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The Red Solstice Review

The Red Solstice is one of my favorite Steam Early Access games that I’ve enjoyed playing. And now, It has finally been fully released! It is an eight-person top-down Tactical Shooter. If you remember playing the mod referred to as Operation Raccoon City for Starcraft, then you’ll know exactly what to expect with this title.

In The Red Solstice, human life is now located on Mars due to a plague that ran rampant across the Earth. Essentially, the plague turned human beings into monsters. The Capital city of the new colony on Mars is known as Tharsis, and all communications have been lost due to a particularly nasty dust devil referred as The Red Solstice Event. Eight space marines have been dispatched to uncover what has happened due to the loss of all communications with Tharsis.

There is a Single-player campaign in The Red Solstice, where the focus is on a marine named Tyler Hunt and his team designated as “Alpha” squad. The player will be leading his own team as they progress through the campaign. The campaign consists of 10 levels. It’s not bad, it’ll teach you the basics of the game, and give you an idea of what you need to do. However, Multiplayer is the experience you’re going to want to have with this title and the reason why you purchase the game. I was particularly lucky, I was able to play Multiplayer with a full pre-made eight-man squad team consisting of my friends. This is definitely how I recommend playing the game: All eight members, on the mic, laughing, and dying together.

There have been reported incidences of more experienced players booting new players, just for being new, so it may be difficult when you first start out to get into a game. The difficulty level of the game is high, and has a strong learning curve, so that discourages more experienced players from allowing new players to join in the fray.

In The Red Solstice, the player uses his mouse to move and fire, with special abilities located on the numbered hotkeys. It does have an RPG leveling system, which means you will be able to obtain better battle suits, weapons, and abilities as you level your class through a ranking system. Be warned, though, the game’s combat is tough and very unforgiving.

Here is a breakdown of the classes: Assault is the Jack of All Trades, it is highly adaptable, and you can field a full team of eight if you chose to do so. Medic is the healer and there is a maximum of two per team. Demolition is high DPS through explosives and it also is maxed at two per team. Recon is the Scout & Support class and you can only field two per team as well. Heavy Support is a great class for players who are new to the game and is capped at two per team too. Hellfire is the flame tank and only one can be fielded per team. Terminator has access to teleporting abilities and deals AoE damage, you may also only have one per team. Marksman is the sniper class and you can only have one of those per team as well.

Scavenging for weapons and items in The Red Solstice is critical to your survival. The player starts the mission with a very limited number of ammo and supplies. Everything you need can be found in Tharsis, if you can live long enough to find it. However, you won’t be able to pick up and keep everything that is scavenged because of a very limited amount of inventory space.

The Red Solstice is not just survival against a wave of monstrous hordes, but it also has mission-based quests that you will need to complete in order to improve your chances of survival. It also has boss waves. The players must explore and move through the maps as an organized team. Strategy is the key to survival. If anyone wanders off, or gets separated from the team, they will most likely die.

VERDICT

I found The Red Solstice to be great and absolutely enjoyable. I played from the very early Alpha and can attest that almost all of the bugs and issues have been addressed. The developer Ironward also took in consumer feedback and made changes to the game as well. The game also has a variety of game modes and victory conditions that will add to the replay value of it. The Red Solstice has come a very long way from its Alpha days.  It’s a great game, but you may want to hold off a little bit for a sale price (currently priced at $24.99 on Steam), especially if you plan on playing this game solo. What are you waiting for? Start dying today!

Original Author: Travis Patterson