The Final Station Reviews

  • FullMoonBeaverFullMoonBeaver785,899
    21 Sep 2016 21 Sep 2016
    8 1 0
    Welcome to my review for The Final Station

    Published by: tinybuild
    Developed by: Do My Best
    Price: £11.99

    The Final Station is a side scrolling pixelated survival game that has you as the protagonist scouting areas for survivors and supplies, and taking your train from one station to the next. It doesn't really explain much at the start, other than they are returning. Who "they" really are doesn't get explained to you from the get go.

    The world is a dark and dreary, with all survivors you find suffering a sickness. You will have to keep their hunger levels down and feed them. So management of supplies is vital if you wish to save them.

    Each station you pull into contains supplies you need to scavenge, people to rescue and a code to find to allow you to leave on your train. Various notes and messages can also be found. But the further you progress, you will soon encounter these shadow beings who have one goal, to kill you. A swift headshot from your gun will despatch them quickly, but don't rely upon melee as it is largely ineffective and you will quickly take damage and have to start all over.

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    I was completely at a loss as to whether I liked Final Station or not. It's not an easy game to get into, as very little about the story is revealed to you, an the protagonist has no personality that you can relate too, or form any sort of bond with. This lets the game down, as you venture from one station to the next. These locations are short lived, and more often than not, you will be swarmed with precious few bullets to survive.

    Despite the uncertainty towards the game, I can't bring myself to dislike it all that much. You will have to manage supplies, and save any survivors you find, which brings a solid challenge and defeat enemies who if there is a large enough of, will quickly sort you out with a death over and over again. Melee needs some form of adjustment however, as I never found a melee weapon, and fists do very little.

    It is worth a look, as the survival element will appeal to fans of the genre. A pixelated and side scrolling merge with the survival is not something often found, and again, makes the challenge fresh and interesting. On your train are various parts you need to keep an eye on and maintain them to keep them working. Otherwise you will grind to a halt and then have to perform maintenance. Which is as simple as interacting with it.

    Graphics: Pixelated affair here and it works well. Not too blocky, and everything resembles what it's supposed to do.

    Music/FX: Ambient sounds at the most. Giving that sense of dread around every corner. Gun shots are also very loud. Which I don't mind, and given that each station you come to is practically devoid of human life, it echoes slightly after each shot. Less is certainly more here.

    Gameplay: Simple interface, and easy to play. Little is explained though.

    Longevity: You may breeze through it, you may not. Bullets are precious, so if you can pick up a box or chair to throw at your would be killers, do so. One less bullet spent. Don't expect a huge game, but it's not too short either.

    Achievements: Nothing too difficult. For keeping 6 alive, make sure you scavenge everywhere so you have enough medkits and food to keep them alive during train journeys. Last thing you want is a corpse on your train. Make sure to plan ahead, just like I forgot too.

    To conclude, it can be a game that is hard to thoroughly enjoy. But you won't really hate it. If you're unsure, check out some gameplay videos. Final Station offers a decent challenge, and an interesting survival standpoint. Should you buy it? That really is down to you should it pique your curiosity.

    A copy of the game was supplied for review purposes.
  • x Mataeus xx Mataeus x905,568
    11 Oct 2016 12 Oct 2016
    6 2 0
    Please note I play a lot of these games on my 'review' tag, and often before achievements are live. As with all of my reviews, the verdict below is based purely on my personal time with the game. My reviews are not influenced by general opinions, they do not draw reference to other people’s experiences (unless I’m reviewing couch co-op play), nor are they based on any one particular element; rather they are an account of my own experiences, and as a result are entirely subjective – as they should be! I try to be as spoiler-free as possible, but in the interest of providing an honest account, some reveals may be necessary. Enjoy smile

    Please COMMENT if you down vote - I take the time to create these reviews for this community; I'd love your feedback!

