Gaming

Last Stop review


Need to know

What is it? A magical realism adventure game set in London.
Expect to pay TBC
Developer Variable State
Publisher Annapurna Interactive
Reviewed on RTX 2080 Super, Intel i7-9700K, 16GB RAM
multiplayer None
Link official site

Last Stop is a game about extraordinary things happening to ordinary people. Set on the streets of London, it follows four very different characters whose unremarkable lives are suddenly touched by the supernatural. It’s an offbeat mix of the mundane and the fantastic, where one minute you’re making a cup of tea, and the next you’re tumbling through a portal into another dimension. It’s also one of the most authentic depictions of Britain I’ve seen in a videogame—a realistic, understated setting that makes those moments when things turn magical seem extra uncanny.

Developed by Variable State, the studio behind minimalist detective adventure Virginia, Last Stop is a linear, tightly scripted narrative game. You tell the characters what to say in conversations, occasionally move them through heavily choreographed scenes, and not much else. In this sense, as a game, it’s very limited in scope. The interaction is minimal and, in most cases, largely meaningless—to the point where I wish I could just sit and enjoy the story without having to lift the controller and pointlessly rotate an analogue stick to make a character scoop cereal out of a bowl with a spoon.

(Image credit: Variable State)

Last Stop has the feel of an anthology, telling three loosely linked stories that eventually intersect in the final chapter. John and Jack’s tale is the most fun, like a goofy episode of The Twilight Zone. John is a middle-aged single dad with heart problems, working a civil service job he hates. Jack is an upbeat, fitness-loving videogame developer in his twenties. And for reasons far too convoluted to get into, their brains are swapped. The pair coming to terms with this, trying to live each other’s lives, and looking for a way to get their bodies back is the source of some great comedy. But it hits some powerful emotional beats too, particularly where John’s health and his daughter are involved.



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