We first reported on the rather exciting looking Adventure title The Solus Project last year after the highly anticipated game was first announced at E3. An Xbox and PC Exclusive, The Solus Project is developed by the collaboration of two studios, Teotl Studios [Unmechanical] and Grip Digital, publishers of Q.U.B.E Directors Cut and Unmechanical. Now available via individual Episodes for both STEAM Early Access and Xbox One Game Preview Program, The Solus Project sets out to tell the tale of a lonely survivor who has crash landed onto the mysterious and uncharted planet of Gliese-6143-C. The sole surviving astronaut is on a mission to save mankind after Earth was completely destroyed and is looking for sustainable and hospitable planets to start a new life.
I had the chance to experience The Solus Project first hand recently on the Xbox One, and what an experience it was. After a short introduction and opening cutscene, I took control of the unnamed astronaut for the first time. While The Solus Project limits the amount of hand holding it does a sufficient enough job of teaching you the basics of survival. Crash landing alone on a foreign planet must be daunting enough without having to constantly keep track of your vital signs. Luckily, a unique device is provided to me, which allows me to keep track on certain levels, I would need to maintain these stats over time in order to keep myself alive while I explored this vast but gorgeous planet. Obviously, water plays a major role in survival, as will food, the diverse weather conditions would mean I would need a way of keeping warm, to avoid my body temperature dropping too low.
As I begin to traverse Gliese-6143-C I am in awe of its sheer beauty. The developers have crafted a mesmerizing planet both scenic, shrouded in mystery and full of wonderful secrets just dying to be found. The ocean swells and pushes up onto the beach at my feet as I begin to search for precious materials. Empty water bottles are located not far from my starting location and objects that would assist me in crafting a torch such as pipes are scattered nearby. Every item encountered can be quickly scanned by the device in my hand, after a short process I know what use certain objects have and the role they will play in my survival, if they were important, this device would show me. I start out with only a small backpack and so space is limited but I fill up my water bottles and following a small guide, make myself a torch and set off to explore all that the planet has to offer.
The beaming sun that had greeted me upon my landing has now been replaced by something more sinister looking. Rain begins to quickly fall causing my body temperature to plummet and the bright sky starts to darken. Out of the corner of my eye my worse fears are fully realized, a giant swirling tornado had begun to form over the ocean in front of me and was heading in my direction fast. At first, I stood frozen stiff to the ground as I stared on at the menacing swirl of brute power and force in front of me before eventually deciding to find a nearby cave to hide out in until the tornado had passed me by. You see, The Solus Project is like that, I mean, one moment you will be basking in glorious sunshine loving life and the next you could have small balls of fire smashing down at your feet or a giant tornado harassing you into a dark cave. What’s worse is the lack of warning, on Gliese-6143-C the weather can change in the blink of an eye, it is a real threat to the astronaut’s body, both externally and internally.
From our previous interview with Teotl Studios, Sjoerd de Jong, I learned that The Solus Project favored large amounts of explorations, he sure wasn’t lying. Throughout my 25+ years of video games I have come to love the art of exploring, Fallout games provide a classic example of that. I spent 100+ hours wandering the wastelands of Fallout 3 traveling to every little nook and cranny the world had to offer, I thoroughly loved every second of it. It’s the type of game that consumes time without you ever really noticing or come to think of it, caring, Minecraft has the exact same effect but for obviously different reasons. While The Solus Project doesn’t offer a Fallout type scale, what it does offer is enough to keep players entertained for hours on end, it has an ominous lure surrounding it. With artifacts placed around the planet, the game starts to really open up, was this a planet devoid of human life? or had humans in fact been here before?. My device was able to scan etched writing on stone slabs and pictures appeared to provide substantial evidence that life had existed here before I arrived.
I love a good mystery, something I can sink hours into and The Solus Project definitely provides that. As I moved from area to area I had lost all track of time, wandering around the games ever growing cave systems or locating new facts to better understand what had previously taken place on Gliese-6143-C was exciting. By the end of the first episode, I yearned for more. I wanted to continue my journey, explore the planet more, sadly the episodic format would stand in my way but that is why it was developed this way, you want to find out more, TV shows are so great because at the end of each season or with certain episodes the director opts to manipulate the story before abruptly cutting you off, they know you’ll be back if you enjoyed what they did, I loved The Solus Project, every aspect of it, it’s a game I’m eager to get back to.
[Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
The Solus Project is currently available for PC through STEAM’s Early Access and Xbox One’s Game Preview Program.