Fort Solis – Review

Release Date
August 22, 2023
Dear Villagers
Fallen Leaf, Black Drakkar Games
Reviewed On
Review copy provided by
Dear Villagers

It appears that 2023 is a major year for space-themed games. With Deliver Us Mars, Dead Space Remake, and Starfield on the horizon, space has proven to be an excellent canvas for depicting the universe’s wonder. Also set in space, Fort Solis is an interactive game developed by Fallen Leaf, a newbie to the industry, and one of the first few games to use Unreal Engine 5.

Set in the distant future where humanity can explore Mars, Fort Solis is a thriller game that follows the story of Jack Leary following a distress signal during one of his expeditions on the red planet. When eerie things started to happen at their base (which is the titular Fort Solis), it seems that there is more to it than meets the eye and you will need to unravel the truth by progressing the story and getting bits of context scattered throughout the game via email and video logs. While the plot is an original story, it is apparent that it heavily borrowed elements from games such as Dead Space and Alien: Isolation.

Despite being new to the game industry, Fallen Leaf does not skimp on the cast members. The voice and face acting are on par with what we can expect in a AAA game, led by video game actors Roger Clark as Jack Leary (Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2), Troy Baker as Wyatt Taylor (Joel in The Last of Us series, and Sam Drake in Uncharted 4), and a newcomer Julia Brown as Jessica Appleton.

They brought the characters to life as if we were playing a character in a movie ourselves, and added a fantastic layer of depth to the already thrilling environment and visuals of the game. The superb acting in this game is one of the highlights for us; the line delivery is snappy, and the written script is similar to a series that you would binge-watch on a Friday night.

Some of the game’s strongest qualities are its story and world creation. The dark atmosphere is enhanced by the outstanding visuals. Unreal Engine 5 has done wonders in terms of aesthetics, with how unsettling the dark halls appear and how each door makes us wonder what’s inside. The extremely detailed scenery establishes the overall tone of the game; the thrilling and stifling depths of an undiscovered planet. The first hour of the game is a sleeper to develop the tension, but we were rewarded with how robust its offering was during the latter part of the game.

Sound design is also commendable as it compliments the overall design of the game, giving a sense of foreboding on what lurks inside Fort Solis.

Even though it was victorious in certain ways, there were some moments when it felt short while playing the game. There’s no other way to say it: It’s a walking simulator, so you’ll need to locate context and clues concealed in the environment, but we also felt like we needed to be able to run in some scenarios, a mechanic that is missing in the game.

Quick Time Events (or QTEs) do not add value to the gameplay because there are no additional consequences should you fail them, and the game is leaning more towards being linear as expected with interactive games. While the game has a terrific storyline and offers a lot of potential, it also feels quite short, since we finished it in just 3-4 hours. The game’s stability is also a concern.

Despite the fact that the game was produced by a team of 20, there are minor but noticeable frame drops. There is an option between Quality and Performance modes but was not able to maintain a stable framerate in the latter.

When it comes to their debut game, Fallen Leaf appears to be at their best. With this game, we cannot wait for what they have to offer in the future especially in other genres, as it was evident through this game that they are aware of some of the elements that will make a game great. While the game has issues, they are forgivable given how immersive and fantastic the story is and how it was a feast for the eyes. The breathtaking visual and sound design are enough reasons for us to survive the three-hour thriller, which we wish was longer.

It’s an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a quick but memorable game that doesn’t require much effort to play.

Fort Solis – Review
Score Definition
We tell you, it’s a good game! It’s not average! It might have some problems here and there, but you have to admit it is a “Good” game.
Great Visuals
Compelling Story
Fantastic acting
Frame drops
Very short story