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The Solus Project: Brave New World

Company: Teotl Studios

The Solus Project comes to us from Teotl Studios, the same development house that brought us The Ball, a unique physics-based action puzzler. This game, however, is an interesting twist on some well-tread tropes and clichés. It's a survival game, but most definitely not a survival-horror game. It's an adventure game, but not an action-adventure. While it shares DNA with a handful of titles, it's very much its own beast, and my time spent with the game proves as much. Whether or not the final product lives up to its ambitious premise remains to be seen, of course, but it's already shaping up to be an immersive and atmospheric experience.

If you've seen Interstellar, The Solus Project's story might sound familiar. It's been known for years that mankind would eventually need a new home. But an unpreventable and unavoidable extinction level event has forced us to come up with the most efficient plan to save the species. A fleet of nomadic colony ships has fled the doomed Earth and avoided the calamity that claimed the planet and every living being on it. Your mission: find a new home.

As if the mission itself wasn't intimidating enough, your spacecraft has crashed on Gliese-6143-C, an uncharted planet. So now, on top of determining how fit this planet is for human habitation, you must contend with the natural forces on the planet's surface. It's a place as deadly as it is beautiful, much like Earth...

The Solus Project is a guided survival adventure that has you braving dangerous environments, inhospitable weather, and native lifeforms on your quest to re-establish contact with your team, as well as pursue the investigation that brought you to the planet. The game always knows what you should be doing and where you should be going, so don't expect a freeform experience along the same lines as Minecraft or Proteus.

Everything you need to survive Gliese-6143-C is somewhere in the environment. Managing your inventory and knowing how objects interact with each other is key in The Solus Project. Knowing what to look for, knowing how to use items, and knowing when to use them: those are all the skills you need to keep going. Your health is tracked using several important metrics, such as thirst, hunger, and temperature. While they tend to drop considerably faster than they do in real life, it's easy to forgive for the sake of the overall experience.

If you play this game, play it with headphones and completely in the dark. The current build of The Solus Project isn't the most technically impressive game you can currently play, but it inflames your imagination with its alien landscapes and stunning cosmic vistas. At one point, I saved my game and ignored my most pressing needs in favor of simply watching the mesmerizing day/night cycle at work. Gliese-6143-C is far closer to other planetoids than Earth is, and watching these massive spheres silently orbit can be an awe-inspiring, unnerving experience.

The Solus Project is still in Early Access, so take everything I've detailed with a grain of salt; the game isn't finished yet and shouldn't be treated as if it is. I've also kept specifics out of this preview; those are best saved for when the final product is in our hands. All that being said, if you've got a love of science fiction (soft and hard), you should at least keep an eye on this one.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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