In Space Stations, Screaming Is Audible: Solarix

By John Walker on September 5th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

Cor, what’s with all the horror games of late? Amnesia: AMFP, Outlast, other ones… isn’t real life scary enough? Doesn’t the arrival of a brown, windowed envelope stamped with “Her Majesty” frighten people sufficiently? Of course, that’s the point, isn’t it? False scares, unreal fears, make for an excellent emotional misdirection from the scares reality has to offer. So once more you can distract yourself from the terrifying nature of reality with the forthcoming Solarix. A first-person sci-fi horror by indies Pulsetense Games.

The trailer, at this point, is clearly just a tech demo. But it’s looking very impressive – built with Unreal 3, those are some decent sci-fi vistas. It’s a shame they’re not really showing anything of the game itself, but rather drifting a camera through a few locations while playing angry music.

When we get to the game itself, it will apparently be following the tale of an electrical engineer on this “off-planet colony”, trying to stay alive. They say it will have an emphasis on stealth, but make the rather rookie error of citing their inspirations as (and thereby drawing comparison with) Thief and Dishonored. Don’t do that, first-time indies. Don’t do that. But then they go on to explain how they want to offer more than jumps, and explore feelings of unease and insecurity. I return to my opening paragraph! They say,

“Central to both story and gameplay are the monsters—human, yet totally inhuman—as well as the level design—humbling in scale and filled with detail—both of which are integral to the overall atmosphere of isolation and desperation.”

No word on a release date yet, but they’re looking at some time next year.

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39 Comments »

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  1. Jim Rossignol says:

    More scary first person things can only make the world a more first-personer place.

    • subedii says:

      I’m actually looking forward to the future of these titles, with the indie resurgence of horror games, combined with the prospects of the Occulus Rift.

      I anticipate much traumatisation.

      • Prime says:

        Can someone explain why the Occulus Rift is so different from all previously naff VR headsets that it deserves a daily mention in RPS comments? It’s the new “Will it be released on Steam?”.

        • misterT0AST says:

          You speak as if we we’ve been flooded with Virtual Reality headsets already in the past years. The Oculus Rift is literally the only one I’ve heard of since the Virtual Boy.
          I must admit though I haven’t noticed it being mentioned daily in the comments, so maybe I’m just not sensible to this kind of news at all.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Come on RPS, post about Underhell! If you all adore first person horror so much, this excellent free uber-HL2-mod deserves a post.

      • Prime says:

        RPS used to post weekly about Half-Life 2 mods but then everyone shouted at them to stop, so they did.

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      Either that, or they provide emotional misdirection from the firstpersonness of real life.

    • virginia_robinson01 says:

      I just got paid $7500 working off my computer this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $8k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do… w­w­w.c­n­n­1­3.c­ℴ­m

  2. Tagiri says:

    It sounds like it wants to be a cross between Dead Space and Amnesia. It’ll be interesting to see where it ends up.

    • Grey Poupon says:

      A first person Dead Space would be neat. Especially if it’d be a bit scarier (on top of the added immersion from the perspective). Hope this is such a game.

  3. staberas says:

    Gameplay plz
    kthnxbai

  4. Wedge says:

    Eeeeh. Yeah, let me know when there’s more news on Routine.

    • botonjim says:

      I’m so looking forward to that! Yeah Outlast, Amnesia and your average Slender game are okay but they lose much of the tension and dread once you find out that the consequence for being killed in game is … none at all. Routine + permadeath is going to be a thrilling experience.

  5. stkaye says:

    What. A great. Headline.

  6. FMAN71 says:

    Missing xenomorph, if found please call…

  7. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    This place really is like a ghost town when the RSS feed is broken.

  8. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    That there’s monsters makes me think there’ll be guns which in turn leads me to believe that as Thiefydishonoredlike as they try, interacting with the world through your weapon (fnar fnar) will overpower most of the stealth mechanics. Like videogame garlic.
    Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong and I’ll gladly eat my internet hat. The setting looks atmospheric enough, but really that’s all we have to go on. It does make me wonder why in the future we don’t design our sci-fi locations all cosy-like for when the shit invariably hits the fan. Though at least the Enterprise had wonderfully civilised carpets.

    • VCepesh says:

      As little as the creepy industrious and hazardous-looking design makes sense, I’ll have to admit I’m fond of it. Nostromo just looks so more… intimate and homey than Enterprise ever did.

      One thing that does annoy me immensely, is the omnipresent artificial gravity. “Used future” aesthetic is, paradoxically, associated with hard sci-fi (for me, at least) – and the lack of micro-g always detracts from the atmosphere. There’s just so much you can do with it.
      Have you ever seen blood in micro-g? It gets _everywhere_.

