Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier Offers Some Morally Complex Monkey Business

It might have slipped under your radar, but if you’re a fan of the massively successful Planet of the Apes movie franchise, you might be keen to know that there’s a video game spin-off available on PlayStation 4: Last Frontier.

In terms of the franchise timeline, it fits in snugly between Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.

Of course, this isn’t the first game to come out based on this series. Planet of the Apes has long been alluring for games developers, with action adventure versions being made way back in the past for the Game Boy and PC.

There was even a version made for the Atari once, although it was famously left unfinished due to the gaming industry crash in the 1980s. In more recent times, we have seen the franchise appear in video slots such as the Planet of the Apes game that was brought out by NetEnt last year.

Back to Last Frontier, though. It’s a narrative-driven adventure game that sticks to many of the best elements of the movies. For a start, it doesn’t show the characters as being good or bad — instead it occupies that same grey area from the big-screen offerings that lets us make up our own minds about what the characters are really like.

The characters are split between apes and humans, with 14 different ones for you to play as. The game will either will be won by humans or apes, or else it will end in peace. However, there are also a number of other possibilities to be resolved, as your decisions affect the individual fates of the characters.

A group of apes that is led by Khan break away and form a new faction in the Rocky Mountains while the war between man and apes continues. As the weather worsens, they need to move into a valley which is controlled by humans. The humans there are led by Jess, who is widow of the town mayor.

It is up to the player to understand the relationships between both groups and to find a way to let them maintain the fragile sense of peace.

This isn’t an all-action game that will see you shooting at enemies or racing around to solve puzzles. Instead, Last Frontier is best viewed as being like an interactive movie that lets you alter the outcome with your decisions. You can really get a feeling of being involved in the future of the humans and the apes, with each decision that you make having an impact on their lives.