The Latest Workers Review –

The Latest Workers Review –

Humor, reality, exploitation through the digital eyes of worker Kurt for the The last worker video game.

Don’t scab for your bosses
Don’t listen to their lies
We poor old folks don’t stand a chance
Unless we organize

-Florence Reece, ‘Which Side Are You On?’, 1931.

Anthropologist and activist David Graeber in his book Bullshit Jobs (2008) states that John Maynard Keynes, an English economist and philosopher, predicted in the 1930s that by the end of the century technology would have advanced to such an extent than countries like the United States. and Britain will implement the 15 hour working week, the former concluding that the technological foundations actually exist, but it was never implemented. Instead, new technology has been deployed to make humans work harder. Kurt is the last man to work in businessman Josef Jungle’s warehouses as the rest of the workforce has been replaced by machines. Kurt’s life is the definition of routine; wake up in the morning, work on mechanics, come home. One could say that this is exactly the life of an automaton. His only companion is the sentient robot Skew who also accompanies him outside of work. What Kurt really does is move packages based on their condition. Thus, if a package is damaged, expired because out of season or with incorrect information, then it transfers it to the corresponding warehouse platform. During a work shift, a remote-controlled HoverBird, a small flying robot, appears, through which a member of the militant collective SPEAR (Society Promoting End Automated Redundancy) communicates. Kurt discovers the true nature of Jungle but also his future business plans which already threaten the Republic and the public space. Although hesitant at first, he eventually realizes that something really strange is going on and agrees to work with the man behind the HoverBird to sabotage Jungle’s affairs. Along the way, Kurt will be confronted with his past which will be a catalyst for his subsequent actions.

The gameplay is very simple; our hero is equipped with the gravity gun and the anti-gravity pod, the former basically carrying and adding the various labels on the packages and the latter moving around the workplace. The anti-gravity pod has the proper sensors to calculate the weight of the packages needed to accept or reject them, a real-time graph of Kurt’s progress on a scale from F, which is the worst, to J , which characterizes “excellent”. If the grade remains at F, Kurt will simply be fired. Conversely, anything above the minimum mark will retain their job. Of course, as the game evolves, the data is shaped according to its needs. Jungle, so you have to adapt to it. In order to locate the parcel and also on which platform you have to place it, after of course having labeled it accordingly, you will have at your disposal all those markings that mark your path along the corridors. All of the above takes place in the specific period of the shift and you can check it on the digital signs displayed in the area. Then other features like hack, attack and mini games are added. If you have to dwell on a characteristic of the game, it is the stealth mechanism from which you will move in the warehouses but also in the other sections from the middle of the game. So you’ll have to avoid robots with motion sensors by following the pattern of their actions, climbing through vents, distracting them, and more. Kurt will therefore try to access the heart of Jungle’s business where he will have to destroy it in order to close the factory’s production unit.

In the audiovisual sector, conditions are typical with a few exceptions. The industrial and corporate aesthetic obviously dominates, dull and repetitive but not tiring as it fully reflects the concept of the work galley. In the sound field, the electronica accompanies Kurt in his missions with particular success, the voiceovers being the best part of the game. Kurt is interpreted by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Severance), Skew by Jason Isaacs (Star Trek: Discovery, The OA, Castlevania) and Emma by one of SPEAR’s co-founders, Zelda Williams. Throughout the game, the mocking and bitter messages both about working conditions and about the advance of neoliberalism as the very regulator of workers’ personal lives are more than fair. Jungle rants that include classic employer clichés like “We’re family here,” “We’re all in trouble” and more will put a smile on most faces.

The writer doesn’t understand how it is possible for a game to be branded by critics and gamers as woke propaganda (which doesn’t even come close to the term but that’s another sad story) for the sole purpose of. .. stigmatize those who refer to the arbitrariness of employers and the alienation of the worker from himself. Finally, the writer does not understand why the massive dismissals of employees by imaginary, vain, vulgar entrepreneurs should be legalized rationally (sic) and in compliance with the law, but in the face of bad texts in the workplace, suddenly l issue is fraudulently politicized and labeled as populism or ignorance (sic) for the real economy. The Last worker does not require academic analysis or meaningful rendering according to the player’s ideological wish; working conditions, development at all costs (environment, human rights), dehumanization and instrumentalization of the worker concern the majority of people in the world. The messages mentioned through the dialogues, Kurt’s inner monologue, Kurt’s personal space, and the structure and workflow in the factory all protest irrefutably against the aspirations of the creators.

The game’s negatives definitely include the lack of character development, which is particularly disappointing as there’s both textual ambience and main voice material with excellent acting skills. Regarding the gameplay, it is true that the repeated recoveries in the warehouses and the stealth are not particularly difficult, which forces the player to hurry or more precisely to try to avoid them as quickly as possible in order to follow the story development. It’s really a shame to miss such opportunities. Perhaps the goal of the creators was not to write a digital but to throw trikaki.

The last worker is too short in duration and will definitely not re-engage the player after completion. Anyway, its message is clear and certainly belongs to the narrative hard core of titles like Disco Elysium, Norco, Citizen Sleeper, Fallout.

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