By Mike BC
What You Need To Know!
The Final Station is a side scroller and a train simulator. 106 Years after The First Visitation, The Final Station picks up with another visitation from a mysterious invasion that seems like zombies. The enemies you fight during the side scrolling are dark humanoid figures that seem like shadow figures with eyes. The most basic of these enemies moves slowly and can be taken out with a single charged melee attack. There are other enemies though like the shorter faster enemies that require multiple melee attacks even if the first one is charged. Another enemy moves slowly but has riot gear lending more credence to the idea that these enemies are zombies. Throughout the game, you will have limited resources so choose when to use food and medkits wisely. In every level, you will have to keep people alive on the train and once you arrive at your destination, you’ll have to find the train code to move on.
The Final Station does a great job storytelling. You start with little to no understanding of what’s happening. When the game first starts, it gives the impression that you’re playing a “slice of life” game. Everything seems very ordinary to the point of nearly being boring. With every level, another piece of the puzzle is unlocked until you finally see what’s been there all along. When you get that a-ha! moment and see what’s been going on, there is a deep sense of satisfaction in understanding. The gameplay is solid! When the conflict began, I initially thought it was needlessly difficult. The more I played, I realized that it was more than a simple side scroller. In fact, the game relies on the player using strategy to get through every level. The Switch version that we reviewed, is very good because the game plays very well in both handheld and tv mode but it did seem more fitting for the handheld mode.
The Final Station had a few problems. The game does a checkpoint system so that if you die during the level, you go back to the most recent checkpoint. The problem isn’t with the system but with the checkpoint itself. The checkpoint isn’t something you see, but rather, it happens automatically. When you restart at the checkpoint, you go back to the same time and circumstances as when you were there previously. If you were already low on health or resources when you cross the checkpoint, then dying may not necessarily help you get any further. The fix to this is that at any time you can open the menu and restart the level. The second problem is a nitpicky one. During the train sim portion of the game, you have to keep your passengers alive. If they get too hungry or low on health, they will die. Medkits come up in each level and at times, I found myself with an extra for a passenger. Food, on the other hand, was scarce and more than once, a passenger would die from starvation. This wouldn’t be a problem except that your performance in the game is measured by whether or not your passengers survive trips on the train. Lastly, at $19.99 USD, the game would be better priced at $14.99 like it is on Steam, PS4, and XBOX One.
Should You Play?
The Final Station is a unique experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with it. However, this game may not be for everyone. If you enjoy side scrolling action, you should give it a go. If the train simulator is all that catches your attention, know that it is a small part of the game. In fact, the game would not suffer if it wasn’t in there. Overall, I can recommend this game to enthusiasts of the genre.