By: Jeff Cater
With the planet Earth in some pretty shabby shape, scientists have put a project together to find a replacement planet. As a member of The Solus Project, you’ve been placed into a spacecraft, aimed at a distant world and shot across the galaxy.
As one could probably guess, things start off pretty rocky. The ship doesn’t make such a graceful landing (see: crash), and you are left to fend for yourself. The game features some pretty light crafting mechanics, as it seems to mostly focus on exploration and survival. I mean, how important is it to craft a chair when your character is literally freezing to death?
Anyway, as you begin to explore this strange place you will come across various objects that you can combine together or use against one another to create another object or a tool. For example, to craft a torch you must find some dry plants to wrap around a pipe, then find a source of flammable liquid, and finally a source of fire.
To do this, you must first select either the plants or pipe, and aim your crosshairs at the object you want to combine them with. The trouble with this system, which can easily be rectified, is the fact that the look sensitivity is absolutely jacked to the max. This makes the simplest object interaction a test in delicate stick movements.
It seems that The Solus Project is taking the Survival genre and getting it’s booty moving; the game rarely wants you to hold still, there’s always a reason to push on whether it be a strange sound in a cave or a support capsule you’ve spotted entering the atmosphere.
The HUD does a decent job keeping you posted while retaining a very minimalistic representation, but it can often get lost due to how beautiful the game is. Maybe some additional effects added to interactive objects when nearby rather than a small exclamation point would do wonders. That might not be what the developers have in mind, though, as that sort of indication system could be counter-productive to what they’re trying to achieve.
Controls and documentation definitely can use a bit of work. There’s very little in the way of instruction, aside from the short tutorial showing you how to access parts of your inventory. The graphics, which are absolutely stunning while holding still, are subject to horrendous frame drops, especially in outdoor scenes. Screen tearing is very apparent throughout the play as well, but hopefully these will be issues restricted to the Early Access version.
The Solus Project is definitely shaping up to be something very unique that Survival fans haven’t really gotten a hold of yet. The exploration and excitement of monitoring your vitals doesn’t sound like a blast at first, but when you’re just about to freeze to death and you find a bit of shelter with some fresh water, the wave of relief is real.