The life of a taxi driver can be very interesting when you think about it. Picking up passengers and listening to the stories that they tell all while engaging in the conversation. What do you think if what you were told was something that could become something very dangerous or possibly the one you heard about on the news, was actually the one sitting right behind you? Do you think you would be nervous, try to help in any way that you can, or would you try to gamble with the risk? It is indeed very interesting when you think about it. But does developer Zenfri show us what the life of a taxi driver in the future could be like? Let’s find out with The Last Taxi for PCVR.
The Last Taxi is a narrative-driven adventure game set in a politically and economically-divided sprawling metropolis called Progress Point where you will meet a diverse cast of passengers, each with their own tailored conservation as you try to unravel a conspiracy that could shake Progress Point to its core. So before you get in the seat and pick up passengers, there are a few things that you might want to be aware of. First, find your favorite place to sit. You are in a taxi, after all, so you might as well be comfortable. Second, make sure you have your favorite headphones as listening is going to be important here. Third, make sure your controllers are not about to run out of battery power. You don’t want something to happen that could have easily been prevented if only there was enough life in the batteries. And finally, just relax, enjoy, and have fun with everything that is presented. With all that said, let’s continue…
When you first start The Last Taxi, you are given a choice, do you want a tutorial or do you feel that you know it all and want to jump right in? I would say start with the tutorial and use that time to just get familiar with your taxi and all the functions from shields to using the horn to the wipers. Remember, you will be interacting with your passengers, so the fewer distractions the better. As you start the tutorial, you get to meet Buck who will eventually sell you the hub where your taxi is located and you will be coming back many times. You also have the trusty tablet that syncs with your taxi so that any tips or bills you may receive, will be added to the tablet. So after each passenger that you pick up, you will be coming back to the hub where you can acquire new items, spend your earnings on new mods as well as learn about the available locations and also get to new unlocked locations with new upgraded licenses.
Once the destination is selected, you will pick up the tablet to get in your taxi where you place your tablet on the console. Here, just like with the workbench in the hub, you can adjust the setting to get everything as you would like. The console displays the passenger information along with your shift details that show the current fare, what you have earned, any expenses, and your net worth. Now, since this is the future, in order to really interact with your taxi, you will need to insert a mod into your ear so the Nanos can do what they do best. The next step is to pick which hand will be used to place vials that will be placed into your hand where your blood is drawn which converts to the energy that your taxi needs in order to operate actions like a shield or using the windshield wipers for example.
Keep in mind, that when the vials are empty, they will auto eject from your hand and you can grab another vial. But vials cost money and the more vials you use or mods that you buy, come out of your net worth and this is where the interactions with your passengers come into play with the choices you select that can make your passenger happy or upset depending on what you select. But there is no right or wrong per se, but each path has tradeoffs. So it’s really how you want to answer that makes the interactions with the passengers really interesting. Oh, and when you do have a passenger, you can see them talking with their facial expressions. But feel free to turn around if you would like to see more of them on your autopiloted route.
Now, part of the task is to report any illegal activities and you do this by inserting a blank recording disk. Once your passenger says something you think may be illegal and have some incriminating evidence, you hit the record button. The thing is, you only have so much space on that disk to use with your attempts to record, so make sure you record when you are sure or at least think you are sure that there is evidence. But again, it’s your choice to record or not, but by recording and having that evidence, your net worth can increase.
Let’s look at the graphics and sound. There is something about being in the driver’s seat of the cab with the different controls, being able to turn around to see the passengers while your taxi does the driving, and being immersed as one of the last human taxi drivers. The art style of the many different characters that you will meet with each one having a story to tell just from the moment you look into their eyes is clear, vibrant, and simple (but in a good way). The music for the game has a variety of sounds that everyone should find something to like. Really listening to the different characters, I started to really look at the design of each character, and for me, I found that each different voice really matched the overall design of the character and humor, which I enjoyed.
There are a few things I hope to see updated. For one, when I first started the game, it did seem like it took a while to start. And finally, it would be nice to have an option to have subtitles for those that would like to read what is being said.
The Last Taxi takes us on a ride in the future of a taxi cab driver while getting a chance to engage with other passengers. It isn’t looking for you to take control of the ride, but to also be the passenger as you embark on the journey. In life, we all have choices to make and those choices will have the results that we may or may not have been expecting. But it’s the choices that are made that help build the character that we are destined to become.
The Last Taxi is out now on Steam VR. A review code was provided.To learn more about ZenFri, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and follow them on Instagram. In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to discover more endings.