Review: The Station (PS4)

Review: The Station (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC, Mac

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: The Station
Format: PSN (2.78 GB)
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: The Station Game LTD
Developer: The Station Game LTD
Original MSRP: $14.99 (US), £12.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
If you’re a fan of Firefly, you’ll remember “Bushwhacked,” one of the most haunting episodes from the cult classic TV show in which Captain Mal and his crew investigate an abandoned ship left floating in space.

Now imagine that episode as a game and you have The Station.

The Station is a first-person exploration game set on an abandoned space station, where you must find out what happened to the previous inhabitants.

A team of three exceptional scientists that were sent out to explore and study an ancient alien civilization disappeared suddenly from all forms of communication. Their station has been shut down and left at the mercy of the newly discovered planet, amidst heavy tensions with the new alien race.

As a “recon specialist,” you must find the scientists and piece together the clues that they’ve left behind, making this a story driven game.

Narration and dialogue are restricted because, as an exploration game, the story is told through its environment. In first-person, you are encouraged to explore rooms to the last detail and pick up items for closer examination. Each room and area provide their own clues, making a highly-interactive experience. From emails and messages, to voice recordings, you’ll find out what the previous team was up to before their disappearance.

I do think that walking simulators such as The Station tend to cater to a specific audience that enjoys exploration, so if you like more action and difficulty, this might not be the game for you.

The Station progresses quite slowly, requiring you to hit certain points to further the storyline. You’re walking from room to room until you unlock the next area to start exploring those rooms too. If you’re into finding tiny details and solving mysteries, you might like the slow pacing here.

You’ll come across some occasional puzzles that are tied to the main plot and trigger events. These are simple and straightforward. At one point, I was required to fix-up a robot, but I just started picking up and trying different parts until it was fully repaired. While fun, the puzzles were not memorable or particularly challenging. In order to solve them, all you really have to do is look around the room for what you need.

As for the quality of the story, it was interesting and pulled me in right away. I was intent on finishing the game just to find out what happened. While the mechanics and puzzles aren’t amazing, the story definitely is. It builds up to suspenseful moments effortlessly and keeps you on high alert for anything out of place. On its own, the game’s plot will keep you thinking long after it is over.

Visuals:
This game is stunning, showcasing some beautiful artwork right as the introduction starts. In-game, the space station seems carefully decorated and ripe for discovery.

The environments are crucial to the game’s story, and even the personal quarters that belonged to the missing team have their own personality. There’s only so much you can do inside a relatively small map such as a space station, so the game requires that you literally look into every corner.

On a technical level, the game isn’t without its flaws. The framerate can be choppy, especially during an intense occurrence or when you spin the camera around.

When navigating the menus, instead of scrolling down with the D-pad or the analog stick to view quest objectives, you have to awkwardly press R1 to scroll or to turn to another page.

The Station still has many scenic moments that will prove to be screenshot worthy. You won’t regret looking out the windows to stare at the vastness of space.

Audio:
The voice acting found in the recordings is performed well enough to provide tension and awareness to the surroundings. While there are hardly any jump-scares, I promise there’s only a few, the voices of the characters floating around inside the empty station are sure to cause some chilling moments.

The game’s score plays off the silence of space, either playing quietly in the background or not playing at all. Mostly you’ll hear the occasional circuit frying out or some high-tech sound slowly humming away.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.


Conclusion:
Overall, I appreciate the effort that has been placed within the storytelling of the game but I would’ve liked to have seen more of the world that was set up by the creators. The game felt too short and linear for such an expansive universe.

In the future, I do hope the game’s plot develops into a small series, though I am quite satisfied with the extraordinary twist at the end. The puzzles weren’t as challenging as I would’ve preferred, however they were still fun to solve, rewarding you with more pieces and clues about the missing scientists.

I would definitely play The Station again, as there are Trophies if you collect the voice recordings and solve all of the puzzles. It needs to be expanded on, but it’s a solid game with an intense mystery begging to be solved.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Sarahy Lopez

Sarahy Lopez

Sarahy Lopez is a new writer to PS Nation. She works as an assistant news editor and social media coordinator at her college newspaper. Born and raised in Chicago, she is a bookworm and video game nerd who has high hopes of entering Overwatch esports.

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