Solarix – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Horror
Developer: Pulsetense Games
Publisher: KISS ltd
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Solarix – Preview

Good: Eerie atmosphere, story is interesting, stealth mechanics
Bad: Graphics aren't that great
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Lately, horror games aren’t really what they used to be back in the day. Nowadays, horror games mostly consist of a lot of action scenes while your character feels pretty invincible at times. Solarix is like a blast from the past as the developers really try to bring back that old school horror feeling we know from games like System Shock. If you want to survive this game, the shadows will be your greatest ally.

Solarix logo

In Solarix, you play the role as the sole survivor who finds himself somewhere in space with a group of deadly individuals, dressed in some kind of creepy space suit. Apparently, some nasty human experiments were going on here and you are a survivor. The guards there are tasked to make sure nothing about those experiments gets out in the public and as you are a survivor who might open his mouth, you better stay the hell away from them. As you play through the game, bit by bit you gain pieces of information by accessing audio logs and by talking with a mysterious person through a walkie talkie. Right of the bat, it’s clear that that particular person knows more about the whole situation and something feels rather off about the stuff happening all around.

The thing most likeable about this game is how it creates an incredible eerie atmosphere and you, as the player, really feel out of place. The one thing on your mind is too lay low and avoid enemies at all costs (if you have the chance that is, sometimes there’s no escaping). Ammo is quite sparse and you’ll need to be careful on how and when you use it.

Solarix 1

Graphically, the game won’t win any awards. Although effects like rain and artificial light look pretty neat, the general world and character models don’t look all that good. For a game in 2015, there’s just not really an excuse to make your game look like that, with the exception of retro looking games like To The Moon and such. The areas you play in also feel very bland and boring. It’s understandable that the developers decided to use more sober and clean environments as it fits the horror genre, but still,

Gameplay wise, Solarix is one of those horror games where sneaking around plays a major part. Going in guns blazing won’t do you much good in this game. To enhance the stealthy gameplay, there’s the option to shoot lights so you’re free to creep around in the dark. Not much of an original idea for a game like this, but it stills adds an extra layer to the game mechanics while it just makes sense too that your character should be able to kill the lights. As said before, attacking enemies straight on is a bit out of the question, especially in the beginning of the game. The best way to tackle patrolling guards is either to decorate their skull with a nice metal bullet or to avoid them completely. Once they spot you, you’ll be sorry. Luckily, there’s enough junk lying around in the environment for you to throw close to a guard. Doing that will make them leave their initial post and give you the opportunity to sneak past him. The constant thrill the possibility of being spotted brings about, is really entertaining and it’s in aspects like this that Solarix impresses.

Solarix2

The version of Solarix I tried is still an early build and this was noticeable at some points throughout the game. First of all, sometimes, my character walked a tiny bit through certain objects so your screen turns in some kind of super-look-through vision. This ‘problem’ is quite common in video games but it’d be more realistic if it didn’t occur. The second issue I encountered with the objects in the area is getting stuck in them occasionally. This is another little bug that’s quite common in the world of video games but it might cause some frustration. Further, there’re some other things that caught my eye like vegetation that was floating in the air above my character and enemies getting stuck in objects as well. Another point of improvement should be the animations in Solarix as they often feel unnatural and stiff.

Conclusion

Solarix offers a very nice creepy atmosphere and the story is interesting to say the least. The stealth gameplay is fun and pretty satisfying if you’re able to pull it off. There’re still some minor bugs like walking through objects or getting stuck in them and the graphics too, aren’t really all that praiseworthy but this is still an early draft so time enough for the Solarix developers to iron those things out. If you want to play a classic survival game like they used to be in the past, you might want to keep track of Solarix as it’s clearly aiming for that old school horror game feeling.

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1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Solarix – Review
    May 15, 2015, 2:24 am

    […] covered the horror game in the past in a preview (for those curious about it, check it out here) and now, as the game is fully released, I guess it’s time for the review. Solarix had quite some […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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