Martin Carr reviews The Solus Project…
Trapped on a desolate alien world and barely conscious after a crash landing, The Solus Project puts you in the shoes of a sole survivor. With nothing more than debris, an AI handheld and the ability to craft items together you must face the unknown.
Facing all the usual issues associated with surviving which include lack of food, water, weather conditions, shelter and temperature fluctuation, Solus Project turns quickly from an inhospitable locale to something altogether more interesting. Even though there are flashes of Fallout in its choice of crafting abilities, vague gaming goals and open world ‘sandbox’ scenario, Solus has more in common with ARK than anything else.
Although touted as a complete game Solus still gives the impression of a work in progress. There is obviously a great deal of attention being lavished on the location, graphical quality and basic functionality, yet I found things still a little rough. I know that this was ported over from PC and went down a storm on that platform, but the atmospherics, at least in the early stages were lacking for me.
Now I fully understand there are numerous levels to explore, cave systems that beckon you onwards and so forth, combined with changing weather patterns and tidal shifts. But if those areas are inaccessible because you can’t keep warm or get hit by lightning storms wherever you are, then the fun is quickly drained from the experience. Having said that I had similar concerns with ARK when I play tested that, apart from with Solus you have little chance of dying from heat stroke.
Controls are straightforward, animation and frame rate suffer from no slow down, while the game clearly has lots to offer. As with anything which has an open world scenario, you need to be sure your schedule is clear. Solus and others of its ilk demand plenty of free time and therefore should engage you immediately. As a concept this represents a clever twist of an established theme within survival gaming, but nothing which one might say could be termed a classic.
However just because it failed to float my boat means very little as the games I normally go for involve lots of driving. As an afterthought if you were to take Solus and Elite: Dangerous, combine them and release that as one game then you might well have the perfect exploration experience.