I Think I Can, I Think I Can, Make it home….
By Lee Marcussen
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on August 30th, 2016 for PS4, PC, Xbox One
Developer: Do My Best Games Publisher: tinyBuild GAMES
The Final Station is a side-scrolling, post-apocalyptic adventure game. From what limited information you get at the beginning it would seem it takes place somewhere in Asia. Final Stations story begins with the main character is a train conductor waking up in his house. Prior to that there is a message on the screen that says “106 years before the visitation”, which is about as much explanation you get as you progress along. As you start you meet up with some of the people that work for the train company asking you how was your vacation and how they installed new parts to the train system called blockers. These blockers are essentially stoppers for the trains when they reach the stations, but when your train arrives it locks into the blockers and you have to find a four-digit code to unlock it. This task is essentially the main part of the game. You need to get your train from the north part of the map around down to the southern part, stopping at every station and then searching the areas for the manager with the code. Finding the code and continuing to take cargo and passengers to the different stations is key to survival in this desolate world.
Final Station’s game play is very unique with the idea that you’re scavenging these stations to find supplies and the codes for the train. Part of exploring of the stations is that you encounter other figures that are covered in a black tar substance who want to attack you. These figures come in different styles, like a normal zombie style slow walking, a shorter one that runs at you, one that is on fire which when close to you explodes, and finally a tall sort of muscular one that is harder to take down. The combat against these must be well thought out. Ammo in the game is hard to find and the materials to make the ammo are even harder to come along. You can pick up various objects in the levels such as boxes, chairs, toilets and gas cans to throw at the figures as well as shoot them with a pistol. Later in the game you can upgrade to a shotgun and an assault rifle. You can also punch them or use sort of a powered up punch that comes by holding down the punch button, which usually kills them with one hit but has a cool down time which you have to plan for. When walking around and entering a building, you cannot see inside until you open the door. This means once you enter a room you have to plan out how you’re going to take down the figures, conserving your ammo and while trying to stay alive (sort of reminds me of Hotline Miami in a sense.) This adds a lot of difficulty to the game.
As you clear out rooms and move from building to building there are different spots that contain supplies, food, health, and money. You also can rummage through letters, computers, and sometimes people that give you information and sort of a back story of what has happened. The other thing that are scattered around the levels are people who are hiding out from the figures. Finding them adds them to your train and when you get them to their destinations they offer different amounts of award money or supplies. The money can be used to buy ammo, med kits or weapon upgrades at certain stations. Once you clear out the station and find the manager or the blocker code number you have to enter the code to unlock the train from the blocker and continue on your journey. A part of the game that isn’t as action packed but is important is the train rides from station to station. You actually don’t drive the train or really control it but the trains are electric and have different components that have to be serviced so they don’t take too much power away from the train engine while traveling. This requires you to run around the train to fix the different components. You also have the option to craft bullets, shotgun shells and med kits for when you’re clearing stations. Another thing you have to keep track of is the health and hunger of the passengers you pick up at the stations. You have to make sure they don’t die in order to get their reward.
Overall Final Station is a very solid and sort of dark game, with an ending as intense as the combat. The story is sort of hard to follow at first but once you get further in the game it starts to formulate better, but never comes out to tell you if you’re fighting aliens, zombies or something else. Graphically the “bit” style is as good as it gets, with a cool part 3D scale for objectives on other parts of the map. Combat wise the aiming system was sort of hard to get the hang of but after I got used to it I was getting head shots like crazy. I really enjoyed playing the last station and wish the campaign was slightly longer, but all in all was very impressed with the game. The sort of eerie suspense of not knowing what is behind each door and what the hell the figures actually are will leave a lasting impression!
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 8.5/10
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