“…good now and has great potential to get even better…”
The Last Leviathan is a physics-based ship building game created by Super Punk Games; currently available on Steam Early Access. The game is very reminiscent of popular 2015 indie game Besiege, developed by Spiderling Studios, tasking you with creating a ship in order to succeed at specific tasks. Throw into the mix a little bit of Pirates of the Caribbean and Robot Wars, alongside some clever physics and your own wit and creativity, and The Last Leviathan is what comes out the other end.
If you enjoyed the aforementioned Besiege, you will certainly be on board with The Last Leviathan. The creative process behind building your ships is almost identical, but the alternative setting of the high seas brings new challenges to the table. The physics of the sea and the blustery winds that come with them make for challenging puzzles to get your head around when constructing your vessels. Good balance, adequate propulsion and steady control are all key to success alongside the simple things like big guns and heavy defences. Throw any one factor off and you could be flying or sinking rather than enjoying plain sailing when you come to battle your enemies.
The actual construction process is very simple. Find the parts you want in the various menus, drag them out and place them in the appropriate positions on your ship. Numerous different parts and materials are available for you to forge the perfect design, including different types of wooden blocks, sails, rudders, cannons and much more. You can test your designs as you go along to make sure they work before you set out on any real challenges. You can also make your ships as basic or complex as you like. If you want to put in the time and effort to create some sort of galleon, go right ahead. If a raft with a cannon on works for you, that’s great too, provided you have the understanding and tact to pull it off. Different tasks may require very different designs in order to succeed, but the game has plenty enough content, even at this early stage, for you to produce exactly what you are looking for.
When it comes to taking on your first real scenario, there is a lot to figure out. Unless you happen to be a sea captain already, in which case kudos to you, the dynamics of sailing are more than likely an unfamiliar experience. Knowing how and when to adjust the sails, working the rudders alongside them, ensuring weapons do not tip off your balance and focussing on your objective at the same time make for a convoluted set of experiences to start off with. The more you get the hang of your own vessels however, the easier the missions become to complete. Usually, these involve destroying opposing ships, but there are a number of different setups which challenge you to do this in a variety of different ways.
First off, if you want to peacefully build and test ship designs, creative mode is on hand to let you do this. This takes away the threat of the other game modes and allows you to sit back and enjoy your own otherworldly creations. It is perhaps the best way to learn how the construction side of the game works and get the hang of the general physics that will affect your vessels. Creative mode is simple and easy to get on with, and truly allows you to take in the basics of the game. Battle Seas on the other hand is your first real test. At the moment the types of challenges you can face here are limited, but still entertaining. You can fight against increasingly difficult enemy ships, or if you prefer, test your skills against a creation of your own. Ship to ship combat takes a lot of fine-tuned movements, perfectly timed cannon shots and a keen understanding of sea physics. At first it is very difficult to nail, but when you defeat an enemy the game makes it feel incredibly rewarding. The system feels very skill based, being as reliant on your own abilities as it is on the structure of your own designs. It has a similar feel to when you first played Kerbal Space Program, in that everything seems impossible for a brief period, until suddenly it becomes amazing to play.
The future is very bright for The Last Leviathan. It has some way to go before the game is complete, but the plans for future updates are already on the table and are set to expand an already enticing experience. Voyage mode is the biggest feature which is yet to come. This mode will allow you to explore the seas in search of dangerous monsters and discoveries on the horizon. Active, real-time multiplayer is set to come alongside this too, which will add a survivalist side to your adventures. Also important to the game’s future are community events, one of which has already been running. These will include leaderboards for you to compare your progress in the game to that of others, and limited time challenges to test your might as a Captain. Creative and Battle Mode will also see some updates down the line too, but to cut a long story short there is a lot to look forward to for fans of The Last Leviathan.
In its current form, and at a very reasonable price tag in the early access market at just £6.99 (on the UK Steam Store at the time of writing), The Last Leviathan offers an exciting new experience for gamers with an incredibly bright future ahead of it. Right now the game is limited but still offers a good few hours of content to play with and explore, preparing you for the greater challenges which are still to come. Fans of physics-focussed games such as Besiege will be grateful for a new dynamic for the genre and will no doubt enjoy the testing new environment which The Last Leviathan brings to the table. If you are looking for a cheap game to play but one which is good now and has great potential to get even better, The Last Leviathan should already be on your Wishlist, if not in your basket.