Last Stand 2 Game

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From One Safehouse to the Next: Last Stand 2

In the face of a zombie outbreak, humanity certainly has it tough. We are food to zombies, and the moment they bite us, we are as good as dead or worse, adding more to their ranks. So when Jack has just managed to survive fighting off hordes of zombies for several nights straight, it really makes it so much worse that his escape helicopter gets busted down mid-flight and he has to make the rest of his escape on foot.

Last Stand 2 brings you back in the shoes of Jack, the hardy survivor of the first game. Much of the original gameplay remains: fight off zombies in the night, move around in the day. But unlike the previous game, there is a much more seriously important matter that Jack has to see to in this sequel: making it to the city in time.

The Second Story Unravels

Apparently, there is a massive military blockade at the main area of Union City (which we will assume is a major city in the Last Stand universe), there is going to be an evacuation for everyone who makes it into town -which means that survival is a long and dangerous trip from the outskirts and into the city. It will take days to make the trip, and Jack has to go through several areas that are rife with zombies. He will need to find weapons, food and water, and possibly even help from other survivors if he is to succeed.

The story unfolds as a series of narratives that you read from Jack's daily journals. Most of the content varies in tone and feel, some are just random musings, other provide grim insights into Jack's less than somber thoughts. It is both harrowing and realistic, and we have to applaud the way that the writing is delivered -funny, tongue in cheek, unapologetic and somewhat morbid. It all blends into a fluid prose that makes you feel for the characters a whole lot more.

Surviving the Nights

Unlike many zombie themed titles, the undead in Last Stand are quite inactive during the day -apparently, they are afraid of daylight, or simply prefer to hunt away from the heat of the sun. In any case, the battles always happen when the sun sets. You, and any survivors you have on your team, will be taking up arms and positioned right behind your fortification's barricades shooting down any zombies that come marching in. The zombie range in size and shape, some walk, some run, some crawl -they also vary in the strength of their attacks and defenses as well. Zombified civilians are pretty weak, but zombified military personnel are often armed with flak jackets or protective helmets that will force you to aim for well placed headshots or just shooting down the legs. You will also get assaulted by zombie dogs as well.

Aim well, keep shooting and eventually, the zombies will stop coming -each nightly wave has a limit. There are times when the volume is so high that the battle takes a whole lot longer, with the sun literally starting to rise as you kill off the last few members of the zombie wave. Should you fail to hold off the zombies and they are able to break down the barrier, they will start attacking you directly -potentially ending your game.

After each night, you will have the rest of the day for other tasks. The most basic is repairing your barricade. You could also choose to explore nearby areas looking for food, weapons or other survivors. The more survivors you get, the more tasks you can do in the day. Each task can be given a certain number of hours and all of which are automated. As the day ends, you are given the results of the tasks that were assigned and you move back into the night-time phase ready to face off against another zombie attack.

This cycling repetition continues until you have enough food and water resources to travel to the next area of the map. And you will keep on travelling, surviving each night in different locations depending on the route you chose until you eventually make it to Union City. The only clincher here is that you need to get to Union City in a set number of days as the evacuations will only take so long.

The game's ending varies depending on whether you made it to the city in time or not. But regardless of the outcome, the ending is still pretty much open ended -encouraging you to play the next games in the Last Stand series.

Old Games Still Look Good

Last Stand 2 is a pretty old title, after all, it came out quite some time ago. But despite that, it is still easy to appreciate and love the graphics and audio for this now-classic zombie game.

The animated sprites are not made of solid pieces. Each joint, arm and body part of a character is a separate textured piece -they are all linked together in Flash like puppet parts, and all of which move together seamlessly to show motion. The effect is easy to appreciate -the characters move fluidly and the animations of attack and movement seem very believable.

As we mentioned, the zombies vary quite a lot in terms of shape and form, this means that as you fight through the nighttime sequences, you can expect to never be bored of killing various zombie types. Even the civilian zombies have different wardrobes -making each one pretty much unique (there are times when you will see a few zombies wearing the same outfit, but it really does not affect the gameplay itself).

The combat sequences at night are the most visually heavy portions of the game -especially when you have several survivors on your side and there are plenty of zombies coming in. Depending on your netbook's available RAM, this could be an issue -playing in low quality visuals mode does help quite a bit though.

There is a dose of darkness in the game -which pretty much matches up with the game's overall theme. Fortunately, this dim-light approach also masks most of the gore during the evening shootouts, turning any violent scenes (even headshots) as muted whispers of the action that occurs.

The user interface of the game is easy to figure out and get around in. Most of the menus are styled like pages from Jack's journal, with most of the text content written in handwriting-style font. These menus are easy to read and figure out, plus, they provide you with a good overview of everything that goes on during the day. We also appreciate the little scribbles on the sides of the journal that add more personality to Jack.

The music is also built around the game's overall theme, so do not expect anything upbeat or action packed. Instead, the tunes carry a heavier feel to it, accenting the game's visuals of abandoned churches and overrun barns.

The Verdict

For an old game, Last Stand 2 still shows to everyone a thing about good game design: it may get old, but it always stays fun. The gameplay and controls are easy to get into and Last Stand's concept is actually designed to get you addicted while playing. While the overall length of the game is not that long (you can finish it easily in a single sitting), it also feels complete and leaves you anticipating the next game in the series. Last Stand 2 is a great game for zombie and action fans alike -it places you in the heat of combat but also rewards you for being thinking of a good way to strategize the use of your resources when outside of combat. We give this game a shotgun toting survivor's 90/100.