The Last Oricru is a scifi souls-like action RPG developed by GoldKnights and published by Prime Matter. The game released on October 13, 2022 on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S and canbe played in local split screen or online co-op. There is a strong emphasis on storytelling and player choices with a branching narrative as main character Silver finds himself caught in a civil war on the terraformed planet of Wardenia. Wearing a belt of immortality, you will navigate the war with words, smart whit and even sharper blades in this souls-like experience that had great humour mixed with some fantastic world design.
Silver wakes up with amnesia, unsure where he is as he witnesses an alien being murder someone and then turn the blade on him. Later on, this alien species is identified as a third faction, the Broken Army. As darkness closes in, an artificial intelligence speaks to you in garbled and cryptic words, sending you on a mission to find the lady of the lake. After a quick tutorial sequence that takes you through the basics of third-person stamina-based combat, you find yourself awake and alive in a castle with rats scrubbing the floors and the Naboru faction in charge. It is explained that the belt you are wearing gives you immortality and you will resurrect if you die, and given this trait, you are invaluable in the upcoming war against the Ratkin.
With nothing else to go on but their word, Silver is left to uncover the truth behind his predicament on his own. Throughout the dialogue between characters, what seems like idle chitchat actually means something later on, and sometimes it has an effect that matters hours later in game time. Hints are given as to objects to investigate further or to note for later use, such as the glowing lightning rod behind Tobias. I thought it funny at first that Silver pointed it out and dismissed it as Tobias got us to work. Later, that glowing lightning rod was the start of many pivotal items that would sway my favour with the two starting factions one way or another. Or when Gok the Armorer gave us an insight into the mistreatment of his fellow ratkin and that we should help him.
I interviewed Vladimír Geršl from GoldKnights last year during the game’s development, so I was aware of the branching storylines as you help or dismiss characters along your journey. However, I wasn’t ready for how quickly things can change. Gok wanted me to find a medical kit for him and I did actually want to side with the Ratkin as I love a good underdog story. After leaving Gok, I did some exploring to look for a med kid, and I spoke to every character I came across. However, after heading back to talk to Tobias, it popped up that I had failed to provide Gok with a medkit, and the story moved on.
This happened a lot in my playthrough where I had intentions to help a particular person or situation, but the story progresses quickly. It did mean though that I didn’t dwell on decisions whichever way they went in my first playthrough, and my second playthrough I was well armed to be able to pick a side and know how to gain their favour.
I really liked the RPG elements in The Last Oricru with the various item qualities and being on the hunt for better gear, collecting resources to be able to upgrade items, and dismantling your old ones that don’t suit your playstyle. Inventory weight is handled interestingly in that you can carry as many things as you like, but the armour and weapons you equip have a weight limit, depending on your player statistics. As you kill npcs in the game you will gain essence, and in certain areas of zones you will come across a strange device that gives you a captain’s log of events, and an opportunity to level up, invite co-op players, or exchange items for currency.
The voice acting for all characters, both Naboru and the Ratkin, is excellent, though I felt that Silver’s voice didn’t quite match the aesthetic of his character. Silver’s hair seems to be strangely animated too compared to most other characters as it shimmered in some scenes and looked wiry in others. Aside from that though, the graphics and detail of the game are superb and run smoothly with my RTX 3080.
Combat is fluid with the use of blocks and dodging taking stamina, and you will use a vast array of weapons and armour throughout the game. Being a souls-like, I was expecting to die as regularly as I do in Elden Ring, however the enemy difficulty was quite forgiving. Boss fights were much harder, however their attack patterns were relatively easy to work out, and in certain areas, you can use items in the environment to do extra damage or gain advantages. This is more readily suitable when you play co-op as one of you can gain the boss’ focus while the other drops a metal cage door onto it, or other such methods.
A point to note here is that co-op is designed in such a way that the main player is the one who talks and advances the story. The second player is a hologram of Silver. They can fight, loot shared inventory items, and explore the area, but they cannot trigger story cutscenes or speak with NPCs. An extra cool thing in co-op is there are spells that are only able to be used in co-op, such as chain lightning and amplified shield, so I do recommend you play this in co-op if you can.
Overall, The Last Oricru is an excellent story-driven RPG with choices that make a discernible difference in later gameplay. This is easily played more than once to experience both major faction’s stories, and the branching narrative had many twists and turns. The souls-like combat was not too difficult but dynamic enough to stay interesting, and even better when playing co-op to combine special spells.
Written by: @ChrisJInglis