I’m a little surprised by just how cinematic Last Stop is. Developer Variable State wrestles the camera away from the player to frame every scene in different ways. Much like Silent Hill or The Medium, this is sometimes utilized to achieve a disturbing voyeuristic effect, but as Last Stop is a supernatural adventure game and not horror, the camera is used to convey more feelings beyond fear or dread.
It’s a totally different vibe from Variable State’s debut game, 2016’s Virginia. Virginia is portrayed in first-person, and gives the player control of the camera to observe and focus on the finer subtleties of its ambiguous plot. That, coupled with the lack of any spoken dialogue, allows Virginia to also be fairly open to interpretation–just Google “Virginia game ending” and you’ll find plenty of different theories of what players think that game’s story is about.
“It was really interesting for us, because to us, there’s a version of Virginia on the page, and our development documentation was very specific,” Variable State co-founder Jonathan Burroughs told me, following a showcase of Last Stop. “So it’s not that I never want to share that with people–I love it, I’m down with these many interpretations.”