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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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GENRE: Other
August 28, 2008
 Written by Matt Swider  on September 25, 2008

Reviews: Google Maps Street View + a Flash Game = The Last Guy

First came MapQuest. Then, Google Maps dominated as the online directions king. Next, Satellite View was added by Google and, most recently, the almost voyeuristic Street View enhanced directions to a scary new height. But, where do we go from here? How about adding a game to the map making mix? The Last Guy, the latest PlayStation Network game that you can download on your PS3, picks up where Google left off by having your character travel through 15 Street View-like city map overlays and save thousands of hunkered-down survivors hiding from zombies.

The Last Guy doesn't use Google Maps specifically; however, your last-hope-for-mankind character does travel on top of real-life aerial maps, including San Francisco, Sydney, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. The gameplay for each location consists of standing near buildings to gather an increasing number of survivors and leading them back in a line to a designated escape zone. Your kind-hearted instincts will urge you to rescue as many as possible, but the more survivors you touch, the longer the line behind you becomes. Therefore, it becomes harder for you to avoid the zombies and giant spiders crawling through the city streets. As you progress through the 15 levels, the total amount of people you must rescue increases, which ramps up the difficultly considerably since there's always a time limit.

The sci-fi story that's attached to this game doesn't explain much and what's here isn't at all interesting. It's okay to skip to the gameplay without hesitation. The developer might've taken that advice since some of the Japanese elements that Sony of Japan created are still intact and aren't translated. What's appealing about The Last Guy is that certain cities are going to be immediately recognizable, like Washington D.C.

The landmarks here really stand out as you travel from the escape zone in front of the Lincoln Memorial, run through the trees to gather survivors on both sides of the Reflecting Pool and then hit the survivor jackpot around the World War II Memorial. The other problem is getting back to the escape zone on the other side of the National Mall without a zombie hitting your long trail of survivors. It makes for some challenging, but fun gameplay.

Bottom Line
As the name The Last Guy suggests, saving mankind is a one person job, so there's no multiplayer. That means that once you've completed the game, the only reason to run around on these real-life aerial playgrounds is to increase your score and, in turn, your position on the game's online world ranking list. For gamers who already own The Last Guy and are trying to score more points, try treating it like Pac-Man and using power-ups more efficiently. For everyone else, debating on whether or not to download this title, I feel that Google Labs should begin experimenting with this idea as a way to draw that last MapQuest user to their side of the Street View. But, until that happens, The Last Guy features just enough quirky and clever gameplay to be worth the $10.

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