Robinson’s Renaissance: The Solus Project Out Feb 18th

Another survival game! Who wants to chop down a thousand trees and eat a hundred freshly harvested Happy Meals per hour to fend off accelerated starvation? While many survival games might expect you to spend all your time collecting and eating, as if there were nothing better to do, The Solus Project [official site] might be different. It takes place on a hand-crafted planet and is a more linear experience than many of its peers. Indeed, I’m going to go ahead and say its apparent focus on weather, health and exploration makes it the successor to Robinson’s Requiem I’ve been waiting for.

The Solus Project is closer than I expected and will come to Early Access on February 18th. Differentiating itself from the survival genre even more distinctly, it won’t enter Early Access as a prototype:

“The entire game is done, and all content we wish to release in the full game is already there, but we’d like to get feedback and catch bugs before we release for real.

“Given so much has been made already it is important to note that this is not a small prototype or demo, but a 7-9 hour long experience that we will be releasing in episodes every few weeks, and is already fully optimized, visually near final, and fully featured.”

The focus on exploration and forward momentum appeals to me in a way that the aimless campfire-constructing brief eternities of so many survival games doesn’t. For now, let’s file this one under ‘exploration game with survival elements’ and see if that holds up in a couple of weeks. Or maybe a while longer. The episodic release schedule, through Early Access, will keep the full game from us a while longer. Early Access is only expected to last 90 days or so but here’s the schedule:

“Since this is a singleplayer game, we will be taking an episodic approach during EA, with each new episode releasing every few weeks if all goes well.

Release 1: The first three levels of the game. Worth about 1-2 hours worth of game, with lots of hidden secrets to figure out while waiting for the next release.
Release 2: +Levels 4, 5 and 6. Adding another 2 hours of gameplay. And any content from previous releases of course.
Release 3: +Levels 7 and 8, adding another 2 hours.
Release 4: +Level 9. Adding another 1 hour.
Release 5: Not 100% sure we’d do a fifth release, but if we’d do then that would be level 10. If not level 10 and 11 + the end game sequence will be held off until the full release.”

The slight uncertainty around the fifth release seems to relate to the fact that the end-game won’t be included until the full launch, so the build-up to that might be held back as well, I guess.

Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to playing. And don’t even dare suggest that Robinson’s Requiem was a load of plop because I’ve already crafted a pair of rose-tinted glasses and I won’t be discouraged.

15 Comments

  1. golem09 says:

    Early Access is not “out”. I was excited there for a second.

  2. Risingson says:

    At least it’s pretty.

    I cannot say anything against Robinson’s Requiem or Deus. They filled a niche… or better said, they were among these crazy french games of the 90s where you could try any approach to game design, even using the most uncomfortable interface and make it a part of the challenge. It was a Silmarils game, and Silmarils are, like Cryo, so french, so bande desinee, so uniquely francoeuropean, and it does not matter if I like them or not. I am irrelevant. The games were cool.

  3. hollowroom says:

    I really want this to be good.

  4. Jay Load says:

    I wanted to love Robinsons Requiem, and sequel Deus, but couldn’t long withstand the torture involved in actually playing them. Fingers and mind broken by the control scheme and painfully slow UI response times, eyes scraped away by the graphics (even at release)….those must be hella powerful Rose-Tints you’ve got there, Adam. Eventually I had to place them both in the “Way ahead of their time” vault and move on with my life.

    Not sure if this borrows any spiritual DNA from those ancient trailblazers. It seems to be more of an Unreal 1 Revisited with less/no combat (as the developer commented on an earlier post), but still I’m pleasantly intrigued by it. I’m also a huge sucker for the “wandering alien landscapes” vibe. In fact, it reminds me rather a bit of the Penumbra games, a series deserving of no less an accolade than “World-blistering Masterpiece”. I’m open to being thrilled, chaps.

    Any idea how much us Early Accessers are going to have to stump up for it?

    • Sin Vega says:

      They were really ahead of their time in concept, but very much of their time in execution, and a bloody nightmare to play today. Glad someone’s revisiting them though. Survival meaning actual survival and not just being a hyper-murderous arsehole with a wasting disease would be welcome.

      • Jay Load says:

        “Survival meaning actual survival and not just being a hyper-murderous arsehole with a wasting disease would be welcome”

        Lol, yeah. I’m not happy that Starbound is just about to reintroduce its ‘hunger’ mechanic. I’ve been playing it for months without and to my mind it really doesn’t need it. It’s just arbitrary busy-work. “Survival” in that context is just grind. Just shove in Star Trek style replicators and we’ll have fun swapping recipes.

        And yeah, having to massacre wildlife like it’s going out of fashion is pretty jarring.Here’s hoping Solus implements something sensible and purely for tension/drama rather than ‘game-play’ reasons.

  5. Unsheep says:

    Robinson’s Requiem was very cool, but also very tough.

  6. kaer says:

    An interesting tidbit from the site is that this is a spiritual successor to The Ball.
    link to rockpapershotgun.com
    link to store.steampowered.com
    Which I thought wasn’t like this at all, but I haven’t played it yet (the Ball, that is), so I don’t know. But now I want to.

  7. GreatBigWhiteWorld says:

    Robinson’s Requiem was the game that made me realise I had an amputation & torture fetish.

  8. draglikepull says:

    So is this basically The Long Dark in space?

    • Hart says:

      Doesn’t sound like it. I love The Long Dark, but there’s one big thing (and a few smaller things) that really seem to differentiate the two.

      Facking wolves.

  9. rexx.sabotage says:

    wait, did they say “levels”?