REVIEW: ‘The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human’ (Switch)

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The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human

Despite our best efforts, humans are a wasteful species. Humans consume unfathomable amounts of resources, from food to fuel to hygienic chemicals, and it leaves a trail of toxicity that spans the entire globe and at this rate, the planet will not last forever. In The Aquatic Adventure Of The Last Human, humanity has paid the ultimate price for its greed and environmental abuse.

The Aquatic Adventure Of The Last Human is a distant future adventure in a post-apocalypse devoid of human life. Instead of a premise filled with doom and hopelessness, it is a sift, engaging, and beautiful adventure game that anyone will want to sink themselves into (pun intended). The game begins with a ship blasting off from Earth into a wormhole in deep-space, carrying a lone explorer, hoping to discover another home for humanity. The years go by which soon become decades and then centuries. In what appears to be a moment for the traveler, an untold amount of time has passed on Earth. The laws and fabric of the universe bend to no one, no matter how strong-willed one man may be. The ship re-enters Earth atmosphere but soon discovers there is no longer a surface and instead, thick layers of ice blanket the planet.

Below the surface players can discover the traces of greed, wealth, corporate exploitation, and eco-terrorism that are left in the various digital recording strewn about the sea. Various accounts of innocent people attempting to live prior to the fallout also present. It is clear that for the explorer, his mission to find a new habitable home has failed. But, is there any hope left?

Shortly after arriving, it becomes apparent that the sea, affected by global warming and humanity’s greed, have greatly affected the natural ecosystems of the ocean, drastically altering their genetic structure, becoming extremely dangerous. In The Aquatic Adventure Of The Last Human, players will be tasked with hunting these beasts down in the hope to find some kind of closure for humanity’s fate. Where players go and how they will get there is entirely up to them, though, as is the case with Metroidvania games, players will need to keep a good eye to find the weapons and tools necessary to access previously inaccessible areas and to survive this inhospitable environment.

The Aquatic Adventure Of The Last Human is a game of fascination, wonder,  sadness, and hope as the overall experience evokes polarizing emotions. Players will be immediately arrested by the games visual beauty and indescribably profound soundtrack.  In the background, players will see the remnants of your kind next to recognizable consumer brands and towering homes falling into decay.

The small traces of communication, stored in hard drives throughout the world evoke a sense of chaos but acceptance for what was to come. Around the players, there is a tragic beauty to the environment. Nature and life have taken back the planet but having done so they have absorbed the misdeed of humans into their very DNA. Mutated with grotesque features with some being able to live for far longer than other creatures, but at the cost of their DNA being altered at the hands of human waste. It’s a tragic tale but endearing, and these emotions go even further when fighting one of the games many bosses.

Players will fight gargantuan sea creatures with deadly abilities. With their DNA significantly altered, these beasts range from a giant octopus to parasites, to mutated algae, and even a fish that is essentially a zombie. These bosses are tough to eliminate. Whether it is poisonous algae blooms, tentacles, or their own offspring, these creatures will do everything they can do to defend themselves.  Along the course of the adventure players will access new abilities for their main weapon, the harpoon gun, and also, gain access to new firepower, such as torpedoes.

These and many other upgrades will be awarded to the players during the course of their playthrough, but getting the hidden upgrades, such as more health and weapon boosts, will greatly benefit players as they encounter more difficult bosses. Fighting these beasts is incredibly rewarding, as they will put up a hell of a challenge, but also, bittersweet. For me, I couldn’t help but feel bad for killing some of these creatures.

If there is any drawback to The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human, it is that the game is over far too quickly, with the game lasting a few hours. There is are several modes to play through, such as a Hardcore Mode, Boss Rush, and a New Game Plus mode, but after one playthrough, there isn’t much to do following the initial adventure. There are no alternate endings or lore to read other than the boss logs for defeating foes.

Finally, the ending may provide mixed feelings for the players. I was satisfied, and it did spark a conversation within myself in regards to our environment, our technology, where we are going, and how we can balance it all to avoid such an extinction-level event. Though, for others, they may find the ending underwhelming. However, it is a satisfying conclusion, and I’d encourage players to take something profound with them upon exiting the game. There is no political messaging or beat-down upon the player, only an experience that will encourage players to think about the world around them and feel it struggles.

The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human is a thought-provoking and emotional action adventure, filled with an important message of humanity and the natural rhythms that bind us together, as well as a responsibility that humans have to technology and the natural world. The environments are incredible, the combat is challenging, and the soundtrack is absolutely mesmerizing, keeping you feeling and thinking long after the credits roll. After playing this game, take a moment to enjoy the sunset, take a look at the stars, and think for a moment to think about the Earth and the planet you wish to see tomorrow.

The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL; DR

The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human is a thought-provoking and emotional action adventure, filled with an important message of humanity and the natural rhythms that bind us together, as well as a responsibility that humans have to technology and the natural world.