The Solus Project | Review
Mankind is on the verge of extinction. You are the last hope, tasked with finding a safe haven for a colony. But now you are stranded on a deserted alien planet and every other member of your crew is dead. The fate of mankind rests in your hands: you must survive… The Solus Project is a first-person survival adventure game by the award-winning Teotl Studios and Grip Digital. – Plants grow and rot, weather changes from scorching heat to chilling storms, the wind and humidity are unforgiving… The Solus Project contains some of the most advanced environmental simulations ever seen in a video game. – Craft items, explore vast areas, monitor your health, sleep regularly and more… A true survival experience! – Learn the secrets of a mysterious alien civilisation that might hold the key to mankind’s survival!
When I heard about this game and what you could do in it, it piqued my interest. Exploration, crafting, survival. It seemed to have it all for me, but was it the full package?
The first thing I’ll mention with the game, is that the world is absolutely stunning, you do see some repetitiveness when it comes to ruins etc, but that doesn’t put a dampener on the experience as the uses are tastefully placed and even though you can tell the same textures have been used on the stonework, it doesn’t feel like it’s overused. It’s also a joy to watch how the world develops around you as you go from one place to another. You could be in a temple walking through and checking out the ancient civilisations that used to live on the planet you’re on, to then suddenly being in a cave having to crouch down and crawl through a tight and claustrophobic space, to suddenly finding yourself dodging meteor showers or running from Tornadoes.
No area is the same and will always keep you on your toes, and that is another thing that the game does well, it does keep you on your toes in each area, it gives you that sense that you can’t fight back anything that’s there, so you have to be prepared for anything to happen.
The one bit that the game lacks on is the survival element, a game like this, on a what may or may not be a deserted planet should be bringing the harshness of the conditions out, making you fight and scrap for every piece of food and water going. Nope. Everything is far too easy to get. Water drips through caves and every one is suitable for drinking, so don’t fear about running out of food or water, because there is always going to be some for you, even when you find check points, there’s some form of food there waiting for you as well as a clean pool of water to drink from and fill your bottles up with. Handy. For me they did become more of an annoyance, and I would have preferred to have explored the world without having to stop for food and water.
Another thing that I felt wasn’t as harsh as what it should have been were the conditions, especially at night. You’re looking at big minus figures and there isn’t anything that shows this as having an effect on the player. Health doesn’t go down, no warnings, nothing. Seemed a bit pointless to me. I thought I would have to find shelter and build a fire caveman style, but nope. Just chilling my marbles…
The game doesn’t hold you by the hand either, it’s more of a tells you your objectives, where they are, but there are no hints at what to do. Which is kind of good as I wouldn’t have received the achievement for checking out the back of the island first. Achievements…. That’s a story for later on….
The main tutorial at the beginning to show you the crafting elements is good, it sets you up nicely for what’s to come, but for me when you get in the game the crafting side is rather lacklustre. If you’re not cracking stones to make a sharp rock to cut through something, your making a torch with what looks like a seaweed head too it… That also never goes out…Live long ol’ torchy! In fact, when you get the solar powered torch during the game, you’re more likely to switch back to or make another torch, for the simple reason it doesn’t go out, and the solar powered torch has a tendency to just flicker out at the most inopportune moments.
The puzzles within the game are spread throughout the planet, but that doesn’t mean to say that they are fun or enticing. To be honest, I found them rather boring and repetitive, and all you’re going to find yourself doing is mainly looking for switches or idols to place in holes, which doesn’t create a sense of achievement because the idols are usually on a ledge right there, just turn pick up and place. Yawn.
I have to admit that I haven’t been so annoyed at Achievements since Guitar Hero and their pointless 2G’s. That was until The Solus Project, and the first Achievement I got was 23G…. I thought that was a random number so checked the rest. I would say around 80% of the achievements are for this amount and the fact they’re not nice round numbers does irritate me, however the achievements I did get took my score back to a nice round number… 😀
Overall, the game I have to admit is a beautiful one to play around with, it’s a good world to explore, but for me the game is let down by the crafting and the half-arsed survival aspect. For me those need to be up a couple of notches, make sure that there are dangers of being out on the planet at night, and not just give me a nice blue hue around my visor.
I’m going to give The Solus Project 6.
Code kindly provided by Devs/Publishers