The Station is an intriguing, engaging, and well-written science fiction adventure. It’s shorter than it deserves to be and could stand a better poker face before revealing its final hand, but all in all, it’s an eminently satisfying experience.
The Station was created by The Station—a small team of veteran developers from games such as BioShock Infinite, League of Legends, and Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning. (Yes, the name of the game and the development team/publisher are the same.)
A classic tale: Sh*t goes wrong in space
The Station is set aboard a space station that was built to observe a mysterious alien planet without their knowledge. Unfortunately, a systems failure occurs that damages the station’s cloaking system and exposes it to the planet and its curious inhabitants below.
This might not be a problem if the planet’s more primitive species still wasn’t capable of space travel. But they are—and now they want to know who is watching them and why.
You are basically a space “janitor” sent to clean up this mess by the station’s owner, a massive galactic mega-corporation. Your goal is to find the crew, figure out what happened, and salvage the station’s data.
Classic setting with a little twist
Being alone aboard a failing space station is a popular setting for sci-fi cinema and video games, and The Station certainly channels the spirit of FPS games such as System Shock and Prey.
But despite the inherent creepiness of being alone aboard a seemingly abandoned space station, The Station is not built on terror or horror. If you’re looking for a game to send your butt cheeks hurtling out of your gaming chair, The Station isn’t for you. There are a few moments that might elicit a minor jump or paused breathe, but that’s about all.
The Station is instead powered by intrigue, but solving its mystery is no less rewarding than successfully fleeing and hiding from an alien terror. What makes The Station so successful is how it paints a much larger universe in its relatively short (but densely packed) story.
I’ll let you uncover those odds and ends on your own, but suffice to say it’s a fascinating, entertaining, and often humorous glimpse into the larger universe The Station inhabits, as well as the station’s crew and the relationships between each of them. (In space, no one will help you find your lost boot. Play the game and you’ll get that reference.)
The puzzles in the game are logic puzzles and not the contrived silliness the phrase ‘adventure game’ might evoke. They can be challenging but you don’t have to be a math genius or MENSA member to solve them.
The game’s only minor shortcoming is that it doesn’t manage to veil its secret(s) quite long enough, and you’ll probably have figured it out a little too soon, which dampens the punch of the final revelation(s). Regardless, the overall experience is still a worthwhile endeavor for the 4-5 hours of play you’ll get from it.
The Station is a solid, well-executed FPS adventure game with a satisfying story (and ending) that left me wanting more. Sci-fi/adventure game fans who appreciate good storytelling should definitely check it out.