One Last Breath Review | PC

Revive the planet but you have no idea what to do or even how to do it.

By R3GR3T, Posted 28 Mar 2024

Sometimes, you have to wonder when you did enough and when you need to rethink your strategy or do a little more. It’s an odd thing to think of but this is the first thing that comes to mind when looking into Moonatic Studios, Maniac Panda Games, and Catness Game Studios. Now, Moonatic Studios was founded in 2021, Maniac Panda Games was founded this year, and Catness Game Studios was founded in 2014… What sets these 3 Spain-based studios apart is that only Catness Game Studios has a fairly decent track record but they most specialize in porting games to other platforms.


One Last Breath, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Indie, Fantasy, NoobFeed
 

Now, what would happen if two new studios and a porting studio came together to make a new game? Well, the result is One Last Breath, an interesting from afar side-scroller platformer with a lot of heart and tons of potential releasing on 28 March. However, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes in this strange world and we’re here to share our findings. So, without further delay as to what might come, buckle up and get ready for what might be a bumpy ride.

The world of One Last Breath is built around a post-apocalyptic earth, everything is in ruins, and humanity has evolved into mutants. You take on the role of Gaia, Earth’s last hope born from Mother Nature’s last breath, and her attempt at reclaiming the land that was lost. However, she has a long way to go and it’s a dangerous journey and things are only going to get worse in this crazy adventure. Unfortunately, we run into a massive issue right from the start.

Before you can even jump into the action as Gaia, you might run into a major issue with One Last Breath, the menu is only in Spanish. We get it, localization isn’t exactly easy but the tiniest bit of QA and testing would be great. Now, the typical fix for this would be to just change the language settings but you’re pretty much stuck on Spanish regardless of which language you change it to. Unless you want a slight font change for Chinese. This wouldn’t usually be an issue if you can understand the language, but others might not be as forgiving. This will probably be patched out soon but it doesn’t help set a good impression.


One Last Breath, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Indie, Fantasy, NoobFeed
 

Language issues aside, once you finally jump into One Last Breath, you’ll basically go straight to what matters. Sadly, there’s no introductory cutscene or story to follow. You as Gaia, essentially crawl out of a hole in the mountain with massive roots creeping around the opening. Now, you’d think this is where the tutorial starts, maybe even a tooltip or two just to help you along… Nope. Like a newborn, you go into this adventure with zero instructions and you’ll need to figure out what goes where and how the controls work. If it was a simple release, this wouldn’t be an issue but there’s a lot more to One Last Breath that would’ve been nice to know.

With some fumbling to figure out the controls, everything seems pretty simple at first; running and jumping. However, this expands a bit more as you progress but the first of Gaia’s powers in One Last Breath involves taking control of roots. Now, you can’t exactly take control of the roots wherever you want, these will typically form part of a puzzle and to control them, you’ll need to do it at a Core. These strange glowing plants will usually be in somewhat obvious spots where you need to solve a puzzle to progress, there is a tiny problem with this though. Once again, the lack of tutorial makes this incredibly weird at first and possibly all the way to the end, regardless of what direction the roots move or grow from, it’s always up or down on the controller.

Moving on to the next piece of confusion, you’ll eventually discover Gaia’s next power, the Lasso. As can be expected, Gaia will channel her inner Amazon warrior and swing across gaps with a vine lasso. Unfortunately, this adds to the confusion because the same button you use for the lasso is also your ‘use’ or action button and there’s zero explanation as to when or where you get to use it and you’ll likely end up dying a few times because of it. For those who’d like to know, you’ll have to be on the lookout for what looks like an upside-down orange flower, it’s as weird as it sounds but you’ll know it when you see it.


One Last Breath, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Indie, Fantasy, NoobFeed
 

One Last Breath has several more of these strange plants that you’ll need to use to solve the different puzzles that seem perfectly natural and fitting to the crumbling remains of society. However, you’ll occasionally have to think outside the box and even time things perfectly when it comes to stealth. Naturally, there would be stealth in a game like One Last Breath where humanity’s corruption took a very literal turn in the sense that they became vicious and mindless mutants or “Horrors” as the achievement put it. There’s no way to fight back at them, and you sure as hell can’t outrun them. Your only option is to avoid them or try to outrun them when it comes to the smaller Horrors, or take a stealthy approach to the Hanging Horrors. Granted, you’ll also have to mix the two in some cases where speed and stealth are key.

Now, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything else that might be interesting in One Last Breath. Here’s the sad truth, it’s simple and we love that but it’s too simple. Simplicity’s strength goes far but a lack of story isn’t exactly great either, there’s not enough to keep you invested aside from the ruinous leftovers and the occasional ‘run for your life’ moment. Hell, even a decent cutscene once in a blue moon would be nice and at least help give a little more context for the story. Sadly, you might not be that lucky. To make matters worse, aside from what most would consider to be very dull gameplay in general, it’s a very short playthrough at roughly 3 hours. Though this is only if you’re struggling to figure out the controls and what to do, it’ll likely be a much shorter run if you know what you need to do.

On the other hand, One Last Breath still follows in the footsteps of other platformers when it comes to secrets. Scattered throughout your adventure to restore the Earth, you’ll find what looks like power conduits or pylons. There’s no easy way to explain what they are but, on the secrets, front, you can use Gaia to pull a lightbulb free from it, turning it off and adding to what might be a bigger achievement but you’ll need to look much more closely if you want to find them. However, if secrets aren’t your thing, there are other interactions you can try to find with some of the animals you’ll come across.


One Last Breath, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Indie, Fantasy, NoobFeed
 

On the visual side of things, One Last Breath has some great and some not-so-great points. The concept as a whole was brilliantly executed when it comes to the post-apocalyptic world and the terrifying remains of what’s left of humanity. It’s clear a lot of work went into the design aspect for both of these but the texturing also seems lacking in some cases, almost as if more focus was put on the Horrors and Gaia instead of the world you’ll be exploring. However, the only time you do get to see a cutscene is at the end and this does deserve some credit for how beautiful it is, it looks like it was painted while also animating it slightly to show what the world was and what it’s becoming after the restoration.

One Last Breath does have one major redeeming quality aside from the end cutscene and the concept: the background music. Simplicity played a huge part here because the background music and all the somber goodness it brings to the table is almost touching during the quieter areas while taking a slightly faster-paced beat when during the more intense parts while maintaining that same somber atmosphere.

However, for the audiophiles out there who thrive on nightmare fuel, the combination of the chase background music and the nightmarish sounds from the Horrors chasing you will spark some joy and terrify you slightly with Gaia’s screams while they end her. This is possibly a dark concept when you think about it but that’s what One Last Breath is about, you’ll get to see the world as it is and have some great sounds to go with it.



 

Overall, One Last Breath looks great from a distance but that notion changes very quickly when you start playing it. There’s endless potential and it needs a ton more polish before it can really take off but even then, there needs to be more intrigue to hold anybody’s attention. The minimalist story is what might make this game forgettable and it’s a sad fate for any release, however, not all hope is lost yet and we might still see more get added to what could be a great game to possibly rival a similar release known as After Us.
 

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): Moonatic Studios
Developer(s): Moonatic Studios, Maniac Panda Games, Catness Game Studios
Genres: Platformer
Themes: Side-Scroller, Fantasy, Indie
Release Date: 2024-03-28

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