You wake up peaceful. You bathe, make your breakfast, get your gear on and head out to the normal routine in your mundane life. Some of us have some a weird yearning believing that we are made to do so much more and you are probably right. Maybe you are meant for great things, but right now your task is to survive and drive your way to what we call salvation. All aboard gamers and please have your tickets ready for this survival zombie sidescroller named The Final Station, developed by Do My Best Games and published by tinyBuild, where you are the train operator whose task is to get those to safety. At least that is what you are lead to believe.
Something is going wrong in this world we are in and I am just now realizing that it may not be Earth since I go outside to see two freaking moons. The key here is to do your job and get passengers safely through this dying world. Apparently, these capsules fell out of the sky, causing an infection that changes your average citizens into these undead mud-looking creatures. Literally, they look like mutated tar monsters going after your flesh. As the train operator, you are tasked with certain deeds to go from station to station finding survivors and supplies to keep your train going. This is a demonic version of “The Little Engine That Could.”
In that, there seems to be a deeper plot involved as you are chugging along to different towns discovering hidden information to what could be the true cause of this nightmare. I mean, what is an infected world without a bunch of corrupt government officials to drive the story full circle? Put that all together and you have a game that drives you to get the hell out while saving as many people as you can.
Do not judge this game by its appearance. I know many gamers are used to high-end graphics, but this game has that lovely HD retro feel to it. I love the mix of complicated with simple as you go through this game as the hero. You have to search both abandoned and populated cities for materials and survivors. The trick here is when you run into the infected, you have to take care of the medkits that you find. If you keep those medkits and do not use it, it will be added to the train’s inventory. However, you can find crafting materials that are used to make medkits and ammunition. As of right now I only have an upgraded pistol and your standard shotgun which I have named Delilah. Oh yes, I shall not forget about Five Finger Mary, which is your fist to punch the undead to make them all dead. This is cool because it can be a charged one shot punch for certain infected. There is a strategy to go through these levels without firing a bullet, but my scared butt has not done that yet.
There are times when I am even scared to open up doors because I am not sure what is behind them and that is an exhilarating feeling. You have your runners, normal walkers, armored, explodable, and what I recently ran into—Behemoth infected to deal with. Do not rely on your guns alone, as ammo runs out fast, so use your brain as well as the environment. There are times you can throw items that deal a one shot kill and I am known to take said item with me around until I run into something to throw at it (laughs).
Besides those bits of horrific challenges, your biggest challenge comes when you finally board your train to the next station. That in itself is a new chore to deal with as the more passengers you have the more, you have to deal with. Sometimes you will find passengers that are badly wounded or ill, so it is important to have enough crafting tools and food for them. They will either get hungry or need medical attention. There will be indicators that show up beneath you to give you a heads up on what they need. Bandage them up and get them snickers to shut them up while you focus on your partner, the train.
The freaking train needs different kinds of maintenance through each travel. There are times that you will have to deal with one problem or a few at a time, which are little mini games to balance the problems out. Then the military wants to give you additional cargo that you will also have to take care of while attending to your passengers and the train. This is where your moral code comes into play in that you have to make crucial decisions before your next stop. I’ve had many situations where I had to decide on who is going to have to die in order to save someone else. I like that form of gameplay because it makes you understand the kind of person you are.
In any given scenario, I am going through town having the ambition to find supplies to craft with and food to help my passengers. The damn game made me care and I enjoyed that feeling a bit too much! I started to be more careful than usual going through the areas and making sure I collect as much as possible because my passengers need me.
Audio Makes a Game!
Whoever worked on the audio for this game I have to give you kudos for making me second guess areas and have a sense of calm at times. The level designs are nothing without the amazing audio that gives each zone its personality. I have to say the recent stream I did that freaked me out the most was when I ended up in the tunnels and…you know why don’t I just show you.
That whole level had me on edge and I loved it. Great job.
The Final Station is a BUY, no question. Its classic style, deep story and hidden talent are entertaining, as well as its great gameplay as demonstrated through the developer’s vision are welcomed. Its price tag of $14.99 is quite acceptable, hell I would even pay 20 bucks since you do so much and explore of a lot for a sidescrolling game. I have already clocked in about 4 hours of gameplay and I think I am getting close to the end because I am discovering a few secrets that I feel will get my character killed. It may be short, but satisfying for the price.
I thank you for checking out this review of The Final Station which is available now on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Mac OSX and Windows PC in the Steam Marketplace.