Mars Defends: The Red Solstice

By Adam Smith on April 1st, 2014 at 11:00 am.

The Red Solstice is currently heading to the mid-point of a fairly solid Kickstarter campaign but I predict great things for the future. It’s an eight player coop squad shooter based on a Warcraft mod called Night Of The Dead and one may be the only game in existence to jettison zombies rather than cramming in as many as possible like the deranged operator of a bilious battery farm. It’s the Warcraft origins that caught my attention though – by 2021, will people be travelling around the world to play The Red Solstice in enormous tournaments, larger and more cash-corrupted than the FIFA Pepsi Gazprom World Cup? Stranger things draw a crowd.

A demo is available right now but for those of you who don’t have the time or inclination to try that, or to watch the video above, here are the basics.

Players choose from a selection of eight classes and work together to survive an onslaught of Martian monstrosities on maps with randomised features. Those features include enemy and item placement, and during the first phase of a mission, the team will be looking to gather equipment and set up defences. And then, in the second phase, the defending begins as the swarms of enemies become increasingly lethal. The final phase is evacuation, presumably followed by an unseen retirement phase that mostly involves tea and biscuits.

A singleplayer mode is possible but only if the $100,000 stretch goal is unlocked. That seems unlikely, given that only $15,000 of the base $50,000 target has been reached with under three weeks of the campaign left. I also doubt whether most of the people interested in the game are particularly excited by the idea of a solo storyline, given that many are probably migrating from the mod. Having been ignorant of its existence until around half an hour ago, the closest point of comparison that springs into my mind is a bout of cooperative Killing Floor, which has a vaguely similar feel, with its grungy flesh-beasts and B-movie values.

‘B-movie’, incidentally, is almost always a positive quality when it’s associated with my witterings. To mix the language of gaming and cinema, I enjoy everything from AAA to B and beyond – the letters can be descriptive but they are not grades.

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9 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge Harlander says:

    Oh, I remember when these guys posted on the forum ages ago… I thought the project had just petered out as they sometimes do. Good show!

  2. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    What is it about Croatian developers and good game ideas? Serious Sam, Starpoint Gemini and now this. Meanwhile in Serbia, we have… Genesis Rising. Which was crap. And I have no idea why this is the case.

  3. Glycerine says:

    Had a bash on this at last year’s Rezzed and had a lot of fun with it. Seemed pretty solid then already, and 8-way co-op multiplayer is right up my alley as t’were.

    Picked up the alpha from their site a while back and managed to get a few games in, but trying to get hold of working multiplayer versions was a bit of a pain, and when a few friends tried to buy it to get a 6-way lan game on earlier in the year, payments were being repeatedly rejected with no apparent reason.

    Hopefully that was just alpha issues and the kickstarter will push it through to the finish line okay – the bits i’ve been able to play so far have been a whole bunch of fun, looking forward to the end result!

    • Davor I says:

      Glycerine, I’m sorry to hear about your friends having trouble buying the game.

      The red solstice has been grenlighted on Steam and we are at the moment in the late stages of migration to Steam infrastructure. If all goes as planed, purchases, as well as lot of other features such as lobbies, client-server communication, stats and achievements etc. will very soon be handled through Valve’s robust infrastructure and should run much smoother.

      We are also considering new features such as private lobbies, public leaderboards, friends system, trading cards game…

  4. brandyballs says:

    I loved night of the dead, this promises to bring something many have not seen before… I am excited.

  5. Askis says:

    Unless I’m missing something, the Demo only let’s you play the tutorial, which is short and… not what I’d call good or interesting. :/

  6. xRockx says:

    Great game… Updates every Week.. tons of custimization.. Challenging.. High replayability.. Very friendly Community.. Luv it :D

  7. nervath says:

    Does anyone play the SC2 version of NOTD? I was mildly obsessed for most of last summer.

  8. Alice O'Connor says:

    I’ve hoped more Warcraft III mod ideas would be picked up and expanded upon. So much more than DotA and tower defence was going on (great as they were), so it’s nice to see this at least is still going.