Review: The Solus Project (PS4/PSVR)

Review: The Solus Project (PS4/PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Optional
  • DualShock 4 Optional (1)
  • Move Recommended (2)
Title: The Solus Project
Format: PSN (5.51 GB)
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Publisher: Teotl Studios / Grip Digital
Developer: Teotl Studios / Grip Games
Original MSRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
The Solus Project represents some of the longest stretches of VR play I’ve had. While I’ve spent more time playing Eve: Valkyrie on my PS VR, The Solus Project had that exploratory component that kept me hooked.

At its core, this is a survival game, but truly it’s much more than that. The survival component is simply a means to keep the game challenging, because honestly, it’s about exploration and discovery.

In fact, for those folks who just want to explore another planet without the stresses of having to find water and food, you can turn those elements off in the settings and just enjoy the game without the survival component.

But for players who truly want the experience of surviving on another world, The Solus Project offers a LOST vibe that combines survival with mystery and discovery, as your crash land in a beautifully dangerous world.

I decided to give the challenging component a shot and if you manage your items well, survival is not that difficult. However, dying in this game is a pain, mainly because the loading is so atrociously long that I almost wanted to stop playing. So don’t die. You’ll pay for it dearly.

Fortunately, you have technology on your side as your character carries a PDA which scans items, gives you a full reading of your vitals, and lets you know when you are hungry or sleepy, you know, since your own body can’t tell you that in a video game.

The game can be played with or without VR, with the latter being my primary choice since it was so engrossing. It was a truly amazing experience the first time it started raining in the game… at least until a giant tornado started coming towards me and I had to run for cover.

Locomotion is handled in various ways. There is the teleport method with the Cross and Circle buttons on the right Move controller turning your body in 45-degree angles.

There is also the technique I used, which employed a smooth walking locomotion with the right Move controller serving as a heading guide. I’ve found this technique to work very well, and I cross my fingers that Skyrim VR uses something similar. EDITOR’S NOTE: Not from what I played, but things could change by the time it releases.

Basically, the Move button on the left controller propels you forward, while the direction you point your right controller determines your heading, allowing you to strafe when needed and even reverse by holding the controller up. Yes it sounds a bit daunting, but trust me, it does become second nature after a few tries.

There are items and lost relics that you can find throughout the adventure that permanently boost your stats, so exploring and leaving no stone unturned is recommended.

Optional PlayStation VR Content

Visuals:
The graphics aren’t too bad here. There is an absolute sense of otherworldliness and desolation that owes its validity to the work done on the visuals. This truly feels like another planet. Of course this is enhanced to a greater degree when playing in VR, save for a bit of a murky presentation that is forgivable due to the limitations of the system, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.

Audio:
Essential use of sound and atmospheric music combine to warp you away to this other planet. Eerie noises sprinkled throughout the environment create a sense of wonder, but also had me unnerved. After all, what could be making that creepy sound?

It’s also a crucial component at times, particularly early on, when some of the items you need to survive are falling from the sky as debris from your destroyed vessel.

The first time I experienced that tornado I mentioned, for example, I was looking up at the sky in VR and admiring the peaceful rain. It wasn’t until that terrifying sound of harsh wind led my gaze towards the ocean, that I noticed the giant funnel cloud.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
What’s great about The Solus Project is that it introduces the tough challenges of a survival game for those who want it, while allowing more casual players to just explore, if they choose to. There is an intriguing story, one filled with discovery. And it also marks one of the first larger world games on the PS VR. Fortunately it’s a trek worth taking.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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