The Final Station embraces the storytelling confidence of The Last of Us. The world has gone to hell with hope riding on a single train of salvation.
This train just keeps a rollin’
It’s rolling down the track
I am the silent conductor
And I can’t look back
Because I am outrunnin’
Biological warfare waged by an alien race. The first invasion, which released gas-filled pods, has already occurred. Humanity invaded from within. Survival gone genetically awry.
Notes of clarity rise above the government conspiracy-laden setting. The Oregon Trail-like train simulator portions allow you, the player, to make a difference. People you find, while out scavenging, become your passengers. You can feed them; you can provide medicine to help keep them alive. Life is your choice. But the train must keep rolling. No matter who dies.
The Final Station falls into a rhythm that sings on repeat:
- Explore buildings
- Scavenge for supplies
- Rescue those you come across
- Find the slip of paper with the keypad code (this unlocks the Blocker that keeps the train from moving)
- Survive and eliminate those who have succumbed to the gas
- Maintain individual train systems
- Monitor the passengers
Gameplay loop excellence soon overstays its welcome like Steve Urkel. Enemy types and encounters become rote. Individual station stops become less about survival-filled exploration and more of a slog. Even the constant “what’s in the next room” tension eventually gives way by the fourth hour of gameplay. Text size issues further complicate the matter and make reading anything story related hard.
But the train just keeps a movin’. And by then you’ll want to stick it out to the end of the track.
Are we there yet?
I loved The Final Station. The level design reminded me of the army bases I used to draw as a kid. Tunnels, secret bunkers, pathways into the darkness. Imagination allowed to run wild.
The Final Station is a fantastic effort with just enough neat ideas to keep me onboard. Good job, ya’ll!
5/5 – The Final Station fails to complete the warm The Last of Us hug it is trying to give. Despite that huggable failure, I love the game. Just keep this nightmare generator away from your kids, okay?
Title: The Final Station
Developer: Do My Best, Games
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
*The Final Station was reviewed using a code provided by Tinybuild.