The trajectory of cinematic cyberpunk platformer The Last Night has been a sobering lesson to never fall in love with a 'First Look' trailer. The game's debut at E3 2017 was mesmerising; a hypnotic 120-second stroll through a dystopian city drenched in rain and neon, presented through a tasteful layering of pixel art and 3D graphics.
The trailer exploded, and The Last Night had the world's attention.
The details of what subsequently happened remain a bit of a mystery. Shortly after the game's debut some ill-advised tweets by Soret from 2014 resurfaced, with the game's publisher Raw Fury subsequently criticising the tweets but backing Soret, saying "a lot can change in three years, including viewpoints, and Tim has assured as that The Last Night does not spout a message steeped in regressive stances."
Things went quiet for a while, before in 2019 it emerged that Soret's studio Odd Tales was suffering massive legal and funding issues,' which syncs up with Raw Fury's statement in 2021 saying that "two years ago, Raw Fury and Odd tales agreed to part ways on The Last Night."
The game's been out of the public eye since then, until the rumour mill started swirling recently that perhaps The Last Night would be revealed at The Game Awards on December 10.
I emailed Soret to see if there was any truth to this, to which he that "this is just a rumor—The Last Night will be shown next year, not before." He declined to say whether the game would actually be released in 2022, saying "in an era of crunch and over-mediatization, I don't intend to make any announcement at the moment, especially given the pressure it would add to my small team."
Instead of honing in on release windows, Soret addressed the matter of his studio Odd Tales continuing work on the game without publisher Raw Fury. "Since then we've been tremendously growing & maturing as a young independent team," he says. "We're confidently building The Last Night brick by brick, taking our time to carefully design, document & implement each part of the game, from evolving our visual style for next-gen to designing dozens of accessibility options."
It's of course good to hear that the studio's growing and seemingly putting the tough times behind it, but we still have few details about how the game plays and what it really is, beyond a gorgeous cinematic platformer inspired by the likes of Flashback and Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee.
While Soret didn't offer more details on the game itself, he concluded: "What we know is that for The Last Night comeback in 2022, we make it our mission to blow everyone away by the strength & originality of our proposition."