Someone described The Last Oricru to me as a “soulslike meets Mass Effect” and I just had to see it for myself. While I can certainly see what that person meant when they said it, I’m still a little baffled by The Last Oricru. It’s a game that seems to know exactly what it wants to be, but it just doesn’t execute those ideas well.
The Last Oricru is an action role-playing game played from a third person perspective. You play as a fish out of water with no memories—a starship captain named Silver, stuck on a medieval-styled world that would fit into any fantasy role-playing game. While it definitely takes some cues from soulslike games, it also uses narrative heavy storytelling to weave its world, along with a system that changes the story based on what choices you make. So The Last Oricru is a narrative heavy game with soulslike gameplay and impactful choices that you can play co-op (even couch co-op!). What’s the catch, right? It’s janky as hell.
There are levels of jank: games can be charmingly janky, or even intentionally made to be janky (think Goat Simulator) and games can be frustratingly janky. Unfortunately, The Last Oricru is the latter. Everything from its animations, movement, and combat are all exceedingly not great. It has soulslike combat, but no parry or riposte mechanics, and a clumsy double tap to dodge roll. Since it’s a soulslike, expect death, spread out respawn points, and dropped “souls” upon death. But combat feels floaty, weapons don’t feel like they properly connect. Enemies also seem to attack faster than the dodge interval, making evading attacks exceedingly frustrating.
The level design in The Last Oricru isn’t bad. Interestingly, The Last Oricru’s areas are each almost entirely stand alone. The levels themselves are designed with some surprisingly effective level design, they do tend to feel labyrinthine. There are no warpoint markers nor is there a map to reference—both of these things are customarily absent in any soulslike game. However, repeating combat in a From Software soulslike game isn’t a chore because of how satisfying it can be, exploring The Last Oricru can be downright tedious.
One of The Last Oricru’s biggest draws is its co-op. Playing cooperatively with another player allows different weapon abilities, unlocking tactics you can’t use in a single player run. Its co-op features are admirable, because not only can you play The Last Oricru online, but you can actually split screen couch co-op this game with a friend. It’s been a while since I played a role-playing game with a friend in split screen.
While most soulslike games tell their story in extremely cryptic ways, The Last Oricru lays all of its narrative out through voiced NPCs. Surprisingly, some of this voice acting is really well done—but it’s mostly uneven, with the protagonist’s being one of the worst I’ve ever heard for a main character. It’s just a baffling choice. For someone who is essentially a techo-viking King Arthur he sounds like a snake person whining that the barista got his order wrong.
The Last Oricru is probably one of the most unforgiving games I’ve ever played in terms of NPC interaction. It’s extremely easy to talk to the wrong NPC, accidentally triggering an event that will lock you out of entire areas, or make NPCs angry at you and unwilling to talk to you. And you can’t even kill them and steal their stuff, so you can’t even murder hobo your way to content you might have missed, forcing you to replay a game that is, frankly, not that good.
The Last Oricru is not a good game, and that’s probably because it’s over ambitious. It feels like the developer had a long wish list of items to hit for their game, and, instead of focusing on making a fun game, focused on getting a game out that ends up doing too many things poorly, and almost nothing well. The Last Oricru is a game to avoid.
A Steam key was provided to us for the purposes of this review.