Last Stop is an adventure game developed by Variable State. It was then published by Annapurna Interactive for consoles and PC in July 2021.
In the 1980s, a pair of teenagers were running from the cops. They get themselves stuck in a stairwell, but they see a man who opens a strange portal. One goes in, one gets caught. What does this mean? Well I thought it would set up a wild ride of a story. What I got instead was a time jump to boredom.
The story focuses on four characters. John and Jack, Meena, and Donna, each with their own lives, their own wacky adventures, and mysteries that come in waves. The first thing I wanted to do was play all of John’s story, then Meenas, then Donna’s. Except the game didn’t give me that chance. Instead I had to play everyone’s first chapter, then second chapter, etc, wondering when all these stories would become exciting and intertwine. John and Jack’s story was silly and fun. I did thoroughly enjoy it, as they switch bodies, their whole lives get flipped upside down, and now they have to make due.
The rest of the characters in the game, including the supporting characters, were unlikable in almost every sense of the word. Meenas’ story was all about her resolve to find out who knows that she’s having an affair, and Donnas’ story is all about kidnapping a strange man with her friends and not letting him go, even though they have multiple chances! It doesn’t help that none of these are exciting. It just feels like I’m playing through someone’s humdrum life. Sometimes something interesting would happen that made me go “ohhhh!”, but it wasn’t often. I was bored more times than I wasn’t. At least each person’s chapters were mostly short. There was one that was literally done in a minute. Though I wasn’t complaining, I don’t see why they didn’t put that cutscene into another chapter.
The game doesn’t get truly interesting until the final chapter. But by this point it was too little too late to reel me back on fully. Though I was excited for John’s story, I just couldn’t care what happened to the other two dreadful characters. It felt like their stories went nowhere. The dialogue always came down to everyone being an absolutely mean spirited person, no matter what choices I picked.
There is little to no gameplay in this. The most you’re doing is walking down streets, as you press buttons to choose how you want your dialogue to be perceived, though as I said, most of the time, you’d end up being a terrible person with the response. Sometimes you have to play little games with the sticks. Like twirling the left stick in a quarter circle to make John sip his morning coffee, or mash the shoulder buttons to make your character run. But outside of this, the game is all dialogue, that was more hit and miss. More misses than hits though.
- John & Jack’s Story
- Fun Little Minigames
- Unlikeable Characters
- Stories Go Nowhere
I love story driven games. I love games where there’s no gameplay and just a ton of dialogue to listen to or read. But at least make it interesting. By the time the game picks up for some excitement, it’s over before you know it. The characters are all terrible, the stories are dull, it was just not a good time. I don’t care about your affair, Meena! You’re a shit person! I hope your family leaves you! Just play something else. There’s not much else I can truly say.
Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Variable State
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Annapurna Interactive
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £19.99/€24.99 Europe / $24.99 North America
Trophy Information: 36. 1 / 4 / 11 / 20