I love jumping into a new PS VR game. I feel that we do not cover enough of it as the releases on the device kind of get pushed to the side over the other mainstream titles. The Solus Project has been on my watch list for a while now as it was released on PC back in 2016. A year later and it is now available on PS4 with PS VR support which is a big deal given that the game is one of the first survival games on the market that features virtual reality support.
The Solus Project might not be the greatest survival game out there but it does a great job serving its purpose as a gorgeous VR experience. After your ship gets shot down while orbiting a remote planet, you awaken on this space rock with no food, water, and the urge to try and make it through the harsh environments that you now face. Solus Project does survival extremely well at times and at others, not so much.
The importance of food and drink is not as intense as it would be in say ARK, as you explore the desolate planet to discover its mysteries and then remember suddenly that you need to drink or eat something before you die. The constant search for survival items is not a thing, rather a mechanic that pops up every now and then when you suddenly remember that eating and drinking is a thing you need to do.
Where The Solus Projects shines the most is in its superb atmosphere. Every cave, outer section, and the storms came to life in the VR headset and the feeling of being alone on this planet by yourself with no help is a constant reminder. While most of the areas are pretty linear as you try to get from one point to the other, these locations are all built with the utmost care to make sure that the planet looks, feels, and sounds like a living thing. There were times where I honestly thought that it had a better overall effect on my emotions exploring than the entire No Man's Sky experience, as The Solus Project successfully manages to bring the world to life.
It goes from creepy to breathtakingly fantastic, and back to creepy again. There is this constant sense of not being alone while half of me wanted to push forward, the other half was petrified at what would lie ahead. The exploration is also rewarding as there is so much lore behind the planet and these strange temple-like catacombs that are scattered around the game. Every now and then a new puzzle would present itself to me and while there was also nothing to challenge my mind over, they offered another layer to the game's story and overall presentation.
With all this being said, The Solus Project does its exploration and discovery so well that the game's survival aspects take the back seat. Crafting items and gathering resources in order to stay alive never feel like a must, rather than just something I did if I remembered to. Drinking water lasts a while and food too, so the urge to run out and find something is simply non-existent. Saying that however, I could not fault the game's survival mechanics when its exploration and sense of mystery was so great.
Playing on the PS VR was a joy. There were cases of extreme motion sickness, but this is a given as it is a first-person game and it is bound to happen. Using the PS4 Gold Headset 2.0, the sounds accompanied by the sights were combined together to fully immerse me in the planet. It makes great use of the VR system and this is thanks to the game's beauty in its design and ability to bring a sci-fi world to life.
The Solus Project is a decent 20-hour exploration game with a small emphasis on survival. This, added to the ability to strap a PS VR headset on and play the whole thing in virtual reality, makes the game a must for anyone looking for something new to experience on the system.
Available On: Xbox One, PS4, PC | Played On: PS4 Pro + PS VR | Release Date: 19 September 2017 | RRP: R629
This review was based on a review copy of the game provided to us by Teotl Studios