Surviving Warcraft 3: The Red Solstice Hits Early Access


Warcraft III‘s mod scene is underappreciated. It brought MOBAs to the world with DotA, crystallised the modern tower defence, did a lot for wave survival modes, and had dozens of other weird multiplayer ideas and genres I’d still like to see brought back and expanded. So huzzah for The Red Solstice, a game unashamedly inspired by the old WC3 Night of the Dead mods.

It’s a top-down co-op survival shooter with co-op for up to eight players, about scavenging for supplies and exploding floods of awful monsters on Mars. And it’s now out on Steam Early Access.

The Red Solstice plonks your squad of snipers, heavies, medics and whatnot down on a Mars overrun with nasties. The main mode gives an hour to activate defenses, set traps, find supplies, and generally shoot monsters on procedurally-generated maps. As markers of its WC3 heritage, it’s got levelling and skills and those clicky RTS controls and view that I do enjoy recognising in games.

It’s £11.39 on on Steam, or £17.99 for a four-pack. Because it’s a co-op game, see. Or is right now. Single-player is coming later. More modes, missions, monsters and all that will also be added before it properly launches. It is yet another game that went through Kickstarter then came to Early Access, but will you begrudge them poor financial planning?

In a funny way, the convenience of playing Warcraft III mods is part of why so many get forgotten. They’d download automatically when you joined a game from the ‘custom game’ lobbies, a huge constantly-refreshing list of confusing names. When you come back a few days later, who knows which one of the hundreds of custom maps you’ve downloaded is that good one? An hour of queuing on FilePlanet for a download, now that makes you remember a mod!

Look, a launch trailer:

And a bit from the ‘Fortification’ mode, which is exactly what it sounds like:


  1. The Army of None says:

    As a big fan/player of the old Night of the Dead, playing this has felt like slipping on a comfy shirt and/or marine suit. Highly recommended.

  2. InternetBatman says:

    Early access is not necessarily a sign of poor financial planning. It fits some games well, especially those that are prone to change frequently and dramatically throughout development and thus benefit from constant feedback.

    I don’t think it fits single-player RPGs, adventure games, or other narrative heavy games well though.

  3. Neurotic says:

    “An hour of queuing on FilePlanet for a download, now that makes you remember a mod!”

    Yep! :D

  4. Scroll says:

    I knew I recognized this! It clearly wears its heritage proudly though I’m not sure I’d invest any serious time into it now that its a singular entity.

  5. Moraven says:

    Never played this mod before. I was more into Tower Wars and Dota. Alien Swarm gave some solid gameplay like this but had limited content. The squad control and setup portions of this have me interested.

    The SC2 Arcadehas come a long way and they are currently showcasing their top 10 “Rock the Cabinet” contest games.

    link to

    While probably not as much depth Red Solstice will likely offer in the end, there is a handful of similar mods that play well with this type of gameplay.

  6. rockman29 says:

    WarCraft 3 ftw :)

    Mod scene was better than SC2 by miles, maybe the best modding scene of any game ever, the variety was unrivalled :)

  7. Armante says:

    Sir You Are Being Hunted is currently 75% off on Steam, only $5 :)

  8. Jae Armstrong says:

    Warcraft III‘s mod scene is underappreciated. It brought MOBAs to the world with DotA, crystallised the modern tower defence, […]

    Iunno, I think we’ve been pretty generous to the W3 modding community. I mean, we haven’t crucified anyone for these terrible crimes against God and man.

  9. Zyrusticae says:

    Umm, credit where credit is due, a LOT of this stuff actually started waaay back with the original Starcraft with its map editor. Much of it was refined in Warcraft 3, for certain, but I’d appreciate it if we didn’t just skip the game like that when so much of this stuff had their genesis in that game.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I’m not trying to erase StarCraft from history, but this didn’t seem the place to draw up a family tree.

      • magogjack says:

        Its true though, I never really played WC3, but I was super into Starcraft’s UMS maps and every time people talk about these games that came from WC3 I’m all like “Wait didn’t that happen in Starcraft first.

        Never forget!

    • admiralharkov says:

      I do think that the mechanics and flexibility of WC3 (IE the hero system, ability to use custom models, etc) really allowed some of these genres to come into their own and experience a creative renaissance so to speak. I am creeped out by how commercial and polished tower defense games have gotten now (particularly on mobile)- it wasn’t that long ago that they were the territory of map makers.

  10. DarkFenix says:

    Sounds fun, but 8 player coop sounds like a prohibitively large number. I generally prefer to play with friends rather than letting random idiots spoil my fun, does this game scale to player count or do you need to fill the game?

    • The Army of None says:

      It scales a bit. There are options for 3 players, 6-8, 8, or megahardcore 8. All those options can be played with different numbers as well, so you and 4 other friends for example can go in on 3 player-difficulty (and still have a great, damned difficult time)