired, K-Pop, tween companion, Katia. If you are like me, you immediately look down and find yourself bound to a wheelchair and your hands shackled to your lap. Unable to speak and unable to understand her, your only form of communication is to point to where you want her to interact and to nod or shake your head. Katia will act as your arms as she does her best to move and utilize objects on your behalf.

What Last Labyrinth does well is, much like its opening, keeping its players in the dark. Those opening moments mimic the thoughts of the player: left in the dark until a figurative light turns on and reveals how to escape a certain room or even just more of the incredibly cryptic story. Unfortunately, it is this story, with lack of traditional narrative, that may be too cryptic for players to continue playing. I enjoy a good mystery, but there is a fine line between a structured mystery and not having a clue as to what or why you are playing. Like a season of Lost, you are left with more questions than answers the more you venture through the murderous mansion.

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I love lamp!

Escaping a deadly room results in a memory sequence, however these are just as cryptic as every other part of the game. Failing to escape a room results in an elaborate death sequence for both you and your assistant. However, there is a trophy for witnessing each death for each room so get ready to sacrifice your virtual K-Pop companion for science. Scattered throughout, you will also meet a masked protagonist, the Phantom. Little is known about the mysterious figure but you will need to defend against him periodically and defeat him in child-like battles of minds. It is unfortunate that it is these parts of Last Labyrinth that drag it down the most, forcing you to play a best-of-five and just plain slowing down the pace of the puzzle challenges.

The challenges in Last Labyrinth are its strong point. Some rooms seem overly simple, others will test you, while others will have you break out pen and paper. Certain puzzles may require 30-60 minutes to solve, but none should make you feel forced to scour through YouTube for assistance. You’ll find a room of an elaborate version of Cut-the-Rope, another of matching weights, or having to line up a string of lasers. All the rooms feel very well thought out and designed even if the story, at first, does not.

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Play or the bunny gets it!

Visually, Last Labyrinth is very appealing. Even in a platform like the PSVR, which is unable to provide the graphical power of the latest consoles and computers, it is enjoyable looking around the rooms and taking everything in. Your companion has an obvious anime style, from her looks and overall design, which fits her mannerisms and speech.

Even though you can’t understand Katia, she is voiced beautifully by up and coming Dutch model, singer, actress, Stefanie Joosten. Her most prominent role was that of Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V. Stefanie Joosten also joins with composer, Hiroki Kikuta, to create the theme song for Last Labyrinth.

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Deadliest game of Win, Lose, or Draw.

Virtual Reality has no shortage of “Escape the Room” experiences but you can immediately tell that Amata K.K. wanted to give you something more in Last Labyrinth. There is a genuine story there for those that have the patience to repeatedly throw themselves against a spiked wall to find it.

 

Graphics: 8.0

Room and character designs are very well done. Giving you a very real reason for playing seated, unmoving, with a DS4, it allows you to take each room in.

Gameplay: 7.0

The puzzles are well thought out and designed but at the end of the day, gameplay consists of looking at an object and then nodding your head.

Sound: 9.0

Composer, Hiroki Kikuta, and voice actress, Stefanie Joosten, do a fantastic job bringing Last Labyrinth to life.

Fun Factor: 7.5

If you can get past the unconventional story approach, then the intrigue alone is a big motivation to move through the deadly mansion.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Last Labyrinth is available now on PC and PS4.

Reviewed on PSVR.

A copy of Last Labyrinth was provided by the publisher.

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