The Last Driver Review
Hey, it’s another zombie game! If you weren’t sick of them by now, then Chillingo is bringing you one more called The Last Driver, an endless runner where your goal is to kill zombies and try and survive an apocalypse that includes rampaging dinosaurs and flying saucers.
Once you get to the ugly menu system you’re ready to roll. The game’s touch controls consist of left and right arrows to turn and two buttons, one to jump and one to shoot. Steering with the touch controls is a total nightmare. Luckily they added a Tilt option which makes turning much more responsive. The shotgun is your default starting weapon and it’s also worthless. In fact, your car is pretty much an AMC Pacer until you can get enough coin to upgrade it, and I’ll touch on upgrades in a second.
Each time you drive you have three missions to accomplish. When you do, your ranking goes up from Rookie to Master (that’s as far as I got). The goals are all the same: See how far you can drive, how much money you can collect and how many zombies you can kill. The flipside missions include driving a certain distance with a full health bar (practically impossible), avoid zombie kills and see how long a zombie will stay on your car. The missions aren’t too bad because the more you play and upgrade your vehicle the further you’ll go but I would have liked more variety.
Everything in The Last Driver depletes your health. Hit a car, a lamppost, even a huge zombie and your life bar goes down. Cars love to fly into intersections and you’ve got to quickly swerve out of the way or jump over them. Some zombies will throw things at you and unless you have the higher powered rocket launcher as your weapon, shooting them with the shotgun does nothing. There is so much crap on the road and so far I’ve only counted one health box and all it does is give you 10% more health, which is worthless in a game where you’re constantly smashing into things. If a zombie jumps on your car your steering goes to hell until you can shake him off by smashing him into something. So have fun with that headache.
Dinosaurs, flying saucers, tornadoes, fuel cans, meteor showers, giant boulders, collapsing buildings, everything is here to try and impede your progress. Which is cool but once you get far enough you’ve seen almost everything the game throws at you. Want to go further in the game you need enough money to buy a more powerful vehicle.
The Last Driver may be free, but unless you have the patience to spend hours on mining coins, you’re going to have to buy them if you want to get any serious upgrades. And the upgrades aren’t cheap. 8,000 coins alone just for another plate of armor. Want the best gun? Gonna cost you 50,000. The Zombie Killer car? Another 50,000. If you’re impatient (like I am) in-app purchases give you the option of 10,000 coins for $0.99 up to 500,000 coins for $10.99. I spent $2.99 and got 40,000 coins which didn’t even upgrade my basic car all the way. You can also purchase Head Starts (one-time use only) for 1,500 coins and for 2,000 coins a pop, unlock missions to increase your rank. The game is designed with in-app purchasing in mind. If you don’t, it’s going to take you an awfully long time before you can really upgrade your vehicle.
Graphics aren’t bad. They reminded me of games from the 90′s like Twisted Metal. Menu system is pretty atrocious looking. The rock song that plays sounds like Slayer if Slayer totally sucked and played their instruments with their feet. It’s a grating, repetitive rock track and there’s no option to turn it off, so you’ll end up muting the entire game like I did.
The Last Driver will hold your attention for a good 30 minutes but after that there isn’t much replay value unless you spend the money to purchase enough coins to upgrade. The controls need work, the game’s difficulty curve is way off and there should be a couple more health boxes littered throughout just to help you along. Even after upgrading, I was bored. Buildings might crumble and cars might get smashed but the only thing that’s really being destroyed in this game is fun.