A lot of survival games claim to Not Be Like The Other Survival Games. The Solus Project is actually not like other survival games.
While ostensibly sharing at least part of a genre with the likes of Ark: Survival Evolved, DayZ, Rust, and the like, The Solus Project also has a lot in common with single-player adventure games like Myst. Sure, you need to eat, drink, and sleep on a regular-ish basis to stay alive, but there are also notes to be read, puzzles to be solved, and a larger mystery about the planet you’re stranded on to unravel. Oh, and it’s all single-player, for you antisocial types.
It’s quite a looker, and it’s decently enjoyable to play, too. Admittedly, some of the survival mechanics (COUGH COUGH HYPOTHERMIA COUGH HACK SPUTTER DIE OF HYPOTHERMIA) are frustratingly deadly, but the game becomes manageable once you get your bearings, have a reliable source of fire, and learn that caves are your best friend. Also, the game is still in Early Access, so things might get re-tuned before it’s all said and done.
It’s really striking how much detail the developers put into the game world, despite the fact that survival ultimately feels like window dressing for a whirlwind adventure of spelunking, sleuthing, and... whirlwind avoidance. As the game’s developers write:
“[The game features] an atmosphere rich environment that is fully dynamic. An alien day and night cycle and a dynamic weather system that calculates everything from temperature, wind, humidity, cloud coverage impact on the climate and so on. It handles ocean tides. Plants respond to the climate. Storms form. Earthquakes happen... Plants grow and rot. Ocean tide based on the moon. Your body responds to everything from getting wet to lack of sleep to walking uphill to the humidity.”
Here’s me playing it for about an hour:
Yeah, I lost track of the obvious plot path for a bit, but it gave me a chance to show off the game’s weather and, er, heat stroke mechanics, so all’s well that ends well.
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