A lot of exploration titles are on the horizon in the gaming community. This is a product of the capabilities of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Games like Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One and PC, and the upcoming No Man’s Sky on PlayStation 4, will push the boundaries in terms of scale. While those games are completely in space, there is a desire to create exploration games in relation to space. While those games are a bit different than the upcoming Xbox One and PC title, The Solus Project, the attempt is still there at capturing something new. Developers Teotl Studios and Grip Games are working on the spiritual successor to the 2010 game, The Ball. The Solus Project will be a first-person, survival game, and we have had a chance to sit down and play it.
With The Solus Project, the setting of the game takes place in 2115 on a strange planet after your spaceship crashed. You play as an astronaut, and the goal of the game is simply to survive. This involves exploration to find even the slightest of necessities. Sure, you might find canned food, but you have to have something to open it with. Keeping up with your water supply in water bottles is pertinent, as well. Maintaining energy and sleep will be used to keep you going. Other than just survival, you will explore the area to try and find out what happened to the ship. Crafting plays a huge part as well as the idea is to put yourself in that moment and in that astronaut’s shoes. Lastly, your lifeline for survival is all tied into a device where you can monitor body temperature, hunger levels, health, and every little detail needed.
The Solus Project runs on the Unreal 4 Engine. The terrain is full of strange vegetation and structures and includes caves to seek shelter in. Location overlays are provided to help get you to where you need to be if completing an objective. The game includes VR support, and it certainly seems that it was destined to have this. It would be the perfect game to try out your Oculus Rift with. The right thumbstick is used to physically look down at your life meter in the game, and it would certainly be more beneficial to simply use headtracking to look down. It seems that VR would draw you even more into this world, however the developers look to be doing a good job of that in general.
Statistics are kept until you die to give you an idea of how much you have accomplished in the game. Artifacts are gathered along the way to provide buffs to attributes that can help prevent hypothermia and other potential issues. The developers have certainly looked to focus on every little aspect of survival including the consequences. Fighting off weather and temperature changes is also a key portion, as putting these things off can burst on you over time.
Teotl Studios and Grip Games have included every possible scenario for this type of survival experience. Early access on Xbox One and Steam will be available this month with the full retail release coming in May. There will be multiple updates to the early access over the 90 days. The final couple of levels and the end game sequence will be held off for the final release. The Solus Project looks to be a superbly detailed game for anyone that loves a multitasking challenge while your life is on the line. Using VR should make this more inviting if you have the option.