Review: The Final Station – The Wrong Side of the Tracks

Review: The Final Station – The Wrong Side of the Tracks
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Platforms:

Sony PS4, Windows PC, Mac, Steam

Game Name:

The Final Station

Publisher(s):

tinyBuild

Developer(s):

Do My Best

Genre(s):

Action, Adventure

Release Date:

August 30th, 2016

The Final Station – What We Think:

The Final Station begins as a calm and relaxing journey. After experiencing a brief precursor to core gameplay, players take control of a train conductor just starting off a normal day at work.

Simple opening objectives providing passage for customers and delivering cargo – play a role throughout the entire game. With access to food and medical amenities, the main focus of riding the rails is to take care of your passengers in between destinations. This includes monitoring the voltage of air filters and keeping an eye on passenger hunger and health.

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The beautiful pixellated countryside in The Final Station varies between quaint little towns and bustling steampunk cities. At each destination, the goal is to find a 4-digit code which will release a blocker. As explained in the game, these government-installed blockers are installed at every station, and no journey can continue without the required code.

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Sounds Simple, Right? Quite the Contrary.

This is where The Final Station becomes something much more dark and sinister. Upon reaching a military facility, the conductor discovers that legions of “infected” roam every station’s blackened hallways and corners.

Fear of the unknown makes the 2D sidescrolling exploration of towns and cities suspenseful. Unless our conductor breaks a window prior, the contents of each room remain a mystery until the door is opened. This forces players to develop particular strategies based on whichever type of enemy infected comes lumbering – or barreling – out toward them.

The variety of enemies in The Final Station is slowly introduced throughout stages, as are unlockable weapons. Unfortunately, ammunition is scarce, playing into a common trope of survival games. Perfecting the art of the head-shot will help conserve ammo for larger hordes of infected.

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Collect All of the Things!

Many items can also be found in the game’s looting system. Ammunition and med-kits can be found in lockers and water closets, as well as items to be used in the simple crafting system back on the train.

In between stops while taking care of clients, another good practice is using crafting-specific items to craft any bullets lacking in inventory or med-kits that also double as aid for passengers.

The Final Station may revolve around simple gameplay, but there are tidbits of story information to be found everywhere. As the player discovers notes written between NPCs, the story evolves from survivalist lore to something much more deep and world-shattering.

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Short, but Sweet

The Final Station can be completed in five to six hours, with death occurring often. Although the gameplay may be slightly repetitive, a chilling and minimalist soundtrack accompanies matching visuals, really pulling the experience together. As the story concludes and the train pulls into The Final Station, a disarming twist completes the story with a sense of resolve.

An enjoyable ride from start to finish, The Final Station is an exceptional addition to any Steam library, especially for fans of survival and action games.

The Final Station is available via the Sony PlayStation Store and Steam.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Watch the official trailer for The Final Station below:

michael.duhacek

[Toronto, Canada] Michael Duhacek is an avid gamer who also works in the entertainment industry.

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