“The Last Stop” is a playable love letter to London
London 1982. Great Ben, except that it’s not Big Ben, but just a poster for tourists. As the camera pulls away, we see teenagers Sam and Pete walk through the subway station and laugh when they are chased by cops dressed in classic school uniforms. The actions take place quickly, but the orders in pairs are faster, that is, until they meet a mysterious man who will lead them to the sinister door in the depths of the underground maze. He opens it, and a bright green light, similar to science fiction, can be found in the episode Dr. Who, fills the screen. Sam boldly walks through the door and comes out into the light when two officers approach Pete. The door closes, the scene ends – cut to black.
This is a revelation for Last stop, a new story-adventure game by British studio Variable State, is a kind of feint. For starters, this is the most high-octane moment in the game, which, while the rest of the seven-hour playback isn’t exciting, is more interested in colorful dialogue than in vivid action. Moreover, the prologue of the game gives the impression that this is another familiar image of London – you know, the London Bridge, the red telephone boxes, the parliament itself, a good blockbuster of the open world Ubisoft Watch Dogs: Legion bent down recently. Fortunately, Last stop it’s nothing but a predictable trawl on famous landmarks. Instead, it transfers players in the city’s letter from Zone 2 onwards (according to its famous Tube map), a place where Victorian architecture encounters 20th-century social housing — where visitors rarely go unless they score a lot. Airbnb.
So it’s surprising to hear that London wasn’t the game’s original co-directors, Jonathan Burroughs, Lyndon Holland and Terry Kenny, who spoke with Annapurna Interactive. Initially, Last stop was called Moon Lake, and it happened in a fictional American city, reminiscent of the place where Twin Peaks hosts the first trio title, Virginia. The change was due to the main difference between this game and their first – not an expanded volume or the transition from the first to the third person, and the inclusion of a dialog box. Virginia was completely speechless, instead telling his quiet story through evocative animations, a horrible environment and clever cinematic montage. Last stopfor comparison – a chatterbox; You spend most of your time taking part in cheerful, naturalistic conversations.
Having entered into a publishing contract with Annapurna on Moon Lake in 2017, and work was officially launched shortly thereafter, Burroughs and the rest of the team quickly began to question the marriage of their American environment and recently talkative characters. “I certainly felt anxious,” Burroughs said during a video call on Zoom. “If dialogue was central to this game, it would be helpful if it was placed in a place that we were all well aware of. We wanted to talk with colloquial words and a natural voice, and not rely on second-hand TV and movie links. Annurna agreed to the change, and the reduced state changed the beat, rushing into an anthology of stories that would eventually merge Last stop.