The Solus Project is a first person experience style of game made by Grip Games for the Xbox One. I had the chance to get a hands-on preview of the game at E3 2015 after the game was formally revealed during the Microsoft press conference. Much like other first person experience style of games that have been developed recently, The Solus Project is all about being immersed in the environment of the game. What makes The Solus Project stand out amongst other titles in the genre though is its looming sense of mystery and intrigue in the world that you explore.
The demo started off right after my character had crash landed on an unknown planet. After rising up from the traumatic crash in a field, I was able to explore my surroundings and be in awe at the stunning visuals. My main goal in the demo was to survive the planetary hazards and seek shelter from the ever changing hostile weather conditions of the planet. As I moved around the area inspecting the debris of my damaged ship, I was able to find various notes and reports about the plot events leading up to the crash.
Many objects in the world of The Solus Project can be interacted with and used in some sort of way. A lot of the progression and problem solving came from combining and using objects with common sense. In order to create a torch to light up dark areas, I needed a stick and some rocks to start up a fire to make a torch that help me along the way. In the inventory I had during the demo, I had a small sensor that not only kept track of my body temperature and status, but also noted various environmental statistics and data that was relevant to what I was seeing.
There are no enemies within the planet that my character had crashed on, but most of the danger comes from the environment itself and my characters status effects. As I moved around and interacted with things around me, I would lose calories and change in my body status which would require me to find some food and water around the area.
In the demo, there were food and water canisters scattered around the wreckage that assisted me, but eventually that changed as I explored deeper and further away from the starting point. My device kept me informed of all these changes and alerted me when I was in any form of danger. I needed to constantly keep track of how I was and the conditions around me in order to act and adapt during my exploration.
There were a few issues that I noticed during my experience playing the demo. Holding and using items was a bit of a tedious process, as I had to slowly switch through each item to hold in my hand. Combining items required me to drop them and switch to the corresponding item I wanted to combine with it. This got a little bit annoying after a doing so many times to prepare myself for each section I was able to explore.
At one point I was exploring a dark carven that required me to switch back and forth between holding a flashlight and pulling a lever in the room, which required me to unequip the flashlight to do so. This little issue would be resolved if I was able to switch items through a quick menu and interact with objects while holding onto something. A small nitpick here, but one that would definitely make the experience better.
The Solus Project has a lot of solid things going for it. Grip Games has high ambitions to provide a very interesting and unique first person experience for Xbox One owners. The visuals of the game and the atmosphere are definitely immersive when everything comes together. I loved the mystic of the plot that slowly unfolds as you explore the unknown planet and I am intrigued by the various hazards on the planet’s surface.
It’s still a ways off before release, so I’m hopeful that any of the issues I noticed in the demo will be addressed for the final build when The Solus Project releases for PC and Xbox One in early 2016.
Did our E3 preview of The Solus Project peak your interest? Will you be checking out the game when it releases on Xbox One? Leave us a comment below and let us know!!!