The Final Station is simulation/shooter game developed by indie company “Do My Best” and published by TinyBuild. The game provides us with an exploratory experience in a pixelated world as a train conductor at the beginning of the end. What the game lacks in story, it makes up for in atmosphere.
The story was light and simple, with room for growth. When you are thrown into the game and inevitably die in the first sequence (yes, you have to die, I tried every way I could to get out of it) you’ll see the words “106th year after the first invasion” which you can safely assume is a reference to the black monstrosities you encounter in the start of the game. You wake up as a middle-aged train conductor, with once again, no inkling of what you’re supposed to do. This lack of direction really highlights the games exploration though. I started opening anything that highlighted to see what I would get and little did I know how much it was going to help me later on.
The vast exploration is necessary due to the lack of story. What bits of the story you do receive are either from notes and people you find as you explore each station or the broken dialogue from your train passengers. These can be overlooked because you’re also taking care of them and getting them from station to station safely until you drop them off.
As soon as you hit start game you take control of some random man in a black hat and vest with a pistol. There is no explanation of controls before hand but luckily they are readily available if you hit escape. With the controls a mystery, you’re immersed in the exploration while trying to figure out how to play.
A large part of the game might be exploration and survival but there is also a train simulation between levels where your job is to keep your passengers from starving or bleeding out (as you will come across wounded people while you explore). You do all this while maintaining your train, as it’s an old train with many faults. But hey, you can’t be too picky in the apocalypse.
Once you survived the train ride, you land in the station where you have to start looking for the blocker code so you can undock your train. It might seem repetitive but it is also a necessary opportunity to stock up on supplies and ammo. Then, you move along on your journey…
Art and Music
The Last Station’s art style and music make the atmosphere one that will win over those who play it. The backgrounds are very enjoyable, however, they are sometimes not pixelated due to requiring more detail to bring the scene together.
The music is the real kicker though. It’s really gorgeous eerie instrumental stuff and really dictates what you’re feeling and when they want you to feel it. I found myself quite stressed explore the end-game stations as I knew they were ridden with the monsters you’ve been fighting all game. But the music fulfills that atmosphere completely. You never know what’s on the other side of a door and all I could think about was the risk I took opening each one.
Overall, The Final Station was a nice game to sit down and not worry too much about. There aren’t a lot of jumpscares or a complicated story to worry about. That being said, I would like to know more in regards to the story. I wish it had more replay value as one playthrough was good enough (unless you’re an achievement hunter). This is a great game to pick up as it does provide a unique atmosphere that is fun to explore and pick apart.