Title: The Solus Project
Version Tested: PC
Available On: Xbox One, Windows
Publisher: Grip Digital
Genre: Survival, Adventure
Official Site: http://www.thesolusproject.com
Release Date: February 18th, 2016 (Early Access), May 2016 (Full Release)
Where to Buy: Xbox Store, Steam
“In the year 2115, scientists identified a rogue Class-B star traveling towards us. Earth and the solar system would be destroyed. The Prolus ships launched in 2149 – three giant colony ships which carried thousands to a safe zone near Pluto. In 2151, the Earth was destroyed. With nowhere to go, our last resources were scrambled and five scout ships were sent to five distant worlds. These pioneers began our first interstellar journey, to boldly go where mankind may begin anew. Our last chance at survival is known as…The Solus Project.”
The opening of The Solus Project provides the above text as an explanation to the lore. It’s about survival not only for yourself but for what remains of the human race as well. Your character happens to be on one of these scout ships and upon arriving at its selected world, it crashes. You made it to your escape pod and landed on the planet known as Gilese-6143-C. As far as you can tell you are the only person to survive the crashing of your ship. You must gather what resources you can from the scattered remains of your ship and find a way to reestablish contact with the other ships. In order to do this, you’ll have to travel across this mysterious world while facing the harsh elements of the planet. Not only will you be dealing with the danger of a complex weather system, you’ll be combating starvation, dehydration and hypothermia.
One of the great things about The Solus Project is that it doesn’t baby you through your journey. It shows you the basics and once that’s completed, you’re essentially on your own. You do have a personal display pad that will warn you of dangers such as weather anomalies, body temperature, hunger, and dehydration but it’s up to you to solve those problems. During my initial play through I was out scavenging for supplies and ignored that weather anomaly warning and the computer voice suggesting I seek shelter. Shortly thereafter I found myself watching a twister screaming across the water in my direction, and my fate was sealed.
The Solus Project runs with a day/night cycle and that alone has its dangers. Days can be as hot as 113 degrees and nights as cold as -20 degrees. The planet is covered by a vast ocean so you will get wet on this ride. Being wet and then going into the -20-degree night will bring on hypothermia. You’ll need to find shelter and start a fire to keep yourself from succumbing to an icy death. Sleep is equally important in The Solus Project. Just like in real life you need your rest or you’re not going to function. Sleeping replenishes your health and it also auto-saves your game.
One great feature of the game is the offering of various options for how to play it. Perhaps you don’t like the grueling realistic challenge and just want to explore the world. The Solus Project is an adventure game that has created a massive world for you to explore and you can alter just how important the elements of survival are. Several beacons are available to be picked up in the wreckage of your ship around the map that you will no doubt want to utilize to mark important areas you can return to. This world which runs on the Unreal Engine 4 is not only massive but incredibly gorgeous. I was amazed at times that I was only playing the early access version with everything I came across. On the other side of the coin if you wish to have a brutal and unforgiving survival experience, then the hardcore mode is for you.
The Solus Project has been in production since July of 2013 with a large portion of the game’s look being crafted by just one man, Sjoerd “Hourences” De Jong. He has worked for a variety of studios over the past 13 years both large and small. The Solus Project currently has only 5-10 people working on it which makes it that much more enjoyable. In a time where studios continue to crank out games year after year with virtually nothing new or changed, The Solus Project is a breath of fresh air. One feature listed on the game’s website is “complex level design” and boy they certainly aren’t kidding. There are secrets everywhere to uncover across this vast planet. Intricate cave systems along with hidden areas inside secret areas will test your explorer’s wit. You’ll also soon discover that you may not be the first being to explore this planet…
The Solus Project provides a fascinating adventure-survival experience
I had some minor issues during my playthrough including one game crash while trying to save but ultimately I felt I could have been playing the finished product of the game. I had also played the Xbox One version of the preview that allowed me to already know where some of the basic items were when I started out. In the console version, my initial tasks weren’t registering as complete unless I did them in the exact order listed by the tutorial. With that knowledge, I didn’t run into any issues during my run through of the PC version. The jump mechanism felt rather bouncy to me when trying to climb on rock formations and structures, not just in the sense of up and down but jumping and hitting a wall would spring me off and cause me to fall. I also found myself getting stuck in rock formations while exploring and having to restart to escape.
The Solus Project provides a fascinating adventure-survival experience and I can’t wait to play the full release in May. Have you had a chance to play the early access? If you have, what did you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and check back for future updates.
- Massive World
- Doesn't baby you
- Weather System
- Jumping can be frustrating
- Easy to get stuck between rocks