The Final Take
Hush Interactive/Forever Entertainment S.A.
Genre: Survival Horror
Sometimes, brevity is the kindest form of reference.
No, that’s not a saying. I just feel like it’s apt for some situations. In some cases, the less you say about something, the better. Sometimes, you have to refrain from saying something negative. Other times, there just isn’t enough to draw from to say much at all. In the case of The Final Take, it’s a bit more of the second reason than the first.
Given I just finished this game in a sitting, I wanted to at least pop some notes down so that if other folks run across this title, they may at least have some impressions before picking it up.
The Final Take is a survival horror game that takes place over four chapters. Ranging from five to ten minutes each, these chapters mainly follow Sarah Evans, a young woman who has arrived at a hospital to try to put her life back together after leaving home five years prior. When she arrives, she finds the halls empty. Without anyone to greet her or any signs of life around, she decides to explore to try to find someone. In sheer ‘horror movie protagonist’ logic, she clearly sees this hospital as her last chance at pulling her life together. Diving headlong into an abandoned building without telling anyone seems like a viable way to do just that.
There isn’t much to the game mechanically. Walking around in first-person, you see through the VHS scanlines of the protagonist you are in the viewpoint of at the time (despite the fact that you are holding a camera or phone in front of you throughout). Chapters pretty much consist of trying to get from point A to point B while reading notes or finding pictures along the way. Most chapters also have an antagonistic force pursuing you so using your flashlight or camera to illuminate the area around you is key to staying alive. Since it seems the pursuers will find you regardless of whether you have a light on or not, there’s really no reason not to use it.
If you’ve played Slender: The Eight Pages or any other game like it, you’ve had an experience like The Final Take. There are one or two unnerving moments, but the game boils down to dashing from spot to spot to tear pictures off of the walls or keep yourself a safe distance from whoever is after you. To its credit, the game looks really nice and the sound of your adversary closing in induces a bit of anxiety the way a horror game should. The ‘found footage’ feeling doesn’t make a ton of sense in the game’s context and presentation, though I appreciated the visual style as it may have been the most unique part of the game.
If I remember correctly, I picked this game up during a sale for under a dollar. Given the 45 minutes it took for me to complete it- I trapped myself a couple of times and had to restart the last level- I feel like there are worse games than The Final Take to check out if you want to throw it into a bargain bundle through Steam. It feels like there was some promise there, but the game is far too short and simple to seek out if you’re looking for a genuine horror experience.
(On an editorial note, I may do more of these “mini-reviews” in the future for games that I make my way through but that don’t feel like they warrant the entire treatment that full-length games do. Hopefully, you folks will enjoy some of these smaller looks into games like this, whether they are negative or positive, and I would love to hear feedback one way or another as they appear! – Matt a.k.a. The3rdPlayer)