A first person sci-fi “walking simulator” set in a space station, The Station is similar to games like What Happened to Edit Finch and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and takes the player on a story driven journey. The Station is a kickstarted game developed and published by The Station, yes they chose to name themselves after the game and is out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. So, does this game surpass games like Tacoma or Edith Finch, does it do just enough to be on their level or does it try hard and ultimately fail, let’s find out.
The Station is set in a world where we have discovered a sentient alien race that may or may not know almost everything about humanity. While the senators and politicians of our planet did not know how to proceed, a secret stealth space station was sent into space with a goal to research about the aliens and to maybe find a way for peaceful negotiations. Aboard the space station is a crew consisting of just three people. But, the space station goes dark and our player character, a specialist in Recon is sent to the space station to find out why it went dark and what happened to the crew of it.
Visually the game does everything right to recreate the inside of a futuristic space station. For a game worth $15, the visual design and overall presentation is really good and does a good job to help players differentiate between objects that they may have to sift through. Every interactive item or object is also distinguishable but it does not stick out like a sore thumb. However I do feel that certain aspects of the visual presentation could be done better to better reflect the absence of people and something that might add a bit more mystery behind the disappearance of the crew. In terms of Audio I personally felt that the game really could have done way better.
For a game revolving around listening to people’s audio logs you’d imagine that the voice acting would be expressive but sadly that was not the case. It felt dull, bland and just uninspired. It didn’t really pull me into the stories of those characters and I felt let down. The music and soundtrack is good but there’s not much of it as most of the game is mostly just silence or the little ambient noises of the space ship. This was a bummer as the music was good, especially the last song and I feel like the game was going for a more minimalist approach with the music but couldn’t really execute it properly.
The gameplay has you walk around, exploring the ship and solving puzzles while you pick up information about the crew, ship and the situation. The puzzles are not difficult or hard and fit well within the theme of the game. The puzzles didn’t seem out of place for something that’s on a space station. The information gathering is good but as you slowly get the feel of it all and really start getting into the game, its over. The game is not longer than 2 to 2 and a half hours and it just felt very abrupt. It has an interesting premise, an interesting setting but it doesn’t really do much with it. While many people seem to be praising the game for its story and how it will stick with you, the game stuck with me for the wrong reason, which was the really short story that felt like it ended too soon.
The Station has an interesting premise with a lot of good and interesting elements but sadly falls short due to the lackluster voice acting and the really short story. It had the potential to be up there with the likes of Tacoma and Edith Finch but sadly, it lacked the execution. Even for a game that’s worth $15, I wouldn’t recommend this game due to how short it is and only get it if you’re either a big fan of games of this genre or if it’s heavily discounted.