Imagine this scenario: there is a huge discovery of a sentient alien race on another planet. But that alien race seems violent and is consistently caught up in battles and war. Do you approach the sentient beings with an olive branch? Or do you study them first to see if they are worthy of befriending?
In The Station, the world’s government decides to do the latter, so they set up a spy station near the newly-discovered planet and fill it with scientists, linguists and other researchers to determine if they should reach out to this new species. But then something goes wrong: all communications and signals from the station abruptly end. It is your job to travel to the station and find out what went wrong.
And here’s my review of how that all plays out.
Science fiction always offers intriguing possibilities, including contact with alien life forms, so that makes The Station interesting right out of the gate. And that story progresses as the player traverses the station all alone, searching for signs of life and hints of what happened. There are lots of audio clips, as well as notes and emails left along the way to fill in the blanks and it’s fun wandering around the station looking for them.
There’s just one problem here: this game is short. As in really short. The game time comes in at less than two hours, so this is one of those things you could play quickly. But strangely enough, even as short as it is, it packs a punch, complete with a shocking ending that you may or may not see coming.
This is a point and click adventure, so you’ll be doing a lot of wandering around the ship and pointing and clicking. That’s sort of the point, right? The key is to interact with everything in the environment. The game does a good job of helping you along so that you know what objects are important to interact with and what objects aren’t.
There are also some puzzles that will need solving. They do provide a nice challenge, but aren’t so hard that you have the kind of nightmares you might have had playing Myst. Although the ship itself is open to exploring, the gameplay still leads you down the path of solving each mission as the game assigns it to you.
It did take me a few minutes to get used to controls on the PS4. For some reason, the interact button (which is almost always “X”) is actually R1. But eventually, it becomes second nature, or as second nature as something can get in a few hours.
This game also has some good sound, as most science fiction games do. The sound design reminded me a lot of SOMA, another similar game that I absolutely loved. There’s that quiet that comes with being the only person on a space station, but there are also those little noises that let you know that something is going on throughout your exploration of the station.
The voice acting is good, too. You get to know the characters through sound bites, so that’s important in a game like this. You hear their personalities come through from what little interaction you have with their audio files.
Basically, as previously mentioned, The Station is a short game. If you’re looking to have a space station that you can explore for a long amount of time, this probably isn’t the game for you. But if you’re looking to burn a few hours and get entertained for about the time it takes to watch a movie, I recommend this title. In spite of its brevity, it offers a nice story with a cool twist at the end that I really liked.
Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Note: FanGirlConfessions.com received a review copy of The Station for PlayStation 4.