The innovative Last Express has been revived with an official digital re-release.
One of the most surprising absences from the digital re-release scene has been Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner’s The Last Express, a notable mystery adventure title of 1997. Thanks to a deal struck with DotEmu, Last Express is absent no longer.
The Last Express was highly praised at release for its visual style and an innovative gameplay system. The game takes place on the Orient Express in 1914 during the train’s last journey from Paris to Constantinople right before the outbreak of World War I. As the American Robert Cath, players must work through a mystery on the train whilst dealing with dozens of other passengers from around the world.
What makes things interesting is that Last Express‘s adventure is literally played out in real time, with every passenger going about their business just as they would on a real train. To progress through the game, players must figure out what to do and where to be at any particular time. To make things less stressful, the ability to rewind time is included. Players are able to experience a load of different endings, though many are the result of the main character’s death.
Visually, The Last Express used a rotoscoping process that transformed real-life actors into art nouveau-inspired animation with photo-realistic backgrounds. A similar process was used for the look of the Scanner Darkly film adaptation.
All of Last Express‘s factors come together to form what is one of the most unique games out there. More information is available here and here. DotEmu is now selling a digital collector’s edition bundle for $9.99 that includes bonuses such as the soundtrack, a walkthrough, and making-of content. Considering that Last Express was made in an interesting manner, it might be worth taking a look at these extras.
The Last Express is available in five languages from DotEmu here.