Reviews - Updated on March 30, 2022

Developers from Variable State are able to come up with interesting mystical stories and present them in an unusual way – just remember their Virginia, which evoked associations with Twin Peaks and Fargo. It was generally well received, although it was not without questions, in particular, to the plot logic. Roughly the same thing happened with Last Stop.

Three in one

It immediately catches your eye that Last Stop is a modern, European, or rather British game. In the sense that it is tolerant. The sister of one of the heroines is a lesbian cop, there is interracial sex, and in general, white and colored characters are approximately equally divided. However, for modern Europe, in particular for London, where the action takes place, this is the norm. That is, the authors do not promote anything, but fix the fact. And the story isn’t about that at all.

Last Stop: Overview

This game is not for children.

Last Stop tells three stories that intersect at some point, and at the end they completely merge together. One is about a bald and fat single father, John, who, against his will, switched bodies with a young neighbor, Jack. In the other, we play as a schoolgirl Donna, who has discovered a strange person – people are disappearing in his house. Together with friends, she followed him and locked him in the pool. Finally, the third story is about the careerist and traitor Mina, who works in a private military company, which studies the nature of the mysticism that is happening in the game.

Last Stop: Overview

And there is enough mysticism.

But Last Stop is not about mysticism, but about people and their lives, about relationships in the family, at work, with others. John, who recently suffered a heart attack, is raising an adorable eight-year-old daughter alone, sympathizes with a colleague and hates his boss. Mina actually trades her husband and son for a job and a lover.

Last Stop: Overview

Mina also lies to her father.

And Donna, in addition to typical teenage worries (boys that she likes and girlfriends from whom these boys can be taken away), also has a sick mother and a sister who bothers her with excessive care.

Here there was a place for family drama, and for tragedy, and even almost for comedy – there are ironic dialogues, situations and well-aimed sketches from modern life. For example, the young man Jack, John’s neighbor, with whom they swapped bodies, works in the gaming industry.

Last Stop: Overview

This story is the funniest, but it was not without drama.

It’s funny to see how a single father in the body of a 20-year-old developer went to someone else’s job, where he has to hand out tasks to people working on AI in a strange game. And when the boss starts talking about unpaid crunches, our hero just explodes with indignation. It is from this combination of humor, drama, mysticism and real life with its problems that the charm of Last Stop is formed.

Last Stop: Overview

The characters meet under very strange circumstances.

By the will of Tellale Games

In Virginia, everything was subordinated to the story and atmosphere, and there was almost no gameplay. In the new game Variable State, the gameplay feels tighter, but its task is the same – to stand on the sidelines and not really interfere with us immersing ourselves in the story.

In principle, everything is in the spirit of games from Tellale Games – the choice of lines in dialogues and QTE. Moreover, the latter are very simple: for example, you need to repeat a given sequence of buttons without much haste or stop the cursor in a certain area.

The most difficult thing here is to simultaneously press, read and select.

But there are a lot of QTEs – with their help we have breakfast, and stealth, and play the piano.

In addition, in the episodes for Mina there are elements of a primitive quest. Once we assemble a puzzle from broken dishes, once we correctly arrange the books on the shelves, once with a first-person view (and the rest of the game takes place from the third), we explore the rooms, look for clues and passwords from the laptop. In addition, Mina often needs to assess the level of threat posed by a person, or their emotional / physical state.

Last Stop: Overview

The game here does everything for you, but it still looks interesting.

It is clear that someone would like more tension and sharpness from the gameplay, but from the point of view of a purely narrative project, everything is fine.

What is really annoying is the need to make frequent and slow passes through the locations, when in fact nothing but dialogue is happening. And they are allowed to run only according to the plot. The chapters themselves for each character are short – to maintain the rhythm of the story. But these leisurely walks just knock down the rhythm.

Last Stop: Overview

Sometimes it’s not entirely clear where to go.

Some will find the graphic style and animation controversial. But I, on the contrary, saw my own charm in it, interesting in its own way, and Virginia was also distinguished by this.

Last Stop: Overview

In places the game is very beautiful.

Everything is like in the series

Combines Last Stop with the adventures of Telltale and the fact that there are constantly situations of choice. Will Mina agree to take a walk with her son or not; whether she will tell her husband the truth or lie again about the business trip; how John in Jack’s body will behave and respond in an interview – in fact, the whole game consists of such dilemmas.

Another thing is that the real consequences come even less often than Tellale. In fact, the most important decisions we make at the very end, and they determine one of the two endings for each character.

Last Stop: Overview

Time to choose here is also limited.

In addition, as in Virginia, there are questions to the story itself, or rather, to the logic of some actions and situations. Why does a girl, noticing how her friend is actually kidnapped by a mysterious stranger, does not tell anyone about it and does not react in any way, although a minute after that she talks to their mutual friend, and then to the kidnapper himself? How can schoolchildren keep a person in a pool building in London (not in some village!) for so long and no one notices this?

Last Stop: Overview

And why do the characters react surprisingly calmly to the fact that they see such characters for the first time?

This can spoil the impression, although in general, nothing critical – I had more complaints about Virginia. The main thing here is that you still continue to play and watch – the story is addictive.

Last Stop: Overview

The virtual operator is able to choose angles.

Last Stop is, against all odds, a fun interactive series that even has a bit of The Longest Journey in it. It is dynamic and well-placed. Watching only one story from and to will not work – they alternate all the time, and the intrigue remains until the very end. Each character goes through his own development path and changes in one way or another. And our decisions at the end show what conclusions the characters came to.

Pluses: three fascinating stories, united by common mystical events; interesting characters that develop in the course of the plot; competent directing; a stylish picture in its own way; expressive voice.

Cons: not everyone will like the fact that the gameplay does not pose complex challenges; there are questions to the logic of some plot situations; sometimes clumsy animation.

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