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Nintendo Switch Quietly Removed That Awful Last Of Us Clone

Remember "The Last Hope: Dead Zone Survival?" Just a few weeks ago, the blatant knockoff of "The Last of Us" was making waves on social media for its poor production value, non-existent plot, and characters that were highly reminiscent of Naughty Dog's beloved survival horror franchise. The general reaction among fans of the Sony exclusive series and its television adaptation seemed to be, "How in the world did this happen?" People simply couldn't believe that such a brazen video game clone was suddenly a Nintendo Switch exclusive title.

Well, from the looks of things, Nintendo no longer wants to be associated with the game, either. VG Games' "The Last Hope" did not go unnoticed by the rights holders behind "The Last of Us," as the listing for the bizarre video game clone has quietly been taken down from the Nintendo Switch's online store. Apparently, even throwing in a half-baked backstory involving time travel wasn't enough to save this game from the obvious comparisons headed its way.

In fact, it seems all traces of promotion for the game are in the process of being scrubbed from the internet, at least from official channels. The YouTube listing for the "Last Hope" trailer has also been hit by a copyright strike from Sony Interactive Entertainment. Video game preservationists would usually be up in arms about this kind of thing — but judging by the reviews of "The Last Hope: Dead Zone Survival," it may be for the best. Some have said that the sale price — which dropped as low as 99 cents before the game was pulled — might have still been too high a cost to pay.

The Last Hope: Dead Zone Survival was even worse than it looked

While it's not terribly surprising to see that "The Last Hope" has been removed from the Switch store, it is kind of wild that it took so long for Sony to file a claim against it. After all, it took on a surprising life of its own once gaming fans starting making a meme out of it. Footage of the game was shared pretty widely on Twitter and YouTube, as some curious gamers went so far as to take one for the team by purchasing and playing the game for themselves. 

Despite being advertised as an immersive and complex survival game, players quickly discovered that this was not exactly the case. Full playthroughs of the game only took about 30 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on how many issues a particular player might run into. Sometimes the controls were less than responsive, while other times the wonky hit detection on enemies made combat encounters a chore to get through. Frame rate drops and various other glitches joined forces to ensure that even if a player managed to finish "The Last Hope," they certainly would not enjoy the time spent.

In an in-depth review of "The Last Hope," Digital Foundry's John Linneman wrote that this game is emblematic of the very worst the gaming industry has to offer: "'The Last Hope' is designed to take your money. There is no game here – this is effectively a scam. We all knew this from the trailer, but the fact that the actual game is so much less than even that awful trailer is genuinely shocking." Linneman also noted that "The Last Hope" was the worst game ever played in Digital Foundry history.

The Last Hope wasn't alone on the Switch shop

It wasn't too much longer after Digital Foundry's review started gaining traction that "The Last Hope: Dead Zone Survival" was removed from the Nintendo Switch store. As of this writing, no announcements regarding the removal appear to have been made by Nintendo, Naughty Dog, Sony, or "The Last Hope" developer VG Games. The listing for the controversial knockoff has simply ceased to exist. However, it's worth noting that "The Last Hope" wasn't alone on the Nintendo store, as VG Games has put together an interesting catalogue over time.

Interestingly, it seems VG Games' other familiar-looking games — many of which boast extremely search-friendly titles — have escaped this copystrike unscathed. Titles like "Need For Drive," "Zombie Garden vs. Plants Defence," and the hilariously named "World War Battle Heroes Field Armies Call of Prison Duty Simulator" are still available for sale. It remains to be seen if the infamy of "The Last Hope" will bring further scrutiny to VG Games' ouvre. Fans of "Need for Speed," "Plants vs. Zombies," "Call of Duty" and more will simply have to wait and see.