Solarix is a stealth/action survival-horror game developed by Pulsetense Games.With maybe a bit of creativity they could’ve named it Survival Horror Action: Metal Gear Solarix. That’s my late April fools joke, its lame I know. Its not even a prank or anything.
Solarix is a horror action game with the idea of either sneaking around your enemy or attacking them head on with direct combat. You are placed around in levels with several puzzles you need to solve in order to progress to the next area. The stealth mechanic feels a lot more akin to Splinter Cell since darkness plays an important part to the stealth mechanic.
Apart from your health bar you receive a small light indicator. It brightens up when you’re in brightly lit areas or when you turn on your flashlight. This is particularly useful since most of the time you’ll be sneaking by enemies early on since you don’t have the resources to fight them. To progress to other areas you need to collect key cards and other items to unlock doors and eventually move on to the next level. You’ll have several tools to your disposal to either solve puzzles or distract enemies.
Enemies will be wandering around the area and you can distract them by picking items up from the ground and throwing them. You can also use your silenced pistol to destroy light sources and create darkness so you can proceed to areas with ease. Enemies also are sensitive to sound where they’ll inspect anything that makes any sort of noise, so crouching will be key. Sneaking around seems to be very strong against the early enemies since you can stay beside them as long as you’re in the dark and crouching, you’re basically invisible.
Most levels are huge in Solarix. Hiding in dark spots wont be a problem since there are plenty. That seems to be a problem though, its size. There are times where you get lost in the levels and there are no indications on where to go. The Objectives are vague and there doesn’t seem to be anything that can give you clues, other than the short snippet of information the characters say once you reach an area or retrieve an item. A map would also be great. But it does give you the mood of being totally lost in a unknown and terrifying area, I see if that’s what Pulsetense Games were going for with Solarix but they should be a better way for handling the objectives.
As I’ve mentioned there are other characters in this dreary and gloomy world, if there are other characters there’s a story and the story is as messed up and depressing as it goes. You are guided by A.M.I. an artificial intelligence and a mysterious psychotic girl that speaks to you through the radio. You are an employee of some sort of space facility and you find yourself to be the only living and/or sane person left. A.M.I. and the mysterious girl will guide you through the levels and you learn more about what happened through Audio Logs left by the residents.
The early build is quite buggy. Ive found myself stuck on walls and other things on the levels as I try to hide behind them. The worst thing that I got stuck on was the level itself. I somehow could not proceed to the next level even though Ive completed all of the objectives.
The games graphics are great and the frame rate is smooth, it really catches the tone of the game of isolation and insanity. Some monster designs are somewhat bring and seem to be uninspired, hopefully well see more variation upon the games official release. Its soundtrack is very atmospheric with droning mechanical noises and really adds to the mood. Overall, Solarix‘s aesthetic is great and is one of the games higher points.
Solarix is a game people should look forward to on release. Its a run back on old-school survival-horror gameplay with a modern take. I’m very excited to play it on its official release, Hopefully they’ll rough out the edges and it’ll have potential to be one of the best horror titles of the year.
This preview was based on a preview copy given by Pulsetense Games.