Solstice Chronicles: MIA PC Review
So, you are stuck in a wall somewhere on a distant planet, probably covered in some alien goop all hazed for some reason. What would be your initial reaction to your scenario? I don’t know about you, but I am looking for the first exit out of here after I find me a weapon of some sort. This is what happens when you go partying with your military buddies and they want to do some dumb sh*t. Welcome to this review of a new isometric shooter from Ironward called Solstice Chronicles which is available now on Steam Marketplace for Windows.
The year is 2280 AE. As a lone marine stranded in an infected Martian colony, the Corporation has designated you MIA. Left for dead with an insurgent drone as your only ally, all that stands between you and freedom is a seemingly unstoppable army of mutants.
Well, that is that bullsh*t right there being stranded without a search party and left for dead? I am definitely seeking a lawyer when I get out of here. Thanks to your insurgent drone who from the start may have been corrupted and could possibly be a threat, later on, assist you as you venture your way to freedom. This reminds me of those isometric shooters like Smash TV and Merc from back in the day, however with a twist of an interesting story. This is your sci-fi dungeon crawler as you venture off to discover new weaponry and try to upgrade your characters abilities.
I jumped ahead a bit there by not going into the different characters you can choose from. I will break them down into the bullet points.
- Assault – It is a pure weapon and energy blade expert. His damage increases drastically while shooting with weapons. If anything enters a close range. Its energy blade will finish the job.
- Demolition – Is proficient with skills and is the only class able to assign native skills to all skill slots. Its specialties are managing skill supplies and using class skills to their full extent.
- Hellfire – The walking tank right here baby! It can withstand a lot of damage and its secondary weaponry is permanently bound to a flamethrower.
- Terminator – This class can only be unlocked when you complete the last mission on soldier difficulty. It specializes in self-destruct and teleportation technologies that utilize crowd control. Even though the Terminator has the strongest class skills it’s draw back is with every use the suit integrity decreases.
You will have four choices, but since this is a multiplayer game it would be best to coordinate properly with your partner. As you go through each level you will be rated on your performance, but the gameplay will push you to be tactical. There will be destructible items around the area that you can utilize like the barrels that can be used for a trap or you can pick them up and throw them at enemies. This can trigger a chain reaction if used properly. You will have your items from a flare that can attract the monsters to a certain point and then you can follow up with a well-placed grenade that blows on impact. It has a great range on it so be mindful of getting a group kill.
The controls are pretty simple and I recommend using a joypad or as I am using my PS4 controller with a 3rd party program. The drone is your friend in many ways after you gather all the upgrades. You have your taunt, block, scout, and bomb. The scout will give you ammo, weapon upgrades, and powerful guns depending on the area. The block will give you space literally pushing enemies away from you to regroup and gather ammo. When it is depleted it will set off a charge that will kill low-end enemies, but huge enemies will still get through but walk super slow. The taunt helps lower the threat level of the enemies in the area, this comes in handy more than the block because the threat level can go beyond the bar and then you will be in huge trouble of endless enemies coming from all sides in all sizes. The bomb is self-explanatory that will give you a wide burst to kill or stun enemies.
I mentioned the threat level bar which is quite unique and gives you a heads up on how serious your situation is. If the bar goes into the yellow that means there are way too many monsters and you need to haul ass out of that situation or get smart real quick.
In terms of the visuals of the game, I feel like Solstice Chronicles was Doom in a different perspective which is love. This game is beautiful all around with the different monster designs and the environments are eerie in a good disturbing way. I find if this were to be switched to a first person shooter, I would be terrified as I turn corners or hear the little crawlers coming after me. There is a co-op feature that I have yet to take advantage of, but hopefully, in a future stream, I can get a game going with someone. I like how simple the skill tree is, but I felt that certain areas should have a different color tone to let you know that you can’t use them vs. what you can. I got a bit confused at times when trying to switch my items since they all look grayed out. I kind of mind that there is no way to customize your soldier or changing the gender which could have been interesting, but it is what it is.
Where is the epic music…this is where things get a bit nitpicky, but as I am going through the levels, kicking ass as a military hero. I am expecting some intense music to drop when enemies start swarming on me, but instead, it is just bland. As exciting as the game is, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed in the music score and don’t get me wrong I am glad there is no copyright music involved, but use some free access music that can kick things up a notch. I already mentioned the customization is lacking and that is pretty much it that I can complain about.
No online multiplayer option? I get the whole play together in the same space, but I have friends all over the world. This is quite important in this day and age.
Once you are done with the story you can tactical the survival area which explains itself by tackling waves of enemies and seeing how well you did. I don’t see any online leaderboards, but you will gain trophies for your success. There have been some recent updates added that make the game more solid, but so far this is a great pick up and play game with some buddies or solo. It is not bad for the $19.99 price tag and I may pick this up on the PS4 when it releases later on in 2017.
At the end of the day Solstice Chronicles: MIA gets 3.5 paws out of 5. – Beast Out –