Time has finally arrived to close the chapter on 2015’s Most Underrated. Today we are going to take a look at one of the most underrated games of 2015. Let’s nuke some colonist or at least try sneaking past them.
On paper Solarix had disaster written all over it. First time developers, no big distributors and the worst was a failed kickstarter campaign. So how did Solarix see the light of day and how did it manage to be Totally Far-out’s most underrated game of 2015. Let’s find out.
PulseTense Games was formed in early 2011 and the team started working on a stealth based first person horror shooter using the ‘Unreal Development Kit’. The Turkish based studio were clearly influenced by games in the 90’s. Half Life, Deus Ex, System Shock, Thief etc. and it showed heavily on to Solarix. For 3 years they toiled hard and were close to a finish product when PulseTense Games founder Baris Tarimcioglu decided to kick start a crowdfunding campaign for a modest goal of £10,000. Idea behind the crowdfunding was to polish the final product, its characters, animations and voice work. The campaign failed, it couldn’t even reach 50% of its goal. Solarix was heading towards the graveyard of abandonware. For many independent new studios that would had been the end but PulseTense Games believed that failure is a stepping stone to success. Good for us because their believe in themselves and the product gave us one entertaining game.
According to Baris Tarimcioglu “If you believe in what you are doing, you keep going – it’s that simple.” couldn’t had put it any better. Somehow Solarix finally released after four years in development on Steam on April 30th, published by Kiss.
Honestly, the only thing that matters to any gamer is – what is the game all about and how does it play – so let’s get into it.
What do you get when you pick up the gameplay from ‘Metal Gear Solid’ throw in ‘SHODAN’ from ‘System Shock’ and if that wasn’t enough, for good measure inject zombies right out of ‘Resident Evil. Well you get Solarix. The game is like a homage to the games from coolest decade ever – The 90’s.
A curious infection has spread across the Solarix corporation’s space colony on the planet Ancyra. You, ‘Walter Terrace’ are the only survivor of this insidious virus. The virus is turning every colonist into zombie like creatures called anomalies. Oh and did I mention you have lost all your memories and don’t remember how or who is responsible for the virus infection. Typical – ain’t it? but wait we have more.
If Zombie virus wasn’t enough, the game brings in more complexities by adding an A.I called AMI who controls all operations of the colony. She seemingly contacts you to enlist your help to stop the infection. Can she be trusted? Whats her hidden agenda?
I know most of you are now curious but come on its System Shock isn’t it? Nope. What if we had a dormant alien machine called E.Y.E which suddenly woke up in the middle of this outbreak. Oh things just got interesting. Are we done yet? Should you be asking that?
If zombies, alien machines and questionable A.I wasn’t enough to whet your appetite. How about adding all the paranoia, desperation, stress and emotions that come with 50 corporate mercenaries under the command of Gregory Hart, a special representative sent to provide oversight on the development of the colony. Now that we are talking about humans, why stop at 50 mercenaries alone – let’s throw in a violent and mentally unstable fellow survivor called Betty.
Yes! That’s the premise of Solarix. Oh did I mention we have limited guns and ammunition and the best way to fight all this is to conserve them and evade enemies – alive, undead or otherwise.
The plot is highly evolved and beautifully thought out. Believe me your head will spin with all the twist and turns in the game. It reminds me of another Indie game that surprised me a few years ago called Afterfall : Insanity.
No doubt a lot of work has gone into nailing the script of the game but the same effort has been put to make the gameplay extremely simple and addictive. You will enjoy everything from shooting at light sources to create complete darkness or creating alternative routes to pass a certain areas and believe me nothing is more fun than sneaking behind an enemy and electrocuting him. The game also throws up these large open areas filled with enemies – gamers have to strategize the best route out of there and when you clear those areas without being discovered or without using even a single bullet – it’s highly satisfying.
The gameplay is highly enjoyable and gamers who love stealth will eat this up. Luckily the gameplay isn’t overly difficult like some games tend to be. It is simple and fun for the casual gamer at a lower difficulty settings and for the seasoned gamer who enjoys playing on a higher difficulty mode it will be challenging and competitive – just the way you like it.
Don’t get me wrong there are a few bugs in the game and it’s not the most beautiful looking game out there but the story and the gameplay will keep you hooked in. Unfortunately the game is exclusive to Windows. So our console buddies will be disappointed.
One last thing, the game has received mixed reviews – some find it amazing and other find it as a cheap imitation but despite all that, PulseTense Games have committed to their product and its customers. It would be easy to move on but the studio has an excellent post sales support and have earned this gamer’s respect – looking out for your next.
Solarix is one of those games that you go in without any expectation and after playing it you are more than surprised in fact your gobsmacked by its brilliant – truly a must for all those who loved System Shock, Thief, Deus Ex & Metal Gear Solid.
Easily one of the most underrated games of 2015.