      • Premium User Badge

        DrScuttles says:

        For a broken down, rubbishy old spaceship, the Nostromo was pretty believable. While most of the action took place in the more industrial locations, the living areas looked perfectly habitable, though I’m not quite sure about homely. As a rampant Alien fanboy, I may be biased towards it though.
        I’ve been working on a theory that the opulent carpets of Starfleet vessels is the cause of 1 out of every 3 admirals turning evil somehow. It must be nice having a refined flooring across your entire civilisation, but that shit’s got to get to your head eventually.

        In the case of Star Trek 6, not only did the Klingon blood get everywhere, it inexplicably turned pink as well.

    • GamesInquirer says:

      Sounds like you played Thief in a way I wouldn’t recommend (and that certain difficulty modes and levels altogether ban actually). If they want to they can easily lock that way from being viable even without arbitrary setting based restrictions. It remains to be seen what they do but the mere existence of such things alone certainly doesn’t somehow mean it will become a different game than the one they propose.

      • Premium User Badge

        DrScuttles says:

        To be clear, I wasn’t trying to imply that by aspiring to Thief’s design philosophy, combat will become the experience; I could probably have phrased myself better.
        It’s the futuristic sci-fi setting and their citing of monsters as being a central element that made me muse about guns in particular. When I think of survival horror games that have combat and particularly guns, there seems to be a tendency towards the player gradually amassing enough supplies to be able to take on any encounter. My thoughts were more towards System Shock 2 than Thief in this case, as well as the old Resident Evils and Silent Hills. And Dishonoured practically throws goodies and magic at you; unlike Thief, you can fight, magic and kill your way out of almost any situation easily enough should you mess up your stealth.
        You’re absolutely correct in that it remains to be seen how the game even plays. My own ponderings aside, I am optimistic.

  9. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    INSUFFICIENT SWAP! CANNOT FORK!!!!

    (If not clear, this is a nightmare I get from the game’s title.)

  10. Muzman says:

    These guys hang out over at the Thiefy neighbourhood from time to time, where they chronicle some of their development travails and show some other early tests. (which I guess means I can share. I hope.)

    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141941

  11. GamesInquirer says:

    Saw this teaser last month. It looks nice, but with only a fly by there’s not much to say, compared to Routine and such, but it does sound pretty promising though the sci-fi style is a bit on the generic side (but the gameplay and atmosphere if faithful to the vision certainly won’t be).

  12. ResonanceCascade says:

    I’m always happy to see more immserive/explorey games that drop names like Thief, but hopefully we start to get some that aren’t sci-fi horror games soon. How about a train heist sim set in the 1870’s? Mix it up a little.

    • Prime says:

      I don’t recall being inundated with sci-fi horrors…unless you mean Aliens: CM, which was a horror the devs didn’t quite intend.

  13. realitysconcierge says:

    I want to see what their space station night club looks like!

  14. Iskariot says:

    Looks interesting, but I am not very much interested in combating some tentacled or zombie-like menace again.

  15. DuneTiger says:

    I’m all for atmospheric horror games, especially if they give you little to nothing to fight with. It’s much more horrifying to need to run from something (done well in Amnesia and Outlast) than to back away from it while plugging away at your trigger until it’s dead. Only exception is needing to photograph your pursuers in order to dispatch them… that’s just nuts.

    Anyways, here’s hoping for a lot of focus on ‘what’s around the next corner’ than ‘what can i shoot at next’.

  16. DrManhatten says:

    Please enough of these horror and especially zombie-type games we really have seen enough can’t you come up with something more original?

  17. KirbyEvan says:

    The overall look has a resemblance of a baby of E.Y.E. and Unreal Tournament 3.

    Which looks pretty damn cool.

  18. Stevostin says:

    “But it’s looking very impressive”
    Hmm…. nope.

  19. Larington says:

    I trust there will be a sequence where you have to order a machine to cut ‘something’ out of you, because who doesn’t love reacting to something like that! (That something could just be a piece of metal shrapnel and it could still be, yeah.)

  20. ricmo says:

    They have some decent screenshots in their website http://www.pulsetense.com/media/

  21. phelix says:

    That headline image made me frown. Godrays in space? Do they even have any idea how a vacuum works?

  22. Prime says:

    I quite like the look and sound of this. First-person stealth always sounds good to me. The sci-fi setting as well? Yum Jam.

  23. Shodex says:

    Completely off topic but the background noise in the video somehow reminded me of it:
    I’d fund the shit out of a Sacrifice sequel, where are you Shiny?