The Station – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle Adventure
Developer: The Station
Publisher: The Station
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

The Station – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: The environmental storytelling is great
Bad: A rather short game, Events feel a bit disconnected
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

The Station is a short puzzle adventure game focused on the story, developed and published by a small team dedicated to this game. This game explores an interesting theme: what would be the best course of action if an intelligent and technologically advanced alien species is discovered on a planet you could reach, but these aliens seem to be rather violent and possibly dangerous to contact? In this game you’ll investigate a station which was build to observe aliens while being undetectable for the aliens, but of course: things went wrong, the systems malfunctioned and the station now hangs silently above a potentially hostile planet.. 

The Station

Story

In the near future, an intelligent alien species is discovered. However, these aliens seem to be quite violent and are currently fighting in a devastating civil war. This is a groundbreaking discovery and contacting these aliens seems the logical step, but with their violent nature it might be a dangerous mission. Instead of establishing contact, a council of politicians decide it would be best to observe these aliens instead, and to collect information about the planet. Three brave explorers go out to this blue planet ‘Psy Prime’ in a high-tech space station named the Espial, with an advanced cloaking system to hide from the aliens’ sight. However, just before the end of their short exploratory mission, all contact is lost with the crew, and the systems of the station have mysteriously gone down, including the cloaking system. You are sent to the Espial to investigate, and find out what happened to the station and the crew.

The Station - screen 1

The crew of the Espial Space Station consists of captain Mila, scientist Silas, and engineer Aiden. During your investigation through the station, you’ll be able to access some of their logs and conversation through your AR system. All crew members wear a system which records emotional moments as voice logs, and you’ll be able to access them at the relevant locations. The crew still seems to be present at the station, but you’re not able to contact them. However, every now and then you’ll notice that you are being watched by someone in a space suit.. One of the aliens? Or one of the crew who has gone into hiding for some reason?

There’s a great twist at the end of the story, which you’ll probably be able to foresee if you pay a lot of attention exploring all the items around you on the station, but it is still a nice touch to the game.

The Station - screen 2

Graphics

The graphics are really great! The station itself is very beautiful, well designed, and all the rooms have their own style and atmosphere. The station is full of awesome details, and looking around a lot is an absolute treat. It’s not needed for the story to look at everything around you, but it’s worth it. You’ll encounter a model of the Espial itself, which you can assemble. You’ll see various displays in the labs, giving you lots of background information. There are also several games like chess and cards lying around, the drawings of Aiden’s daughter, and tons of other stuff with really gives the characters personality. Just checking out all these items tells you so much more about the context of the game.

Sound

There’s no music except for during the intro, some exciting scenes during the game, and the ending. During the game itself you’ll mostly hear environmental sounds: doors opening and closing, and the ambient mechanical hum of the station itself. The sound effects are perfect: they really fit the setting, and make you feel like you are really there. The intro is narrated, and sounds a bit like a documentary, which fits the style. The narration of the audio logs of the crew is very well done, the voices fit the personalities of characters and their emotions.

The Station - screen 3

Gameplay

The station is a first-person puzzle adventure game, where you need to solve puzzles by carrying items around and searching for items, and collect some key items to get access to several locked areas in the station. Puzzles in The Station are not very hard or complicated, but well thought out. It feels like the puzzles fit into the setting, and it won’t take too much time to figure them out. There are several kinds of puzzles: look through items to find the right ones following clues, collect items, find codes, etc. All these tasks seem natural for an investigator searching to get access to people’s personal rooms and belongings.

The pieces of story you’ll find either through text, audio-logs or objects are a lot of fun to explore: they give depth to the characters, the company who built the station, the technology and politics surrounding the mission, and the findings about the aliens below. You can spend a lot of time just exploring and admiring all the beautiful rooms, and the many objects within.

The Station - screen 4

As you make your way through the station, unlocking areas and following the story, things will happen around you, set in motion by either the crew or the aliens. While you are getting around you do notice that you were being watched, but you do not have direct interaction with whoever seems to be present at the station. Since many things happening at the station are happening while you are there, it would make sense if you at least spoke to someone via the comms. Now you’ll just hear something, make your way there, and just hear what and why it happened via the audio log, which seems a bit distant. However, we can imagine that talking to the crew directly could potentially spoil the ending.

Conclusion

The station is a rather short game which could be completed in about two hours if you take your time exploring but it is really good! The graphics are absolutely fantastic, the Espial station has been created with so many great details to explore. The story is a lot of fun to experience, with a great twist at the ending. It’s interesting to learn about the characters, their thoughts and feelings, and what they have discovered about the aliens on Psy Prime. The end is a bit sudden though, and could maybe have been introduced a bit more dramatically. This game is recommended for anyone who likes to play through a nice short story, set in a great looking space station full of cool details to explore. Don’t expect any jump scares, but you’ll certainly feel on edge at some points during the game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Station - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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  1. […] well-received sci-fi mystery game The Station is now available for the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. Along with the new […]

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