Review: Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier (PS4 PlayLink)

Review: Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayLink Mobile or Tablet Optional
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier
Format: PSN (19.9 GB)
Release Date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: Imaginarium Studios Limited, FOXNEXT Games, Creative England
Developer: The Imaginati Studios
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €19.99 (EU), £15.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

It didn’t take long for another PlayLink title to appear. Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier is a side story to the popular films that’s set after the second, which is handy as I have yet to watch the third. War for the Planet of the Apes is ready and waiting after I’ve played this.

Gameplay:
Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier is not your typical game and is more akin to the old Choose Your Own Adventure novels, where you have to make a decision and turn to the corresponding page in the book. Like many, I would always keep a finger on the previous part if the story took a turn for the worse. In this interactive experience, I cannot do that, I’m stuck with the choices I make.

Using an iOS or Android device you control the game via the PlayLink app that allows you to make choices during the game. Many choices. It would seem the narrative isn’t as diverse as Hidden Agenda or Until Dawn but there are still some tough decisions to make.

The pace is much slower than I would like and the number of questions was too much, for my wife at least. I didn’t mind it but could see the pacing, at least in the first few chapters, was achingly slow at times.

The story felt like it had too many guided decisions, if I didn’t answer in one particular way then it would ask the same question in another way moments later. If I still chose the ‘wrong’ path it would often force the choice on me anyway.

Yes, there are a few things that change the story but with only a few possible endings, I didn’t feel all that in control. Other games like this in recent years have felt like they had many branching paths whereas Planet of the Apes feels more like an avenue with a few different lanes.

Because my wife gave up and went off to do other things I was able to stop using the companion app with its basic controls and go back to the traditional DualShock 4 configuration. Both are ridiculously easy to control but having been a gamer for thirty-five years, I always prefer traditional controllers over gimmicky touchscreens.

Visuals:
Aside from some textures popping in every time the scene changes and one or two other minor issues, the visuals are good. I especially like the detail on the primates. The talented Andy Serkis apparently helped out with the motion capture and in several instances, it shows.

Audio:
Some of the sounds seem muted, mainly the congregated apes and their muffled or distinct lack of cheering at the pinnacle of a speech. It’s very peculiar. Most of the ape communication is through sign language so there’s plenty of subtitle reading.

Some of the action scenes seem to be missing some punch in this department and one in particular sounds like an audio track is a half-second off which was quite distracting.

Online/Multiplayer:
There is no online component but there is local play for up to four people with PlayLink using iOS or Android devices. Everyone has to agree with the decisions made and because there are plenty to make, it could take a long time to get through with a disagreeable group.

I preferred there being just one player and everyone giving their opinion on what to do as it sped up the slow plodding moments and everyone seemed happy with it.

Conclusion:
It doesn’t feel like the decisions made in Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier shape the story or significantly alter it. Instead they just seem to guide it a bit. Don’t get me wrong, there are some big choices and a few alternate endings, but the journey taken will feel quite linear the second time around.

Fans of the outstanding recent Planet of the Apes trilogy will probably enjoy this game, just as long as they don’t expect too much variety in the narrative choices. There were just too many inconsequential options and not enough of significance.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4 and an Xperia XZ Android device.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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