The year is 2280AD, a viral outbreak has destroyed all life on Earth, humanity’s last hope lays in the colonies on Mars run by the Elisium company. During the worst storm on Mars called the “Red Solstice” contact is lost with Tharsis the planets capital. The last transmission comes from CEO John Eribus informing of unprovoked and violent insurgent attacks and demands extraction. Teams Black Light and Knight Fighter are tasked with finding out what happened.
Shortly after launch, the teams are split up across the tharsis outpost, the story arcs across the different teams as they try to regroup and discover what’s going on and save John Eribus. Expecting human insurgents the team are surprised to find the same viral and biological outbreak that eventually destroyed Earth.
The Red Solstice is a top-down tactical squad based survival shooter published by Nkidu Games Inc and developed by Ironward, Red Solstice is a co-op MOBA, the Single player is designed to give a decent story background to how each of the classes work, and their abilities. For the most part, the main “meat” of the game is in the 8 player online co-op where players work together complete dynamically generated missions.
As the game is designed to be played with others the single player campaign uses bots to assist. There is also a “tactical mode” that drastically slows down time and allows the player to organise their squad mates which as it is RTS strategy game would be rather difficult as unlike most RTSs the game is designed with controlling a singular unit at a time (MOBA style).
As mentioned the game comprises of various different classes, weapon types and abilities, there is also a ranking system that allows the player to assign points to various attributes. The player also can use various abilities whether it be soldier specific or pickup based.
The game borrows a few mechanics from both RTS and TBS games as well as a basic RPG system and they are all blended together to form a very solid, well performing game. It also scales well for those that aren’t necessarily tactically minded as the easier modes give the player plenty of options and skills threats correctly. However those wanting the fall tactical squad based survival experience can always rack up the difficulty. There are a few issues in the single player survival mode which is basically the single player version of multiplayer but this is down to the game being designed for one player per unit.
Graphically the game isn’t exactly appealing on the eye, in fact the graphics are rather dated however this does add slightly to the overall gritty atmosphere. I still think the game could have used more up-to-date graphics but with games of this nature it has been known for large-scale graphics to cause issues. The soundtrack is musically excellent and suits the rather dark and gritty tones of the game however some of the sound assets particularly some of the voice acting is a little lacklustre, but considering this is the developer’s first game and isn’t long out of early access some forgiveness can be applied to this. The developers have said they are working on numerous different aspects and working hard to release patches for those having other difficulties.
Overall the game suffers a little from downfalls of feeling very dated, that being said I did quite enjoy it despite this not being one of my favourite genres so kudos for that. It may however be tough for most people to get past the “rough edges”. If this style of game is your thing then it’s worth a look otherwise it might be best to give it a miss. Aside from that, this is a pretty good first attempt.