From AzDimension comes The Last DeadEnd, an action/adventure/horror game that is played from both the 3rd and 1st person perspectives. Set in the city of Baku in Azerbaijan, players take on the role of Farhad Novruzov. A scientist who has returned to his homeland after many years away and finds himself caught in a world-ending battle between good and evil.
There’s a lot to love about The Last DeadEnd. Its location and setting are genuinely different with the developer claiming that the ancient city is accurately portrayed. The meshing of styles works well. Exploration in Baku is done from the 3rd person perspective. Whereas action segments take place from the 1st person perspective and allows the wielding of weapons.
Even the story, while convoluted and rushed, is initially interesting and deals with some of Azerbaijan’s own local legends.
There’s a lot to love but as much as I wanted to love the game, it’s such a mess to play, I just can’t. Where to start? Let’s talk about the two ‘worlds’.
The Last DeadEnd takes place in the ‘light’ world and the ‘dark’ world. The former is the third-person sections and has you wandering the streets of Baku to reach a specific point. While small cobblestone streets, tight alleys and maze of corridors might be well designed, it is not much fun. Especially as there’s nothing to interact with or to do. It’s simply about getting from A to B, with an un-skippable cutscene as your reward.
Talking of which… this game is packed with cutscenes which you might think would help flesh out the story, but they rarely do. So many seem so pointless and are bogged down by horrendous mis-translated subtitles and voiceovers that are cringe-inducingly bad. At first, a laugh or two might be raised by this but the further the game goes on, the worse it gets. It quickly stops begin funny and just becomes painful to watch and listen too.
The action hots up when you enter the ‘dark’ world, but this is also where the game really falls apart. Overly dark, your flashlight helps guide your way through dungeons, ruins and streets. Smart glasses are used to identify pick-ups and translate writings on walls but for the most part, they really don’t add anything to gameplay.
Combat is probably the worst aspect of The Last DeadEnd though. Clunky and with horrendous hit-detection, there are only 3 types of enemies outside the boss battles. We have the undead that jerk about like break-dancers and die from anywhere between 1 hit or 5 hits. Why? Who knows. Sometimes your axe or sword can slay several in one swing, sometimes they’ll just keep coming at you after several.
Snakes are nothing more than a minor hinderance but the one that everyone is going to hate comes in the form of birds. Appearing out of nowhere to hit you, taking them out requires such precision timing that the best strategy is to run away until you hit a save point. Reload the game and all the birds will be gone and your ammo will be refilled.
Yes, the game does have guns, but gunplay is as poor as everything else. There’s no cursor and the sensitivity of the controller makes aiming difficult. Should you manage to pull off a headshot, it was likely by accident.
Ammo is scarce anyway so other than bosses, the guns will rarely see use.
The Last DeadEnd implies boss fights will require some sort of strategy with a clue to how to defeat them nearby. For example, a werewolf can be attacked as it runs from the light of the moon. How this works is a mystery and instead, players will find themselves taking advantage of glitches to get past the surprisingly tough fights. In the case of the afore-mentioned werewolf, it got stuck in a wall allowing me to hack it to death. Likewise, later a troll-like creature just stopped moving allowing me to stand there and beat it to death.
It’s the kind of glitches that you’re grateful for as they make the game that little less frustrating even if their existence is a flaw.
By time the final battle arrives, what positive feelings the game had created at the start are completely gone. It has transformed into an experience that most will just want to end and any thoughts of replaying it to get the other ending will have evaporated.
As for survival mode? Considering the state of combat, the idea of fighting waves of enemies across different maps is wholly unappealing.
For all its historical Azerbaijan detail, The Last DeadEnd is too much of a flawed experience to recommend. It’s lacking an incredible amount of polish, the story is a mess and it fails to get any of its gameplay elements right. Perhaps instead of trying to do so many things and doing them all badly, they should have focused on doing one well.
The Last DeadEnd
The Final Score - 3/10