I know, I know, people hate the term “walking sim”. But until we have a better term for the no-combat-exploration-mild-puzzle-solving-environmental-story-telling genre, I’m sticking with “walking sim”.
So…walking sim The Station has been announced for release on PS4 for February 20th, 2018. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, the unnamed developer details how they got around one of the most janky aspect of the genre, namely how to impart information to the player. As opposed to having the player chasing around orbs or watching scenes played out by ghosts, The Station has equipped the player character with an AR device. While exploring the creepy abandoned titular space station, the player will encounter AR hotspots – areas where previous space station inhabitants experienced particularly intense emotions or physiological reactions. The player can then bring up their mobile menu and tap into these spots to experience “thoughts, decisions, and on occasion, their intimate desires”.
I like a nice sci-fi story, and the AR angle, while not 100% unique, at least tries to explain how players experience the station’s mysterious past. This looks like a natural for VR, but appears to be releasing in standard format. Regardless, for fans of the genre, Feb 20th has suddenly become a date to watch.