☆ Review: The Solus Project "Going Deeper Underground" ☆ #GameDev

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The Solus Project - PS4

As I tread carefully through a particularly claustrophobic cave system I begin to fear that I may become dehydrated any time soon as I can see my hydration levels drop. 

I then come across an opening area of the system and I breathe an audible sigh of relief as I spot the trickling water coming from the ceiling cracks. 

I hastily make a bee line for the water and take the time to refill my water bottle just in case I get caught short again on my next branch of exploration.

This is a typical spell of game-play in The Solus Project and it's the thing that keeps me playing to find out what is going on and how my character will fare at the end of this mission to report back my status to the mission control.

Let's rewind a bit and let me fill you in on how I ended up here in the first place. You are originally on a mission to find a habitable planet for mankind to make their own as earth has been destroyed and the human race is on the verge of extinction. Your spacecraft crash lands on a strange planet after being hit by a shot from the planet Gilese 6143c and from here on in you will tread carefully on the planet whilst gathering food, water, crafting items and supplies. 

Overarching these activities is the need to report back to mission control your whereabouts in the hope you will be rescued from this harsh planet.

For me this game has blossomed the longer that I have played it and now I really want to see it through to the end.
There are a few things that I have found that may detract from its appeal but shouldn't stop people from playing the game.

The inventory management is slightly annoying as you can't just drop things directly from the inventory to free up space, you actually have to hold it and then drop it which seems really odd to make you do that every time you want to drop something. It leads to frustrating minutes of gameplay involving swapping items around when you would rather be exploring.

The other gripe I have with the controls is a common one with most exploration type games, it's the climbing. Yes, the best AAA games struggle with climbing too I know (unless you're playing the Uncharted franchise which is effectively a climbing sim) the thing is the climbing on this game gives you the impression that maybe you shouldn't be attempting to do it even though the terrain allows it. It leads to you getting into situations whereby you can become stuck in scenery and unable to proceed which can be annoying but has only happened a couple of times.

Aside from those two gameplay controls issues I am happy to say that the atmosphere and setting of the game make you want to play on and see what is going on or has taken place on this planet. As you explore looking for pieces of equipment on the planet to complete your main mission you will also become aware of secrets that you may stumble across and these kind of act as side quests to the main mission as you become hungry to uncover more of the secrets and also add buffs to your character stats to enable more sustained exploration stints before the atmospheric weather conditions deteriorate your health, hydration and calorie levels.

There are puzzles scattered throughout the game but these never feel to abstract and there's always a relatively obvious solution once you take a moment to think things through BUT don't take too long as your hydration and calories will be dropping all the while you are trying to solve that conundrum.

I'd say that if you liked Firewatch, The Fidelio Incident, Town Of light, Everybodys Gone To the Rapture and other games of that ilk but with a survival twist then this game will resonate with you nicely and make you eager to invest time in uncovering Gilese 6143c's secrets.

Right I'm off to eat a strange green fruit and contort my body through some underground caverns in search of a water trickle from the ceiling of a cave......wish  me luck!

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game - Recommended Purchase)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness - Think Before You Buy)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Game Link: Steam
Dev Link: Teotl Studios

Review By Rich

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