September 3rd, 2016 - Jason
A world is at its end, a single train travels the Earth, and an unknown threat appears out of nowhere. You are the conductor of the train. You are to travel the world. You are the last hope for humanity. Are you up to the challenge? Is it worth it?
The Final Station starts off simple enough: you wake up and head to work through a 2D side scrolling town. On the way you can talk to citizens, pick up items, and read notes. When you finally set out for your next town on the train, you’ll have a passenger that has a life and hunger meter. The train itself has a few things you can interact with, including med kits and food for passengers. You’ll find yourself speaking with people on an IM type of service, fixing the electricity, keeping the train from overheating, and more as you progress.
Each stop you make will require you to explore the area to find the security code to progress. The train gets locked into a barrier and can only be released with the security code. At first it’s a simple task of finding it within a locker or having someone print it out. But it soon becomes a dangerous endeavor as you go up against the unknown silhouettes that are out for blood.
The game is broken into two different types of gameplay: town exploration and train traversal. The majority of the experience will take place in the exploration aspect, where you encouter a lot the story. Each building is blacked out until you open a door, lighting the room it’s connected to. Maybe there are people in it, maybe it’s empty, or maybe you get jumped. There’s only one way to find out. Sadly, when you are low on life and you do get killed from a surprise attack, the checkpoint system will almost always set you back where you were. Not entirely, but it creates an expectation for fights to turn out a certain way. If you use too much ammo you may choose to die so you can optimize the way you survive the battle.
The game holds a decent amount of backstory, whether you find it by reading or simply taking in the scenes you come across in town. The sweeping landscapes while going from town to town also tells a story, as you’ll see war torn battlefields and peaceful lands lit up by fights at night. For being a pretty short experience, it does a great job of building the world around the player.
While fights get harder as you progress with different enemy types changing the way you approach battles, so does the train portion of the game become more intense and stressful. As the conductor it is in your best interest to get all the passengers to their destination as you are paid for each delivery, allowing you to buy better gear, as well as medkits and food to help with keeping the passengers alive to get the money to… you get the idea. As more obstacles are added, the harder it is to keep everything in working order. On top of that, passengers on the train are constantly talking, giving more insight into the world. While managing passengers and the train, you’ll have to decide on what is important, and what is worth doing.
A sweet, succinct experience that gets a bit repetitive near the end, but well worth the travel expenses. The Final Station was something I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. Between the world building and the sporadic train gameplay, this is a train you don’t want leaving you at the station.
- Intriguing World
- Exploration vs. Travel Gameplay
- Enveloping Aesthetic (art, music, etc)
- Bit Repetitive
- Liberal Checkpoints
The Final Station was developed by Do My Best and published by tinyBuild. The game launched on PC, PS4, and X1 August 30th, 2016 for $14.99. The game was provided to us for review on X1. If you’d like to see more of The Final Station, check out the official site.
Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.