Tuesday, 20 February 2018 02:00

REVIEW: The Station (Xbox One)

Written by Brett Hale
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I’m a big fan of games that are based on exploration, and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing in The Station. Picture being in outta space, with the task of exploring a space station called Espial to try and figure out what has occurred.

The Station has one of those typical tales of being in space and trouble raising its ugly head in the form of an alien life form. Being a sci-fi mystery it doesn’t have horror like you may expect. You play as an unnamed recon specialist in the search of finding a number of crew members on Espial who they have lost all communication with.

Played in first person, it's your mission to explore the space station in search of what has gone horribly wrong, by solving puzzles and finding voice recordings to get a better insight as to what's happened. There's no combat, meaning no weapons, it's just a game where you walk and run around exploring. It’s a short game, my first playthrough took maybe a little over an hour, but once finishing it I played again and because I knew what needed to be done I clocked it in less than 30 minutes.

2018 02 19 00041

The Station's story doesn't have your typical gameplay, it's all about exploring and listening yet it still tells a story even though it's short and sweet. The space station isn’t all that big either which disappointed me as you no longer start to understand and than it's over. Also note, that saving has to be done manually in the pause screen. Now, the time I spent playing left me thinking that the augmented reality menu is sort of useless, I never felt I had to look at the map to know where I needed to go, never did I want to check objectives I was up to or had completed deeming it useless. Now, I did mention there are puzzles to solve, some doors require access keys and some you’ll need to know a digital code for, those door codes are given in clues and riddles, so pay attention.

Espial looks much like a space station from the movies. There are corridors and bedrooms to explore along with eating areas and staircases to go up and down. It’s a pretty place to walk through, but it's also a lonely place as you’ll only ever be there all by yourself, minus the outsider you’ll see just a couple of times. However visuals are crisp, I reached out to the creators and they happily filled me in when playing on either PS4 Pro or Xbox One X the game will run at 1080p, 30fps.

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I felt that right from the moment I started playing that running around 
30fps hurts the game, nothing crazy happens but it just would have been great if it achieved a 60fps instead. There are some visuals settings and one I had to just play without was ‘bloom’ as it personally made the game look offbeat, lights just caused a slight haze, turning it off and the game just looks so much nicer. Playing on the Xbox One X I can tell you HDR support is present, and likely the same for playing on the One S and Playstation consoles.

We all know that saying "time flies when you're having fun", and it's true, but even if you don’t have fun playing the game it's still extremely short. But, for what the game offers I did enjoy it, I just wish it had a longer story. If exploration games are your thing, or your a sci-fi nerd The Station should be your next destination.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: 20th February 2018
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: The Station
  • Publisher: The Station
  • Genre: Indie, Adventure