GDC 2019 Hands-On IMPRESSIONS: Last Oasis

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

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Last Oasis | Logo

Publisher: Donkey Crew
Platform(s): PC (Steam Early Access)
Release Date: Spring 2019
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On the surface, the gameplay is simple in Last Oasis: team up with others in this PC MMORPG world to build mobile bases, claim territory, scavenge resources, and attack opposing clans who are trying to do all the same things you are. As I sat down to both explore the environment and to try the combat itself out, I was struck with how well-crafted this game is. Last Oasis is set in a time where the Earth has stopped spinning on its axis as it goes around the sun, causing one half of the world to become overwhelmingly hot and the other half to become bitterly cold. However, there is a sliver of land, which moves as the Earth rotates around the sun, between those two halves that can support life. As a result, humanity has moved back to their nomadic roots aboard mobile contraptions and a walking city called Flotilla. You play as one of those nomadic individuals who has to fight, gather materials, and work with other players to claim territories as they become available while old territories become uninhabitable. All in all, it is an intriguing post-apocalyptic world, and one whose lore I was excited to discover as I wondered through the varied environments.

To be completely honest, I was terrible at the gameplay mechanics themselves. It has your standard close-up combat with weapons: close up weapons such as swords, maces, and more. If you want to fight ranged, you need to board your mobile ship (which is built out of resources and are called Walkers) and you can attack with weapons like catapults, ballistae, and more. All in all, there really wasn’t anything that I found too revolutionary about the combat system that makes it different from anything video game out there, as it is the fairly standard hit-until-they-die combat. You are also armed with a grappling hook by default to move around with and to climb onto Walkers. Towards the end of my demo, the developer showed me how you can literally swing from tree to tree (ala Spider-Man) with the grappling hook, which was both fascinating to watch and something that appeared to be incredibly difficult as a way to move around the world map.

Last Oasis | Melee Weapons

There are a variety of weapons available in Last Oasis: melee weapons for close combat (as seen above) and ranged weapons that you use from your mobile bases (below). (Images courtesy of Donkey Crew).

Last Oasis | Mounted Weapons

What makes Last Oasis unique from any other game in a really cool way are the mobile bases called ‘Walkers’. You build up your own mobile bases out of supplies with your clan members (or by yourself), and you can take them into combat (with each person manning a different position) or to just simply traverse the never-ending land to get from one location to another. These ships look incredibly cool, handle really well while piloting, and are fun to use in combat against other Walkers. I literally took this Walker to a forest on top of a mountain in the distance, and I was struck by both how well it handled quickly crossing the terrain and the fact that literally everything I could see in the distance was reachable in this huge, HUGE game. Another feature of Last Oasis that is really worth mentioning is that, unlike in a lot of other games, you can actually ‘save’ what you build from being destroyed when you go offline by griefing players (ever play Minecraft on a public server?). This allows you to really feel like you can invest in your Walker, as you know it will still be there when you log back into the game after spending your day with family, work, or whatnot, and need to have a few hours to relax. These Walker creations are, in my opinion, the real heart of Last Oasis and are what makes the game something that truly stands out among other survival clan MMORPGs.

Last Oasis | Walkers

This is a Walker, your mobile base that you and your clan will use to cross the Earth’s narrow amount of habitable land as it appears and disappears over the horizon. (Image courtesy of Donkey Games).

There is one other thing I need to mention: the community of Last Oasis. When I played my hands-on demo in the early afternoon on Pacific Time, he told me that the other players in the game were European community members for Last Oasis. He gave me invincibility so I could not die (none of the other players had this), the ability to reset the realm at will, and a Walker that I could take anywhere- even if it was away from the combat. In short, I was playing with a bunch of people well past midnight their time who were happily dealing with me messing around as much as possible to see what all Lost Oasis had to offer. A community who is willing to volunteer their time like that to help a game succeed says quite a bit about the player base in a very positive way and about how much they believe in this game. A community like that is one that, I think, is definitely worth playing picking up the game and trying to play it with.



What would your Walker look like if you could build one? What do you think of Last Oasis’ lore, and are you planning on picking it up in Steam Early Access?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

Likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. And video games. Cannot forget those video games. Anime too. Should not forget that either.