A satirical and narrative-driven adventure, Wired’s The Last Worker has arrived on the Quest 2, PSVR 2 and PC VR for headsets enthusiasts, with a flat screen version also available. Combining clever writing with tense stealth action that works great in VR, we tested it on the Quest 2.
The Last Worker is an immersive and visually striking puzzle game that tells a compelling story about the value of human labor and the consequences of automation. Developed by Oiffy and Wolf & Wood Interactive, the game takes place in a dystopian future where most jobs have been taken over by machines, and people have become pretty much obsolete. The game’s setting is very reminiscent of the real-life automated warehouses of Amazon and other similar companies. The Jüngle Corporation in The Last Worker is run by the charismatic founder Josef Jüngle, who bears somewhat of a resemblance to a certain well-known CEO character. You’re Kurt, pretty much the last worker in a factory that is about to shut down, and you must complete the final order and deliver it to the customer. However, to do so, you must solve a series of increasingly complex puzzles that involve manipulating machines, navigating hazards, and figuring out a few clever brainbenders.
One of the most impressive aspects of The Last Worker is its audiovisual storytelling. The game features a vibrant visual style with animations and voice acting that makes the world and characters come to life. The Quest 2 version of the game benefits from the fact that you’re completely wireless and can fully immerse yourself in the adventure, though we wonder how much better the game looks on, for instance, a PS5.
The sound design in The Last Worker is definitely noteworthy as well. The voice acting is especially excellent, with convincing performances that convey the emotions and struggles of the characters, and plenty of room for sarcasm. The narrative of The Last Worker is well-written and engaging, with a sense of urgency and hope that propels the player forward. The story tackles themes such as identity, purpose, and empathy, and it does so with subtlety and depth.
The gameplay in The Last Worker mostly supports the narrative well, but isn’t without its flaws. The puzzles require a combination of logic, creativity, and dexterity, and they are well-designed to provide a sense of progression and accomplishment. But while the game regularly introduces new mechanics over the course of a five hour adventure, some gameplay elements can feel a bit repetitive at times, and the sometimes awkward controls can work against you, breaking some of the immersion when you need to move quickly.
The Last Worker on the Quest 2 uses VR for immersion, but the game’s real standout feature is its audiovisual storytelling, with some great writing and a narrative that will make you think, feel, and reflect on the value of work and the meaning of life – against a backdrop with eerie resemblance to today’s workspace. If you’re a fan of puzzle games or VR experiences that push the boundaries of the medium from an interactive storytelling perspective, then The Last Worker is a game you’ll want to check out.