Review of Last Train Home. Between the red hammer and the white anvil

 Simple questions give rise to heated debates. What happened to Russia in 1917? How to relate to the fall of the monarchy and the Provisional Government? What about the October Revolution and the civil war that followed it? Whose side was the truth on?..

But the story of Last Train Home is completely different. Soldiers, tired of war, want to return home. And between them and their homeland there are thousands of kilometers of travel in terrible conditions. Diseases, frosts, sabotage, ambushes await them… in a country that has split into two irreconcilable parts. And our fighters from the Czechoslovak Legion do not face the question of which of them is better. After all, we ourselves are far from being role models. Yes, and you will have to fight with both of them – just with someone much more often.

As players travel through Siberia on a train, they will make difficult decisions and face consequences. And the developers themselves, the further, the more often they show how destructive the war is.

Survival on a train

Last Train Home is a strategy game with elements of a survival simulator. On the one hand, we control the train and from time to time we send fighters on forays for resources or into battle with the enemy. On the other hand, you must constantly monitor the running out of resources: from money, fuel, food and even herbs to cartridges for rifles, pistols and machine guns.

In general, we talked about the gameplay of the strategy in the preview , so here we will only note the most noteworthy points.

A train consists of several cars, from a locomotive and a warehouse to barracks, an infirmary or, for example, a kitchen for creating new dishes. Along the way, the player can purchase new carriages, sell old ones, or change their order. So that, for example, when you go for a ram, the less valuable carriage is damaged, and not the locomotive. And no valuable crew members were injured.

And over time, the temperature becomes lower and lower, so we have to think about insulating the cars and equipping them with stoves. First of all, you need to take care of the barracks. Let’s not forget about the “hospital,” where wounded soldiers end up every now and then after missions. Doctors also need warmth. And to all those who work in special cars. Otherwise, everyone will get sick, which will at least have a negative impact on the well-being of the fighters.

At the very beginning of the game, while you are not being pursued by enemies, and there are enough resources in villages, forests and near lakes, you should calmly replenish your supplies. And spend them on all sorts of improvements to cars. Then, when the snow comes, you will say “thank you very much” to your past self!

By filling the warehouse with fuel and food (and remembering to replenish supplies while possible), you will not worry until Vladivostok, the final destination of the journey. The survival element of Last Train Home is only relevant in the first half of the game, when you need both resources and ammo. And then you just rush forward, trying not to waste too much fuel and food. Although everything will be fine even with periodic stops.

But what will stay with you until the very end is the pleasure of observing the world around you. Here you see a familiar river or lake, but the developers show you your hometown… It’s such a pity that the train passes only where the track is laid! And it only moves forward.

Carriage disputes

At the beginning of Last Train Home, you only have a small group of fighters under your command, but over time their number increases. Each of them has some kind of history, personal views, abilities and, what is much more important, specialties. Both combat and peaceful. Someone may be a worker, another a doctor, another a driver… And at the same time a skilled sniper, machine gunner or grenadier.

When forming squads that will perform peaceful tasks (for example, searching a settlement or going fishing), one must also take into account how good the soldiers are at these activities. Someone will find additional resources, while others will only get injured or bring down the mood of the entire team. Fortunately, even failure brings experience, which means fighters will continue to improve within the framework of their specializations.

Specialization is both the ability to do something and the effectiveness of a particular activity. At the first level, you are not particularly talented, but you can prove yourself. And over time, you achieve incredible productivity. Each fighter can have several civilian or combat specialties.

More than once you will have to think about what to do in extraordinary situations. Should a rogue-looking person help those he meets? Should I support the whites? What will those of your soldiers who are closer to communism say to this? Will the desire to help your neighbor develop into a disaster for the entire train?..

Dilemmas like these arise mostly early in the game, but they’re always fun to think about. In the end, it will not be so important what you did then or then, but if you take the harder path, there is noticeably less chance that everything will turn out to be a disaster. And in any case, it’s nice when the blue morale bar is near the right rather than the left edge of the scale.

When thinking about a detachment of fighters, it is important to pay attention to the well-being of the soldiers. For example, one has hypothermia, and another has an injury that affects speed… Will you need a skilled sniper who is unlikely to be able to retreat in time when the enemy attacks?

But sometimes, when enemies are about to catch up with you on the global map, delay is like death. And even those who haven’t rested for a long time or simply don’t have ammunition have to be sent to fight!

After all, the scout may not be fighting, but will still be great at exploring the area. And slow machine gunners can be placed in a vehicle or tank to cover your allies. Well, we simply keep doctors away from the front line, sometimes sending them to treat wounded comrades.


The fun in Last Train Home occurs during tactical operations, when the player is sent to achieve the main and, if possible, additional objectives. It is in these moments that strategy is at its best and worst.

Our soldiers will have to fight in the snow and among the swamps. And after recent battles, and in peaceful settlements with small shops and inscriptions in Russian… We will go to large cities and fire right on the streets. Or, acting unnoticed, kill the ever-questioning enemies through stealth. The variety of situations is great! Somewhere you will have a cannon or a machine gun, somewhere a tank, and there you just have to hope for luck…

How nice it is when a seemingly losing battle turns into a triumph – after a successful shot or maneuver (that is, when none of our fighters dies)! And when artillery hits unsuspecting enemy units with direct fire!.. Or you manage to sneak right under the nose of a patrolman… It can be really cool! But there are several important but.

Artificial intelligence here is very primitive. And the behavior of opponents raises a lot of questions. Often, even in small locations, one group of the enemy does not react in any way to what is happening literally around the corner. And there is shooting, grenades, screams!.. Nobody cares that there are fewer and fewer fighters in the group, and new corpses and bloody puddles appear on the ground.

Things are no better in places where enemies can raise the alarm and call for reinforcements. The idea was that players should use stealth to neutralize a couple of enemies, destroy the bells, and only then shoot the enemies with the whole squad. What happens in practice? You can simply get as close as possible to this very bell and kill those who approach it one by one. Because the enemy is programmed to move towards the bell one at a time, and if the first soldier dies, the second, third, and so on, run there, abandoning everything.

It becomes a little more difficult when there are at least as many enemies as you. But once you take a position behind good cover, in most situations you won’t lose a single percent of your health. The main thing is to sometimes run back, and when the enemy runs out of his cover, return to position and shoot the enemy standing in the open field.

Or take, for example, the situation in the screenshot above. One of our snipers is sitting in the bushes in stealth mode, and a squad of enemies of six privates and an officer is passing nearby. Does our lone hero have a chance? Does it make sense to just stick your neck out when such a threat is nearby?

Spoiler: such upgraded snipers can be most effective in close combat. We kill the last enemy. Everyone turns around and goes to the bushes. They don’t find anything. They turn around. We kill the last one again. Everyone turns around and goes to the bushes. They are turning around… Losing a battle in Last Train Home, unless time is pressing, is very, very difficult. But for an ideal result you still have to work hard.

And yet Last Train Home is captivating, and quite captivating. But to enjoy the strategy, you need to get used to its not-so-friendly interface (at first you simply get lost in the list of fighters and their characteristics) and local battles.

To how easily enemies can notice you, even if you are hiding behind a high fence. To shelters that may be available in one place and not work at all in another, much more obvious one. To stealth, which gives incredible advantages if you understand and accept the rules of the game.

Also, since in Last Train Home we will meet representatives of various nationalities, it is better to choose immersive voice acting. Just be prepared that the voices in Russian here are extremely specific. With a terrible accent. With the wrong accents. With strange phrases…

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