The Red Solstice – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG, RTS
Developer: Ironward
Publisher: Nkidu Games Inc.
Platforms: PC

The Red Solstice – Review

Site Score
Good: Good variation of enemies, classes, weapons and skills to unlock, has gotten better since Early Access
Bad: Requires TS-server for great multiplayer experience, lack of players
User Score
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

It’s been a year since we’ve previewed the real-time strategy game The Red Solstice. After being successfully funded, the game has gone into a lengthy Early Access which allowed the small indie game developer studio Ironward to straighten some edges of the game. The squad-based survival RTS game, set on the alienated planet of Mars, has been fully released earlier this month. The troubles we’ve faced during Early Access have been tackled but there are a few more issues that need to be tackled, most importantly the player-base for multiplayer games as there are few.

the red solstice logo


The Red Solstice offers a sci-fi like narrative as it’s set in the year 117 After Earth and takes place on the planet Mars which has been hit with a huge storm dubbed the Red Solstice. Communications were cut off when the storm hit the human colonies. As one of the space marines, your task is to venture through the outskirts of the cities, in search for the truth. Throughout your journey, you’ll come face to face with mutated life-forms and the horrible fate of the residents of Tharsis.


This squad-based RTS game is inspired by classics such as Starcraft and Dawn of War and this shows not only in the gameplay but in the visual aspects of the game as well such as the user interface. Notable is that the UI has changed drastically since the preview in a good way. The new design increases the feeling of being a space marine and it’s more readable at a first glance.

The game offers you a top-down view of a dimly lit city in ruins. Certain areas are incredibly dark which may increase the amount of jump-scares a lighthearted player might have but all-in-all, the game isn’t scary – even though it features mutated life-forms. The futuristic bases you will visit throughout the game are on par with the overall theme of the game: Mars.

the red solstice scr01


As for the sound, there are several voice-overs that can be heard throughout your gaming sessions. These are certainly not bad at all. Because the game offers a great variety of enemies, each of them also provide different sounds. Some of them can be heard from afar. The growling, moaning and screaming sounds certainly add some spice to the already dark atmosphere. You’ll have to make do with the ambiance sounds however as a real soundtrack is nowhere to be found.


The game offers two kinds of tutorials. The first one being the single-player campaign mode, which starts off fairly slow and quite unentertaining even for novice players but ramps up in difficulty. The second “option” is the “How To Play” written tutorial imbedded in the game. The latter one explains quite a number of things but the single-player mode is more interactive.

The Red Solstice does not support a controller. Personally I don’t find this to be an issue since RTS games are best played with the traditional keyboard and mouse. To top it off, the game offer the option to rebind your keys to your own liking.

the red solstice scr03

There are currently three game modes available: single-player, survival and multiplayer. If you want to know the whole narrative, it’s advised to play the single-player campaigns before jumping into multiplayer games, as the latter one continues the story of the single-player mode. The survival mode is a single-player version of the multiplayer campaigns.

By default you’ll be playing the Assault class upon starting the game. Seven more classes can be unlocked by simply leveling up. You’ll need 1.000 to 30.000 exp if you wish to unlock the following classes: medic, demolition, recon, heavy support, hellfire, terminator and marksman. Besides unlocking classes, you’ll always be unlocking weapons. There are ten primary weapons, nine of which are unlockable by simply leveling up in ranks. Certain weapons may not be suitable for certain suits (classes). Additionally there are four different kinds of ammo types. The customization of your character does not stop here however as there are six types of secondary weapons, eleven suit component skills and twelve power ups from which you can have three active on your suit. The suit component skills can be looked at as passive abilities and additional attacks.

the red solstice scr04

Rushing yourself is never a great idea and things can go horribly wrong in The Red Solstice if you do. For this reason, you will need to position your team tactically. This can be done by pressing spacebar by default, or by clicking the on the “Tactical Mode” button. Both options will “slow’ down the action and allows you to click on each team member and position them behind barricades or other places.

While the game certainly offers a plethora of character customizations, the gameplay itself stays somewhat the same and tends to become dull. Joining a multiplayer game certainly helps with the dullness but the player-base seems lacking as you won’t find many multi-player games unless if it’s Saturday-night. On a positive note, there’s a teamspeak server for those who want to find multiplayer games and the developers are always up for some games if they’re available.

the red solstice scr05


The Red Solstice is a great game for fans of the RTS-genre, although it is a challenging game if you want to progress at a steady pace. The learning curve is fairly steep. Due to this, I won’t advise this game to novice players. The co-op in the game is great once you find players but this can be helped by joining a TeamSpeak server. Again, not truly a positive feature as not everyone likes to talk to complete strangers. The narrative is certainly great and well-plotted. The fact that it continues in the survival and multiplayer modes is a positive feature for sure. This, in combination with the various enemies, classes, weaponry and skills makes the game a great but relentless squad-based RTS with several RPG elements.

Note: The game has left me with some mixed feelings as I found it rather boring while it can also be relentless and challenging when you’re being overrun.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.