    The last place you would find me during armageddon is sat on a train. It follows a fixed track with a limited number of routes, and if the place you’re heading to is worse than the place you left behind, well, tough. That’s exactly the set up in The Final Station, and although it provides a much more linear experience than I expected, it manages to craft a series of events which are fun, desperate, and surprisingly tragic. You’ll not be thinking that for the first half hour or so, though. It’s far more likely you’ll be completely baffled by the goings on, and thinking you must have missed a tutorial somewhere. Allow me to fill in the blanks, without spoiling the plot.

    A century ago, a cataclysmic event took place which decimated the human race. Towns and cities were destroyed wholesale, and over time became remote areas where survivors began to rely on protection of their militia, and deliveries of supplies and trade by rail. The Conductors are the people who run these trains, and you are one of them. One on an important mission: Take a piece of classified machinery to the location where the military are building The Guardian, a device designed to stop an impending second cataclysm. Of course, things are never that simple, and on your journey much stands in your way; yet you also have a chance to do some good whilst making your way from checkpoint to checkpoint.

    The Final Station is presented as a 16 bit side scrolling action game, with two distinct phases. The main bulk of the gameplay takes place in the games various towns and and stations, which sees you searching houses, offices, stores and all manner of places for loot, ammo and the all important blocker code. These codes lift a security gate at each station, and you’ll have to find it and return it to the gate to continue your journey on to the next stop, and ultimately to deliver your piece of The Guardian.

    During these levels, you’ll find yourself armed with a pistol, and later a shotgun and other weapons. Usually you’ll find some sort of civilisation during your stops, but inevitably you’ll venture beyond that and into the abandoned areas, overrun with mysterious shadow beings. These zombie-like hostiles are connected to the events of the cataclysm, and there are several variations, from the simple shambling type to exploding creatures which you are advised to take out from a distance. Of course, if short on ammo – and you will be – there’s always the option to run. You can also pick up chairs and boxes from the scenery and launch these at them too, often resulting in a one hit kill. Many encounters are specifically designed to have an optimum way of overcoming them, but you have to think on your feet, as every building and room you visit is blacked out until you enter. The reveal of a new room may also reveal hordes of the shadow creatures, and the tension as you work your way through enormous structures is superbly realised.

    Once you have your code and have made your way back to the train, you punch it into the blocker’s keypad and you can ride on to the next stop. Any survivors you may have found on your travels can be taken with you, and if you help them get to their preferred destination in one piece (usually several stations away), they’ll reward you with supplies such as health kits and ammunition. This is where the second phase of gameplay comes in, the intermissions between levels whilst you ride your train.

    As the scenery whizzes past in the background, unique depending on which station you’ve just left, you’ll have to go back and forth from your supply of health kits and provisions to the survivors, now also your passengers, keeping them healed and fed as they need it. As you run back and forth from the storage to the passenger carriage to hand out the supplies, taking into consideration that any health kits you give them won’t be there to save your life out on your next scavenge, you’ll catch snippets of conversation between your passengers. These provide some exposition and help to build a picture of what’s happening out in different areas of the game world, and as you do your best to keep them alive and well, they really help to draw you into the experience. While not feeding and medicating your current motley crew of survivors, you’ll also have to keep your train running by avoiding breakdowns. Every so often something will overheat or short circuit, and you’ll have to be on hand to run across to the malfunctioning item in question and engage in a bit of button tapping to keep the situation under control. Then, reach your next station and begin hunting for the next blocker code all over again.

    The levels are fairly compact, and the parts on the train are merely filler between them, but The Final Station is an enjoyable experience on the whole. Unusually for a game based on survival, the levels are all hand built, meaning there is nothing in the way of randomised content. This puts a huge dent in replayability; once you’ve finished the game you’ll only go back to mop up a few remaining achievements before uninstalling it for good. Despite the disposable nature of the experience though, the atmosphere and stories told, combined with tense exploratory game play will keep you glued until the end of the line - for the first time around, anyway.