Games exploring the contemporary world of online order fulfilment work were inevitable, but we pictured they’d hit harder and have more to say than The Last Worker does. Playing as the last human employee picking packages to be delivered for a retail monopoly named Jüngle, the real-world parallels are obvious and the setup is fertile for some sharp satire, but it’s ultimately not capitalised on.
The dystopian workplace setting has limitless potential, but it remains unfulfilled over The Last Worker’s short runtime. Jüngle doesn’t have many layers to peel back or disturbing secrets to unveil, it’s just an unmistakably bad place run by a brazenly duplicitous dude. You’re not afforded the choice to circumvent the CEO’s efforts by sabotaging deliveries or put your foot down and refuse to work altogether. You’re just stuck on a singular narrative path and, if you don’t hit your delivery quota, you’ll just be forced to try again.
Exploring the package-cluttered halls of Jüngle is still a neat spectacle in VR, and it would be the definitive way to play The Last Worker if it weren’t for the limitations it puts on your movement. While you have the ability to move in any horizontal direction while playing on a flat screen with a controller, in VR you’re stuck moving where you’re facing. You’ll lose out on the sense of presence, scale, and spatial awareness PSVR2 provides, but we’d recommend playing outside of virtual reality to make the instant fail state stealth sections significantly less infuriating.
That’s not to say there’s nothing to like in The Last Worker. Its small cast and simplistic story are elevated by some stellar voice work. Their ill-mannered quips and puns are more than enough to induce chronic smirks. There’s also an animated intro cinematic that’s outstanding and sets the stage perfectly without a word of dialogue. Shame it’s the only one.
The Last Worker’s principal problem is that it’s a game made for VR that’s better without it. Fulfilling online orders in a capitalism-induced apocalypse is an excellent idea marred by inconsistent execution and confounding restrictions placed on VR movement. It’s short enough not to overstay its simplicity, but it’s not smart enough to make any astute thematic statements.