The Last V8 is one of the most addictive, impressive, and difficult to play games that I have come across in a long time. With most games, you sit down to review them and after a short length of time you get the hang of it. Playing almost every different game that comes out gives you a bit of an advantage over most people. Not so with The Last V8. It took me an hour and a half of solid playing plus a few rests to nurse my tortured wrists, before I even completed the first level.
But, back to the game, the scenario behind V8 is that a global (nuclear) war has obliterated the earth. However, you (being a scientist in underground laboratory) survived. Seven years later you go out onto the surface to search for survivors in your own pet project - a racebuilt 1980's vintage sportscar complete with a turbocharge, 940 bph, 410 Kph, engine. You also have all the technology that 2008 AD can provide, along with an appropriate amount of radiation shielding.
But...! One of the old atomic bombs that go off from time to time is about to blow "V8 return to base" says the beautifully (software) synthesised voice. So the scene is set and you have to return to base before your time runs out and the bomb blows up.
To do this, you must manoeuvre your V8 down a road surrounded by luscious vegetation (this stuff must be fairly hardy after all the hassle its had from nukes, etc?). Of course, driving into anything results in your car behind destroyed - only one life, so it's back to the beginning.
After a 2.5 Km trip you find the lift down to your underground cavern.
At this point, I would like to commend the graphics of section one, however, after the related devastation of the world. It does seem a bit off to have nice, undamaged, houses complete with swimming pools, to line the roads, perhaps neutron bombs were used instead of the dirty type. Though the instructions talk about the nuclear winter, which is only caused by the dirty bombs and not the ER type. Ho hum, back to the plot.
Once inside your underground base, you no longer face the threat of the bomb, though there are hazards of a different kind. You have to drive your car through numerous underground caverns to get back to your base.
I think that ths is a bit of a map-making game, as you have to plot a way through without going into any of the radiated zones. Do this and your shields start to decrease, get to zero and, yes you guessed it, you get killed.
What happens after this I don't know as I always seem to die when I get to 1.5 km to go, I'll tell you what happens when I finish the game in next month's hints section, because this game is going to need a lot of hints!
Generally, the game has brilliant graphics and turbo loader loading screen. The speech synthesis is very good, though it took a few goes before I realised what "Avoid radiation zones" meant on section two. The music is extremely good and it soon gets to go through your head at the oddest times.
Full marks to Mastertronic. Their MAD range has certainly got off to a good start (see the in-depth review of Spellbound for another MAD game), I certainly wouldn't mind paying an extra £1 to get extra quality such as this.