Zombie like creatures, the end of days, side scrolling action and trains. This is the Final Station in a nutshell. It contains elements that we all know and love (or hate) but can all these elements work together? More importantly, are you ready to conduct your train to the Final Station?
Set in a crumbling society, the final station sees you take the role of an everyday train conductor who has to move an unknown cargo South. You have no idea what is causing the world to crumble but through passing conversations and some well timed backdrops, you can soon put it together yourself.
The main game is split into two sections; the train and the stations.
During the station sections the game turns into a side stroller where your will be searching for supplies, the access code to leave the station and avoiding the Unknown, inky enemies. These sections prove to be well crafted and can create a tense, risk and reward experience. You cannot see what is in a room until you open the door so you could be in for a surprise. The enemies are not too bad but like with every survival game or movie, ammo is limited and when you encounter a large group, things become difficult. You can throw items at enemies but if you find yourself overwhelmed, it is best just to run.
During your supply searches you will encounter other survivors that will just happily jump on your train. They offer no help or resources but think they have every right to a free ride. Rude if you ask me.
This brings me nicely onto the train sections. Basically these parts are Train Conductor Tycoon. Whilst on the train you must ensure that power is distributed equally through the carriages and that the passengers are well fed and healthy. This is where your supplies from the stations come in.
Everything on the train uses power and you only can generate. so much. Start using too much and sections will shut down. The engine can stop all together or the ventilation to the passengers could shut off. All pretty bad in my opinion. My big problem is that there is very little interaction with the player to let you know what is going on. You will only find out how to manage a certain aspect of the train when it breaks or goes wrong. You are shown the different operating sections, like the power and supplies, but how to use them is up to you to find out.
Final Station is another pixel art game but it is used very well to depict a world that is facing the end of existence. As you travel from station to station, parts of the story are told through the ever changing, hand drawn backgrounds that have been designed with great detail. The character models are all unique and take advantage of the detail that can only be produced using pixel art. As always with pixel art, the graphics are not mind-blowing but they do the job that is required. The only issue I found with this art style in Final Station that the text is a little too small. You will find yourself having to get closer to the TV to read some of the messages.
The Final Station does a great job at mixed two genres together to create a unique, tense experience. The only issue I have is that ever for a short game, these mechanics become quite repetitive rather quickly. I am not saying it is not a fun experience, just that the tension soon dies. At the end of the day, Final Station is a 2D side scrolling monster shooter with trains. Be honest, you will find something it that sentence that will draw you in for the ride.
The Final Station (PS4) - 7/10
Who Should Buy This
Fans of simulation games
If you enjoy some simple side scrolling action
Who Should Avoid
Haters of Pixel Art
Anyone that needs guidance throughout the early stages of a game