One Last Breath


Can you save the Earth from the human disease in this eco-adventure?


The Earth is dying and those awful, now apparently extinct humans are to blame. All hope rests on Gaia, a powerful being born from Mother Nature’s last breath. Use her abilities to alter the environment, escape from dangerous mutant creatures, solve a few puzzles and survive in this dying world...

One Last Breath may carry a solemn environmental message but it wouldn't exist without the likes of Another World, Flashback, Limbo, Inside, Black: The Fall, Planet of Lana and all. In fact, the One Last Breath intro screen looks so similar to the start of Limbo that I wondered if I'd loaded up the wrong game... But worry not, it's not another trudge through a nightmarish monochrome landscape (at least not at the start) and you spawn into a beautiful, if stark, rocky landscape in bright sunshine! Our protagonist Gaia appears to be female and wears a black jumpsuit with spiky shoulders that say "no, I don't want a cuddle"...

This pleasant beginning doesn't last and a wood/rope bridge collapses dropping you to the forest floor. When you come around, to the left there is a murky pool, to the right a vast expanse of dark, dingy forest. Finding a pod with some sort of alien in it and a KEEP OUT sign you naturally carry on regardless. You soon find that the forest is full of life, you spot two playful foxes and various monsters roaming around. It's an interesting start to the game.

Yep, I died a few times here.

You soon find that you can swing off/grapple certain glowy points with a liana (it's a vine) and control large clumps of vine by interacting with what I can only describe as a glowing vine head.

Deer and foxes are your friends, your only friends.

Controls are fairly logical: Jump is 'A', you crouch with 'B' and interact with 'X'. You're probably going to need to turn the brightness up in the settings menu because in some areas you can't see the result of flicking a switch or using a vine head, it's dingier than a dingy thing at dusk. You ain't gonna need your sunglasses when playing this game.

There's not a great deal to explore and the only reasons to stray from the main path 'forward' are the game's hidden 'Machines.' These can be deactivated, and if you find them all you can get an alternative ending to the game–which bizarrely, is not a happy or rewarding one.

The camera regularly zooms in and out  and briefly changes angle–almost like "see, we could do 2.5D if we wanted to!" but the game never uses a third plane–gameplay never goes in or out of the screen.

Apart from a few easily avoided mutants the other main hazards are toxic areas, which have to be navigated by shuttling protective "life pods" from one console to another.

The environment itself is the main hazard and most players will die so often that 'One Last Death' would have been a more appropriate title, but restart points are fairly generous so dying is never too much of an issue.

One Last Breath isn't a bad game by any means but falls well short of the games that came before and presumably inspired it.

Thanks to Maniac Panda, Catness Game Studios and Plan of Attack for the review code.