Author Topic: Solarix – April 2015 [Score: 7.2]  (Read 55 times)

Offline bobdog

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Solarix – April 2015 [Score: 7.2]
« on: June 11, 2018, 09:16:11 AM »
For some reason, I thought I had already reviewed Solarix, but I guess not! I had originally started the game, and then was having some computer issues and never returned to it. But then I got its “sequel/ancillary” Planet Ancyra Chronicles, and figured I should give the first game a shot.

Solarix does have a System Shock/Thief/Deus Ex feel to it, but never integrates them efficiently. It’s sort of got the horror and dread of System Shock, incorporates sneaking and a light gem a la Thief, and even allows you to use a hacking tool like Deus Ex. But not quite as good as the originals.

Your name is Walter and you awake in your room. Several voices start talking to you: A.M.I. – the artificial intelligence overseeing your colony; and Betty – a crass, brash woman. Upon leaving your room, you see the results of a horrific killing spree, with blood and bodies everywhere! You need to escape your dorms, but the power is down. Betty indicates where a battery can be found, and then A.M.I. counsels you about a doomed soul walking the hallways. Since you don’t have a weapon, you have to sneak past, hiding in the shadows until you can make your move to the elevator. If you’re seen, your foe will take you down with several swipes.

After escaping the dorms, you enter a series of compounds guarded by infected soldiers. You eventually retrieve a stungun (or “electronic blackjack”), which allows you to take out soldiers if you sneak up from behind and tag them in the back of the head. Most of the time it works, but occasionally, I would get too close, or they would start turning around, and then it’s curtains.

The basic story is that your colony found a crashed alien ship, and inside was an object that researchers called the “EYE”. Not long after its discovery, people started acting funny, with several getting murdered over silly arguments. An infection sprang up and ran through the colony in a matter of weeks, killing and disabling most everyone. And a group of mercenaries arrived to make things even more intense. Your goal is to find out what happened, try to stop the infection from reaching Earth, and get past the mercenaries.

Graphically, the game looks pretty good in the Unreal 4 engine, but there are some niggles here and there. Level design is sometimes sprawling and hard to know where to go, even with a map that you can pull up. But I was especially impressed with the creative design of the settings and buildings.

The voice-work of the main characters is very well done, and the story – as told through several main characters, and by reading many different private messages – is pretty intense overall.

Although it was annoying to get caught by the infected, and sneaking past them in the darker corners was slightly tense, I never really felt the horror coming through as a game like Dead Space or Outlast offered. Regardless, Solarix is a solid game with some interesting concepts. 7.2 out of 10

 

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