The Final Station is a side scrolling survival game where you are left alone on a train, and as you pull into the first station, you realize something is terribly wrong. The game pits you against numerous enemies and puzzles as you try to gather supplies, rescue survivors and make it to safety. The game is being released episodically, with the first episode taking about an hour to play through. There hasn’t been an official release date as of yet, but it is set to release sometime Summer 2016. While we usually publish game reviews, this will be a game ‘Preview’ which should open some insight into the game for you.
Being a side scrolling adventure game, the controls for the game are basic, but what more do you need? You get the common WASD controls for forward, back, up and down, along with the mouse for look/aiming. The on screen reticle shows you where you are looking/aiming. You also will need to use the E (Use), R (Reload) and Q (Heal). The Right mouse button is for melee attacks and Tab for switching weapons. Currently while playing I only had the option of 1 weapon, so I have not tried any other weapons.
Built using the Unity Engine, this game brings out the 8-16 bit graphics style which has been fairly common with a lot of indie games the last 2 years or so. It isn’t a bad thing by any sense of the word, as products like the Unity Engine allow developers to spend more time on other aspects of game development like gameplay, storyline and level design. While this game doesn’t have the super 4k high poly count graphics you might expect is the standard for games today, the lower resolution works, and it doesn’t take away from the fun of the game. Sometimes we just want something simple and fun, and this definitely delivers. Some of the special surprises for the graphics of the game is the almost 3-dimensional aspects. You get a sense of depth while playing the game. every so often a newspaper will blow across your field of view, and I mean like right across the front of your screen, which really gives you the sense of something more.
As mentioned in the controls section, this game is simple to control, and makes it simple to play. The standard WASD keys for basic movement, A/D for left right, W/S for moving up and down ladders and pipes. The E key will activate/open objects, or pickup/throw items at the zombies(?). The Tab key will allow you to switch weapons, but I have not found more than one. The left and right mouse buttons are for attacks, where left is for shooting, right is for a melee attack. Melee attacks are good for breaking windows, but you can also shoot them. Bullets are somewhat rare, so be cautious. The Q key uses one of your med kits, which are also rare.
While riding the train between stations, you are responsible for the well being of your passengers. You will pick up passengers during the station areas if you find them. As the train ride goes on, you need to maintain the air and power of your train, with different options available for purging the air of toxins in the passenger car, keeping an eye on the power of the train, and even bringing food and medical supplies to the passengers. It can all get a little tedious, and to me doesn’t fit in with the game play that much, but it does break up the game a little more than just collecting supplies and killing undead. With just having the first episode out, we will see where this takes us in future episodes. You can also craft new med kits and bullets with components gathered during your excursions off the train. Useful since both items are rare, as I mentioned above.
On another note, I wanted to add that there are no tutorials in this game, all the learning is done on the fly with subtle hints as what to do next. While it doesn’t seem like there is that much to grasp in a sense of complexity, there is a bit of learning that continues throughout the levels, as you learn a better way to proceed through each obstacle. I feel this adds a lot to the mystery of the game, pulling you into the story, which is basically nothing since there is very little text, and you mostly just proceed through each level. If you are like me, and tend skip through walls of text that appears in games and just play, then this is a huge benefit in ‘The Final Station“.