Last Train Home... Reviewed!

The Last Train Home is a... heart-wrenching journey of survival, and we appreciate THQ Nordic for supplying us with a copy to review (my opinions are my own). Is the Last Train Home worth the challenging journey? Let's find out!

Story: In terms of the story, the Last Train Home is... inspired by real historical events that put you in charge of Czechoslovak soldiers. The mission is to make your way back home aboard an armored train in Siberia during a Russian civil war (the White Army vs the Red Army). I think fans of history are really going to love this game and the true story behind it, and if you like branching paths to a story... you will find that decisions will have an impact on the narrative. This is one of the reasons why I enjoyed The Walking Dead game franchise so much. Granted the decisions aren't as frequent, but they're still there in the Last Train Home. Hmmm, I shouldn't say that they aren't as frequent... because your decisions in the field matter greatly. Before we go into gameplay, here's a bit of info Sophi came across regarding the historical events that inspired the game (while we aren't glorifying war, the history is... interesting):

In May 1918, the Czechoslovak Legion found themselves spread out along the Trans-Siberian Railway, stretching from Penza to Vladivostok. However, the process of evacuating them was not going as smoothly as anticipated. The railway was in poor condition, locomotives were in short supply, and negotiations with local Soviets along the way were causing delays. On the 14th of May, a disagreement at the Chelyabinsk station between legionaries heading east and Magyar POWs heading west resulted in the People's Commissar for War, Leon Trotsky, ordering the arrest and disarmament of the legionaries. A few days later, at an army congress in Chelyabinsk, the Czechoslovaks, against the wishes of the National Council, refused to disarm and instead began issuing ultimatums for their passage to Vladivostok. This event ignited what would be known as the Revolt of the Legions.

As May came to a close in 1918, clashes between the Czechoslovak Legion and the Bolsheviks erupted at different points along the Trans-Siberian Railway. The fighting intensified along the railway route from Penza to Krasnoyarsk in June. By the end of the month, General Mikhail Diterikhs and his legionaries had successfully seized control of Vladivostok, overthrowing the local Bolshevik administration.

Legionnaires returned via the Trans-Siberian Railway to provide assistance to their fellow fighters in the west. In their initial encounters with the fledgling Red Army, the Czechoslovaks emerged victorious. By mid-July, they had taken control of the railway from Samara to Irkutsk, and by early September, they had driven out Bolshevik forces along the entire length of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The legionnaires conquered major cities in Siberia, including Yekaterinburg, but unfortunately, Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed under the direct orders of Yakov Sverdlov just days before the arrival of the Legion.

The news of the Czechoslovak Legion's Siberian campaign in the summer of 1918 was met with enthusiasm by Allied leaders in Great Britain and France. They viewed this operation as an opportunity to establish an eastern front against Germany. Facing pressure from both domestic and international sources, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, who had previously resisted Allied calls for intervention in Russia, eventually agreed to support the evacuation of the legionaries from Siberia. In July 1918, he released a memorandum advocating for a limited U.S. intervention in Siberia.

In Transbaikal, the Czechoslovak Legion had already arrived to greet the American and Japanese units once they landed in Vladivostok. The impressive campaign of the Czechoslovak Legion in Siberia caught the attention of Allied statesmen and sparked their interest in the concept of an independent Czechoslovak state. Throughout the victorious summer, as the legionaries achieved one triumph after another, the Czechoslovak National Council received official acknowledgments from different Allied governments.

Fun Fact: I met several gamers, including one from the Czech Republic the day before I published this review, and let's just say... he looks forward to checking it out.

Gameplay: Some RTS games are more forgiving than others, but the Last Train Home... isn't one of those games. You have to maintain morale, obtain food to feed everyone and avoid starvation, keep them on a good schedule (they need to rest), and keep them safe. Don't risk simply running into battle-depleting ammo and medkits, because they aren't located at every turn, and also remember... you don't have to fight everyone. Survive, recruit, gather your resources, upgrade your train, and keep moving (again... survive). When it comes to the train, they wanted to maintain the experience inspired by the true events, so you are challenged with maintaining and upgrading... the Last Train Home. By this point, you may be wondering if it's a management game vs an RTS game, but... it's basically a hybrid of sorts.

You will find that you have many people aboard the train with "No Combat Role" but... don't underestimate the role of anyone, simply make sure that you use them wisely during the journey... home to increase their experience in various ways, taking care of them as well as upgrading the train are highly important. If the danger is low out in the field, consider taking someone with little to no experience out to gain some, they can learn a thing or two and could become useful in combat if necessary.

By the way, get familiar with hitting the 'Esc' key to Pause and... the right mouse button to Cancel Selected Orders. I say that just in case you send someone running off in the wrong direction and into potential danger. Controls aren't bad, but... they are something you will have to get familiar with, especially if you aren't an RTS veteran. Let's take a pause for the cause and check out this first 30:

Shout out to Dan K. for providing this!

It's probably safe to say that I'll be doing some live-streaming with this one.

Your team will have different traits like their type of character, belief, and nature. For example, let's look at Bedrich Kopcky:

He has a Diligent character, representing steady and earnest work in all his duties. When it comes to his Beliefs, he's a Nationalist who values freedom, personal responsibility, and independence. Supports decisions that make the nation stronger. His beliefs can affect the narrative in dialogues and other events. Some of his choices may also affect Morale. He is Focused in nature which increases his work efficiency, and he's also Strong-willed in nature which increases his max value of Will by... 1.

Kopcky's roles include Rifleman and he's a Worker. There are other attributes there as you see here, but you get the idea.

Another soldier is... Anna Davidova is a Doctor, but she's also a Cook. She is very important, which doesn't slight the soldiers like Kopcky who keep those like Anna safe, but... I say this because she can ensure that they live another day (on the food & medical front). Her traits in terms of her character, belief, and nature include:

Character: Careless - Probably already messed something up. Can affect narrative in dialogues and other events. (That's a pretty cold description if I must say so myself.)

Belief: Communist - Values helping those in need and despises the rich. Supports the revolution and wants the same reforms as the Reds, but not their rule. Can affect narrative in dialogues and other events. Some choices may affect Morale.

Nature: Talented - Increases XP gain of any train role while working in train. (Keep this in mind.) + She is Chaotic in Nature as well, which reduces her Work Efficiency by 15%, so you will have to boost her W.E. to make sure it isn't a crutch on your journey home.

This places her roles more so on the train, but... taking her outside to get some experience doesn't hurt when it's safe. Maybe even have her shoot at some targets. By the way, their roles come with various levels of work efficiency. So let's just say you have a lot to work with to make your crew as efficient as possible... and I'm going to go ahead and throw Replay Value in here... because you can switch things up in a new game to see how the results will be different based on different decisions. 

Remember the soldiers can affect the narrative in dialogues and... other events.

Price: The game is available for $39.99, but... you can grab it here for a limited time to save 15%! Is it worth $39.99? Yes and yes, it's a great game with a great story, especially for those craving a new RTS experience with depth inspired by historical events. Jump aboard and... game on!

Story 5

Gameplay 5

Replay Value 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

 + Sophima 

Support us via the helpful links below!