The Final Station Beta Review

One of my favorite scenes in video games was the train sequence in the first season of The Walking Dead. Depressing, climactic, and most important of all insightful, it showed how character development could be built off of a recent death, and for others nothing at all. Better yet, it gave you a greater chance to emotionally connect with these characters before they met or graced the possibility of unfortunate events (like death). Now nearly three years later, indie studio TinyBuild is taking their eyes on the tracks. There’s such a thing as influence, but does The Final Station borrow too much of it? Here’s our verdict of what we’ve played so far.

*What we played of the game was the first chapter out of five. Because what we played is technically “unfinished” we’re basing this critique off of what we played, instead of what we believe will happen down the line and so on.

Gameplay:

At it’s best, it’s a fucked up version of The Oregon Trail

The best indie games typically combo two ideas that don’t really seem like they would work all that well, but balance the mechanics so tightly that you don’t notice. In The Final Station, this is perfected yet again with the game’s mix of 2D horror and hard hitting simulation. One moment you’ll be scavenging for bullets echoing AAA darlings like Fallout or The Last of Us, and the next you’ll be feeding your survivors and fixing issues so they don’t face their otherwise impending doom. This combination is more than ingenious, and sets up a world I’d like to see a lot more of.

Story & Design:

Your passengers won’t help you directly, but that’s besides the point

One downside to what I played was that there wasn’t much context to how the world fell this way, but this sort of adds to the desperation. Passengers that are willing to speak will give some clues, but overall it’s something that can’t be judged in a non-complete form, but is still promising, adding even more oomph to great gameplay, atmospherics, and aesthetic.

Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:

Desolate landscapes paint the apocalypse in a much different light

Not only is the world in The Final Station deserted and dead, but numerous points hint to a conclusion of something much more mysterious. This continues into the gameplay as well, as you’ll find yourself unsure if you’d survive the next encounter, with your limited resources. (This rings especially true when you come across new enemies)

Conclusion:

Although what we’ve played of The Final Station is incomplete, it surpasses a lot of other post apocalyptic survival games on the market, likely due to a focus on survival instead of overall competition. It’s also one of the most ambitious games I’ve seen TinyBuild (the publisher) get their hands on, and if the game fully pans out, they’ll be someone hard to beat in the indie landscape.

The Final Station gets a 9/10 So Far (Very Good)

We’d like to thank Tiny Build for giving us a code!

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