We have had Gamescom Opening Night Live. One of these games with a launch trailer shown was a game by the name of Fort Solis. To talk a little more about the game Roger Clark, Troy Baker, and Julia Brown the main cast members were brought on stage.
If you’re hearing of Fort Solis for the first time then fear not. We have some information on the game itself right here. The game is also available right now and Dear Villagers the games publisher posted the pricing prior to the launch.
However, there is a one-hour trial on PlayStation 5. This may be worth a look for many, because of it having poor reviews upon its initial release on Steam. However, at the time of writing, there are 444 reviews with a Mostly Positive rating. Furthermore, I’ve completed the game, and it’s not a particularly lengthy experience. What is the premise of this narrative-driven thriller?
My Experience With Fort Solis
That is the premise of what we have been promised. Let’s take a look at whether the developers kept their promise. And how the game feels now that it’s available on PC and PlayStation 5. All the footage captured is from the PlayStation 5 version.
First and foremost, check out the gameplay footage below. This could be a good starting point for determining whether or not this game is for you.
The first thing to mention is that it is a very story-driven Sci-Fi thriller. The game best fits the walking simulator genre. We have a well-designed map system, but it has some flaws that were particularly annoying early on. When looking at the map, your location does not always accurately reflect where you are. Sometimes the map was correct, and sometimes it wasn’t. Also, the objective marker may appear to be at your location when it is actually directly above or below you. As a result, it was difficult to tell which way the marker pointed. That can be aggravating at times.
There is no way to run or even move faster. It didn’t bother me, but it’s easy to see how it could turn some people off the game. This was a similar issue with Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, though that game’s first-person perspective made it easier to implement. With a third-person perspective, it will likely be much more difficult to execute. We also have a good number of Quick Time Events (QTEs) in the game. Some give you enough time to react, while others don’t give you much notice, making it easy to miss a prompt.
Fort Solis is running on Unreal Engine 5. So we have a game that offers high-quality visuals. From the particle effects, the character models, the textures of Fort Solis, and the lighting. This is where the game really shines and a great deal of work has been put in. Only on one occasion, I had a minor issue with textures when looking at the map, and one part of a corridor loaded a fraction later than others. Other than that the visual presentation was flawless
Another aspect of the game in which it excels is the audio. We have fantastic voice acting, as you would expect given the names involved. Walking around the site produces excellent sound effects. Fort Solis does, however, make limited use of audio in the game to increase tension and atmosphere. The truth is that this game doesn’t require it. Background noises, for example, are sufficient. Walking through a corridor was where one issue was discovered. My footsteps can be heard on one metallic part of the floor, followed by silence on the same type of floor a few seconds later.
The story isn’t too bad. When I was playing, I got the impression that the game was all about playing on our natural anxieties and fears by exploiting our ignorance. An interview with the studio director James Tindale for IGN was interesting. He spoke about the three different characters.
Hopefully the three of them give three different perspectives of the events of Solis. And when it’s all said and done, and the dust is settled, you can decide which one you think was right. Because hopefully, with our narrative, players should have a choice at the end. Not in terms of game, but in terms of what their thoughts are, away from the screen when they put the pad down. Who do they agree with?
Tinsdale likens this approach to that of John Carpenter’s The Thing, which concludes with surviving characters Childs and MacReady sitting around a campfire, and the audience has no idea if either of them are infected. A viewer is left to make up their mind as to what the truth of the situation is, and empathise with the duo’s futile situation.
“I really like that,” Tinsdale says. “That’s the style we went with with the ending, depending on which one you get.”
As I progressed through the story, the way the narrative was given for The Thing and this game being similar did indeed cross my mind. I found it creepy and unsettling as you didn’t know what was going to happen. The sense of foreboding is very well done. Though one part of the finale, I felt the quality really dropped. Though that could be explained by events of the location, I just felt it really didn’t need to be played out that way.
I really enjoyed my play-through despite the issues I found. Though this is a hard game to sell to everyone. If you like games in this genre, for example, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Firewatch, or games such as Heavy Rain then you may enjoy this. If those style games are not for you, I doubt I can convince you with Fort Solis. The trial is there at least for PlayStation 5 so you can try for yourself. I did the same at first and was encouraged to buy it.