KISS Ltd has provided us with a Steam key for Solarix; a first-person science-fiction horror game developed by Pulsetense Games and powered by UDK. Solarix aims to offer open-ended levels for both combative and stealth-focused playstyles, and below you can read our First Impressions of it.
Back in August 2014, KISS Ltd launched a Kickstarter campaign for Solarix that did not manage to hit its initial £10K goal. Instead of switching the lights off, however, KISS Ltd and Pulsetense Games decided to continue the game’s development and here we are, almost half a year afterwards, with a working beta version.
Solarix is a described as science-fiction horror game featuring open-ended levels for both combative and stealth-focused playstyles. The development team’s goal is to combine old-school sci-fi horror with next-gen style and graphics. The story of the game follows an electrical engineer desperately fighting for his life after an infection wipes out an interstellar research station, who must contain the disease, battling both the remnants of the crew and his own fracturing mind.
Now before I continue, let me remind you one thing; this is a beta version, this is a beta version, this is a beta version, this is a beta version, this is a beta version, this is a beta version, this is a beta version, this is a beta version… and this is a beta version.
Obviously, we encountered numerous bugs and issues with this current beta build. For instance, we were almost always getting stuck while pressing the crouching button, there were multiple graphics issues (LOD issues with shaders as well as graphical glitches with the rain), enemy hit reaction was laughable, players have to be right next to containers and doors in order to interact with them, animations were stiff and lacked smoothness, there were invisible walls in multiple places, and the AI of our enemies was disappointing to say the least.
Wow, this does not sound well, right? Well, not all is lost as Solarix has a “Deus Ex” feel to it; a ‘feel’ that is quite difficult to find in other modern-day shooters. Solarix offers large areas that have multiple paths via which you can reach your destination. Not only that, but the game includes on-screen icons that will immediately remind you those from ION Storm’s classic FPS title. And while the game lacked multiple puzzle solutions, it gives players the ability to sneak past opponents, to completely destroy light sources in order to create ‘shadows’, to explore the environments and get rewarded (by finding weapons and ammo), and to use various environment objects in order to distract enemies.
Although Pulsetense Games claimed that it aimed to mix old-school sci-fi horror with next-gen style and graphics, we have to say that its visuals are average at best (for today’s standards). Thankfully, PC gamers can use SweetFX to enhance and improve the overall blurry textures, however there is nothing ‘next-gen’ to what Pulsetense Games brings to the table.
All in all, Solarix has potential. No no, Solarix has A LOT of potential. The game will be released in early 2015, and I sincerely hope that the team will be able to resolve the game’s bugs/issues. While Solarix’s visuals are not that hot, its gameplay mechanics could actually save the day. After all, we all believe that gameplay is more important than graphics, right?
Here is hoping that the storyline will also be worth it (the beta version did not reveal much about it). If Pulsetense Games manages to include a captivating story and fix all of the game’s issues (and polish some of its features like the enemy hit reactions and the problematic enemy AI path finding), Solarix will be worth your time.
Enjoy the following video, showing off 10 minutes of gameplay footage from it!