This will be the first part of a multi-part review.
Now, I played the Trial of The Solus Project, and it’s officially become the first Game Preview I’ve bought in to. These reviews may contain heavy spoilers, so please do not read any further if you wish to keep things a surprise.
The Solus project starts off mentioning that, essentially, Earth has been destroyed. Multiple ships left Earth with the remnants of Humanity, seeking a new planet to call home. You are on one of those ships, orbiting the planet you are going to call home. The first ‘holy crap’ moment comes when a ball of energy comes up from the planet and hits your ship, causing it to explode. You then fall to the planet in an escape pod.
As you wake up and begin to wander around this strange planet, debris falling from the sky, the real game begins. Survival. In a world where the environment is your enemy, you must not only seek shelter from storms and for sleep, but brave the freezing nights, blistering days, and natural disasters. You also need to brave hunger and thirst, hypothermia, heat exhaustion and soon (speculation), animal life.
This is a Survival game, yes, but it’s also an exploration/story based game. Your ultimate goal is to survive long enough to contact command and tell them your findings and report what happened. You slowly begin to discover that you were not the first life forms on this planet. Other humanoids were brought here long ago by an alien race that lived underground on this planet.
It was at this point that I started to suspect that someone or something might still be alive. As I explored the gorgeous landscapes, rolling hills, cliffs, oceans.. The deep, dark, frigid caves, I discovered evidence of life. Primarily something that stopped me dead in my tracks. I found eggs. Giant eggs. A few of them had already hatched, but there were plenty that weren’t. Keep in mind that I was also exploring a strange sound emanating from deep within this cave system.
The sound design in this game is phenomenal. When outside, you can hear the waves crashing, the wind blowing, the thunder clap. At a specific event, you can almost even feel the energy come alive in the air around you. Vocals sound as if you’re out in an open area. When you enter a cave, the vocals echo off the walls. Truly an extra step above the rest. The music is amazing. At one point, there was a tornado during a snowstorm. I honestly felt like Dorothy trying to get away with the music. It truly made me fear for my life.
First it was snowing, then my PDA lovingly named Wilson, told me of a detected anomaly. Now, based on the fact that I survived a meteor shower, I figured it might be a blizzard. I was wrong. As the tornado grew closer, I felt more desperate. I was collecting scrap metal and couldn’t make it back up the hill to shelter in time. Long story short, I wasn’t as lucky as Dorothy.. Needless to say, I’m now terrified of being out in any storm in The Solus Project. The planet is trying to kill me.
Now, one of the most heart wrenching moments for me, was when you discover notes from a fellow crash survivor, and he mentions that he saw a light on a neighboring island. He attempted to signal, but got no response. He thinks maybe the other person didn’t see the signal, or maybe didn’t understand, but he would try every chance he got.
Then you discover that he broke his arm in the crash and then his leg exploring a cave. He didn’t have the medicine he needed to fight the infection and his biggest regret is he couldn’t be with his loved ones in his final moments.
You find him, what I can only assume, is a few hours after his death. His fire is still burning bright and his flashlight still has 97% battery. From the cans it looks as thought he had maybe 4 or 5 meals before he died.
This Solus Project tells an amazing story through exploration and discovery. The story of one Earth remnant survivor of an attack, the story of an ancient planet, an ancient humanoid race, and the Aliens that brought them there. The Game Preview currently ends as you discover an underground housing complex, and a humanoid being holding a staff with a light at the top, standing at the top of the complex, turning and walking away from you as you enter the area. I have a theory about who this being may be, and I feel it’s either the leader of the Alien Race who inhabited this planet, or it’s the humanoid whose firsthand accounts with encounters of the Leader are being found in tablet form, potentially by overthrowing the Alien Race.
Either way, I had the feeling it was not friendly, whatever, or whoever, it was.
The visuals in the game are very realistic, and very believable as being stranded on an alien, earth-like planet. The events that can happen, random or otherwise, are intense and make the environment seem alive, and even hostile, toward intruders. The environment is meticulously detailed, both outdoors and underground. The structures and landscape feel real and alive. Like there is breath flowing through, as if the planet is alive, and you are inside, feeling it wake from a slumber with a stale, ancient breath.
As I mentioned the sound design and composition are really one of a kind. The controls are a bit clunky at the moment, and a few things I would like to see changed or explained, but overall it’s very responsive and the control scheme works without issue.
The things I would like to see changed at the moment are: jumping, since you can’t jump very high or far, it would be nice to help get in and out of areas for exploration, that or allow the teleport disc to travel further. This could also all be explained by a higher gravity. Other than that, stairs are a big issue for me. They work as stairs should, and you have to step up each step, as it’s not a flat texture made to look like stairs, which is how it should be, but you can’t sprint up the stairs, and it slows you down immensely, even going down stairs can be a chore at times. That being said, those are honestly my only two complaints.
The Solus Project is an astoundingly great game. Everything about it has been done in meticulous detail. I can’t wait for the next section to be released next week. I will continue to post reviews about each section as I complete them.
My honest, no holds barred opinion: Get The Solus Project. At least get the Trail for free, and play through that. Also know that it gets even better past the end of the Trial. It isn’t for everyone, but I hate Survival games, and I’m in love with The Solus Project.