HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewLast Night of Winter Review

Last Night of Winter Review

-

Is it possible to make a cosy Soulslike game? Well, it appears that the developers over at DigitalZeon and their publisher friends at Red Art Games are determined to find out with Last Night of Winter.

You see, this takes the familiar Soulslike template and then runs it through a fluffy filter to make it somehow appear less threatening. Well, as unthreatening as a game where you play as a reanimated Skeleton can be, anyway!

Last Night of Winter review 1
A little skelly on a quest

The story found in Last Night of Winter is the usual kind of nonsense, if I’m brutally honest. Basically, we died in the last stages of a massive battle, and as the game puts it, our will was stronger than our body, so the whole dying thing didn’t stick. We awaken in the dungeons, and while we don’t remember much, we know that a war needs stopping, done so by heading to the highest tower in a stronghold, confronting The Heir. Of course, it isn’t going to be as simple as wandering up to his front door and asking if he’d mind stopping this whole war thing… 

Last Night of Winter is presented very much on the fluffy side, and the camera presents the game from an almost isometric perspective, viewing the action from above and at a slight angle. The design of our character is pretty cute, being a skeleton wearing a blue scarf (don’t want to catch a chill, after all!), whilst the enemies are similarly quite cute, even while trying to kill us! There are owls to find who will help us with where we are meant to go, and while the environments aren’t massively detailed, there are certainly a lot of them, all featuring the traditional shortcuts as well as bosses to defeat in order to move on. 

The sound and overall audio is pretty minimal, with no voice overs – the story and hints of the game are provided by text windows. However, the usual fighting sounds are all there, as you’d expect. All in all, the presentation of Last Night of Winter as a whole is pretty good, with no complaints to be found. 

As is traditional in this genre, there are two facets of gameplay to found here – combat and exploration. Obviously, the two bleed into each other quite heavily, as exploring quite often leads to combat and vice versa, but I’ll treat them as separate entities for the purposes of this review. 

Last Night of Winter review 2
Get exploring!

We’ll begin with the combat side of things, as while this is pretty simple, it does have depths to be explored, starting with your choice of weapon. Initially we are armed with a seemingly weedy sword, with new weapons stumbled upon as we go. It must be said though that I kept coming back to the sword, mainly as I had the timing for it down!

That’s because the combat in Last Night of Winter is, as in so many others, determined by your stamina bar, which in the beginning gets emptied by four sword swipes, so you need to be careful not to deplete yourself completely, mostly as dodging can’t happen with no stamina. And as is also usual for these games, the weak enemies can still ruin your entire day; a limited healing bottle hardly helping in the early stages. It is all too easy to get cocky and end up dead and back at the last fountain (read: bonfire) you visited. This is particularly an issue with some of the areas that turn into a gauntlet, with multiple enemies spawning one after the other. 

Luckily, regular attacks help build up a “concentration” bar that allows us to do a super attack, which can turn the tide in our favour. The other thing to be aware of is that it is all too possible to look like you are hitting an enemy while actually missing them entirely, which is a bit of an issue. In fact, I found an “auto-aim” function in the depths of the menu, and turning this on made a huge difference to my survival. Top tip there!

Exploration is a game of two halves, almost literally. The main issue I have is that it is all too easy to be left wandering around like a literal lost soul, trying to stumble upon the area that you are meant to be in. Once you find it, you usually then have to go somewhere else to find an item, and the whole thing feels really unfocussed and a bit random. Another annoyance is the speed with which our little guy moves, so you usually end up jumping all over the level in an attempt to inject a bit of pace into the game. 

Last Night of Winter review 3
Can occasionally lack focus

And speaking of jumping, some of the platforming sections are made much harder by the kind of dodge jump move present – trying to dodge multiple times in specific directions is a lot harder than you’d think. Gosh, it’s all gone a big negative all of a sudden! The other flip side is that there are a lot of things and NPCs to find, including a Blacksmith who will polish your soul, rather than increase the strength of your armaments! The maps that we need to explore are a good size, but it all gets a bit frustrating sadly. 

It means that Last Night of Winter is enjoyable as long as you have something to fight, otherwise what is left is a frustrating exploration game that lacks a bit of focus. There is fun to be had here, but the open world style doesn’t really work.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Combat is enjoyable and challenging
  • Graphics are cute, for a Soulslike
Cons:
  • Exploration is an exercise in frustration
  • Jumping is annoyingly imprecise
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Red Art Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 28 June 2024 | £8.39
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
7,010SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2822 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1291 POSTS18 COMMENTS
1059 POSTS46 COMMENTS
975 POSTS0 COMMENTS
417 POSTS2 COMMENTS
116 POSTS0 COMMENTS
82 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Combat is enjoyable and challenging</li> <li>Graphics are cute, for a Soulslike</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Exploration is an exercise in frustration</li> <li>Jumping is annoyingly imprecise</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Red Art Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 28 June 2024 | £8.39</li> </ul>Last Night of Winter Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x