The Solus Project Review (Preview Program)

An updated review of the full release for this title can be found here.

The Solus Project which is still in game preview stage is being developed by Teotl Studios and Grip Digital who also published it. An early access was released on Steam, GOG and Xbox One on February 26, 2016 and the second installment was added in March of 2016 with the full version expected in May of 2016. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. It is currently priced at $14.99 (£11.99) but may change when it’s fully released.

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The Solus Project is a first person open world single player survival game on a distant planet with the future of mankind held in the balance of your success. Mankind had left earth in order to survive and after hundreds years traveling and living in space the time has come where it must find a planet to settle on. Your mission with your crew is to find this planet however on the way there something happens and your ship is blown apart in the atmosphere of an uncharted planet called Gliese-6143-C. You will need to craft tools, find parts to get a satellite link established to your home ship and hopefully find crew members by exploring the mysterious planet and surviving by keeping track of your vitals with your PDA.

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What I Enjoyed:

Awesome Graphics – For a work in progress the very first thing that jumps out is how beautiful this planet is. The graphics are especially satisfying and in fact I couldn’t stop taking screenshots during day and night. Everything you discover immerses you in this strange planet as you set off exploring. Even the loading screens are enjoyable to watch. The weather effects of which are plentiful look and feel as if you experiencing them and they could actually effect you. I would sit in a cave and wait for the downpour rain storms to stop before I would go out in them. These are challenging to your survival and your first meteorite shower could be your last.

Fantastic Story – This is the ultimate “save humanity” story. The back story is told within the first minutes of the game using text and cut scenes to catch you up to your survival which is where the game begins. There are plenty of notes spread throughout this world to catch up on what life has been like and it is a nice personal touch to the game. The pictures that you find of crew members pets and family add to the “lets save all of humanity” narrative nicely. This is just the start and the exploration of this strange and interesting planet is the best experience of them all. As you put together what took place on this planet before you crash landed there. Your struggles to find and keep plentiful the supplies needed to survive while working towards the goals needed are challenging yet rewarding when accomplished. Progress can be saved anytime just by sleeping but don’t try to fall asleep if you are cold, hungry, and wet. You can also be awakened from your slumber due to a number of events.

Amazing Open World– This game does a good job of leading you to your next objective (called forward sectors) but it is a fully immersible open world that is worth exploring. One of the first things I tried to do was swim to one of the islands that look interesting to get to. This was not a forward sector and I took off for my long swim I realized it was further away than I thought. I died on the attempt due to hypothermia. You’ll find interesting plants, strange etchings on rocks, notes, pictures and plenty of items that will help you survive. You may even run into other crew members and find out what they been doing to survive themselves. There are caves to explore and grave sites to fill in the story of the ancient civilization that lived here previously; as well as a strange underground facility where if you are not careful you will never return from.

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What I Disliked:

Troublesome Controls – One of the most difficult things in the game is picking items up as apposed to trying to craft these items. This is due to the difficulty controlling where the pointer is. It’s very sensitive and without an option to adjust this can get very frustrating when trying to do something quickly like opening a can to eat it’s contents when you are about to die of malnutrition. Walking and running seemed a bit sluggish in the controls as well and when there are hybrid plant/animal creatures jumping at you this becomes a challenge. To be fair you are in a protective suit that may be limiting this movement.

Suspended Reality– I realize most all games have this in one way or another however it does take away from how good this game could be. As I stated before you are in a protective suit but after you open up a can of food (why they had unmarked canned food in space is beyond my understanding) you simply put the can to your face shield and it’s gone. This goes for drinking water as well. It could use some graphical representation of how this is done, either by some sort of tube or something to make this seem more realistic. They spent so much time making everything else look realistic that this stood out.

Missing Soundtrack – There is atmospheric music but it would have been nice to have some music to listen to. You find recordings and there are even some cassette tapes you pick up. It would have been a nice touch to find a mix tape and give a listen to with the option to play it as well. Don’t get me wrong, you are in space and all but they have cans of food so why not music? Come to think of it a lot of the technology seems to be old as if it never progressed while stuck traveling through space.

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The Solus Project is an awesome game so far. I look forward to the full release to see how things are finalized. If you are slightly interested in this I would suggest that you pick it up early before the final release since usually the price increases then. Think of it as getting it at a discount for your beta testing. The graphics alone are worth the price right now and the content is a lot even without the full release. Unfortunately this game is not finished and like all preview program games it has the potential to be unfinished. If you are thinking of buying it bear that in mind but don’t let this stop you from enjoying what is available right now.

Score: Buy it now

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ImTheMetalLord

I love all genres of metal music, playing a wide range of video, board and card games. Guitar rookie late in life but it relaxes me inner chi. I stream on Twitch, write poetry, rock out, lived the life as a rock star and I've got some good stories to tell if you want to have a listen. Love to have as much fun as time permits. Life is about living and having fun and making memories. My followers are my minions so feel free to add me on Twitter and Xbox and join our growing army taking over the world one metal laugh at a time. Don't judge a book by the cover.

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4 Responses

  1. Saansilt says:

    Hey Metalbro, congrats on the site and I mega-dig the “like/didn’t like” review style.
    Hoping it all gets hecka sucessful.

    • ImTheMetalLord says:

      Thanks man. I really do love these guys at The Hidden Levels. Become my family. Thanks for the comment and coming by to read my review.

      • Hurley says:

        Hey, so long as the XBLIG crew is still considered part of your ‘extended’ family, that’s cool with me. 😉

        As for ‘The Solus Project’, I agree; this game is gorgeous to look at. The potential is certainly there, too. I watched a little bit of the stream, though, and the one thing that bugs me about this game (and other ‘survival / craft-em-up’ types as well) is the emphasis on the survival. Granted, that’s the point of it, and it works to its advantage in some instances (I’ll also readily admit that some of these games just aren’t for me), but especially when your premise is exploring such a beautiful, alien planet, you’d like to have a little more freedom to explore at your own pace and not have to focus on just simply ‘surviving’ the whole time. I could be in the minority with that opinion, but that’s why I think I’m really looking forward to ‘No Man’s Sky’ in a few months; you’re a little more free to go out and look around without having to keep an eye on your damn vitals all the time.

        I’ll stop myself from ranting though, and say, as always, another solid review, sir. I look forward to the next!

        • ImTheMetalLord says:

          I appreciate anyone and everyone that stops by but the XBLIG group that gathered round your great reviews (cough cough blogs) will always hold a special place around these parts. Many great reviewers on here that I’m so fortunate to learn from.

          As for the game it is a ‘type’ thing for sure. I personally enjoy the reality of survival and it adds to a game for me. Brings me into the game more with some things we take for granted in real life. Eating, drinking, breathing, maintaining your core temperature in this day and age are second nature only because of how far we have come as a society when in reality if that infrastructure broke down many would never know how to survive. OK, maybe that is a bit to deep but while playing games like this it can make you think about things we take for granted.

          As for No Man’s Sky I think that game will be amazing as well for what it will be. I would describe it as Ark in the future. This game however is taking the burn off the fact that NMS is going to Sony. LOL

          Rant all you want! You’ve earned it in my books. 😉

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