By: Brian Gunn
The Final Station launched last year and quietly earned itself a cult audience for its bizarre world and engaging survival gameplay. With The Only Traitor, developers Do My Best have invited players back to answer some questions the main game didn’t clear up.
While the core gameplay is largely the same in The Only Traitor, much of the story context has changed. Players control a new main character telling a parallel story, and this time it’s one with a set personality that actually speaks. Although he’s another unnamed soul, he’s a bit of belligerent loner, one that’s not afraid to get his hands dirty or leave an ally behind.
This time around the goals are a little on the vague side, with the lead simply seeking shelter for the majority of the story. There’s no train to manage this time, with the game instead providing players with a car that can contain only a single passenger.
Passengers can provide free healing after a level as well as craft items for you, with each character offering varying strengths and weaknesses in regards to how they handle the task. Survival mechanics have more or less been stripped out as you no longer have to manage their food
I found this to be a bit of a drawback really. A lot of the core game’s design is built around those survival mechanics, with extra exploration required if you wanted to heal and feed everyone, and even then there was a decent chance you couldn’t save them all.
Now players are tasked with finding an item of food, water, and gas in every level, and braving extra encounters might only get you a few extra bullets or vendor junk.
While exploring these levels is a bit less compelling, mechanically they’ve improved a decent amount. Our new hero is more melee focused and thus can handle the standard enemies quite easily. To balance this out bullets are scarcer and new enemy types are introduced, such as one that spits out venom that would be extremely hard to deal with at close range.
While you can usually find a new passenger in a level, this is kind of a disappointing mechanic. There are no real repercussions to ditching one, not even an exchange between them and the player.
Each stage has a transitory stage that lets them tell their story, so if you want to learn more secrets of the world, you might want to bring along your former boss that managed an emergency shelter to pry information out of him.
The new lead being an actual character rather than a mute player avatar helps give context to the world, and you’ll find a few answers to some of the game’s mysteries, though it raises a few of its own as well.
The Only Traitor is an interesting tale that most fans of The Final Station are likely to enjoy. It doesn’t do too much to shake up the formula or provide many new types of challenges, but the new perspective on the game’s world is worth the visit.