PREVIEW / The Final Station (PC)

 

Zombies and trains – that’s what The Final Station is pretty much all about. After blessing us with purely enjoyable titles, like SpeedRunners and Party Hard, developer tinyBuild now has us anticipating their next project: a post-apocalyptic zombie platformer. The beta version of the game includes approximately an hour of gameplay, covering one of the five chapters of The Final Station.

The first thing you notice before pressing “start game” is the minimalist user interface and bass music, which gives off a suspenseful vibe, mix between indie band The xx’s bass and 2008’s Mirror’s Edge music. Once you get into the gameplay though, you’ll note that there’s no music. All that was available was mostly silence and a few environmental sound effects, like the whoosh of a wind or the crinkling of flying newspapers.

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Moving on to the in-game art, the graphics are pretty basic, yet pleasingly nostalgic to those who are into old-school titles. The designers went for 8-bit pixel art, which is not new for tinyBuild; they have previously used pixel graphics in many of their titles, like Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor and Punch Club.

In The Final Station, you play as an armed hero who aims to survive the zombie apocalypse while being constantly on the move, which is where the train comes in handy. As a survivor, you are keen to find others like yourself. Your self-appointed mission is to keep them alive them while making sure their needs – for food and medicine – are being met.

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The gameplay mechanics are simple: use WASD to move, left mouse button to fire, right mouse button to melee, E to interact, and Q to reload. At each station, your aim is to kill zombies, loot dead bodies, lockers, and desks for supplies such as ammo, medkits, pills, cash, and most importantly train codes. Train codes are what get you moving from the current station to the next one.

Along the way, you could come across fresh faces who can join you on your train – the sort-of-equivalence of Noah’s Ark. On the train, between stops, you have to keep the train operational and on its tracks. You also have to adjust on-board ventilation, and allocate supplies to your fellow survivors.

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Aside from the multiple in-game placeholders and occasional moonwalk glitches that replace A-key movements, one could look forward to The Final Station. As much as the game could stand out for fusing the survival genre into a pixel art-based platformer, the beta felt quite dull while playing through it. A more immersive, engaging atmosphere, as well as diverse, and non-repetitive gameplay is highly required for this title to ace. The Final Station comes out for PC this summer – so keep an eye out for its Steam release on August 30th, 2016.

 

 

This preview is based on an early access copy of the game provided by the publisher.

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