Beaten on Normal in about 5 Hours, i think i was pretty much one of the first people to beat it live on twitch too. (Probably one of the first to beat it as well.)
Solarix is a pleasant surprise amongst the Stealth Horror" genre.
Its a very different game from your average stealth romp, it plays similar to Thief, mixed with a hint of Deus Ex and all wrapped up in System Shock 2 sauce.
The game's story was a great and pleasant surprise, although it defintely overwhelms you at first as you are thrown alot of details, some which you won't really get until later in the game. Where the story really starts picking up, the characters start to become fully realized in their intentions and things come full circle. I won't spoil it one single bit for anyone that wants to enjoy it for themselves, it is honestly deeper than it is initially thought up as on the steam store.
The Locations have a good variety to them, and remain for the most part open world. They also do a excellent job of building atmosphere, like all good horror games.. you are spent the majority actually all of Solarix, alone. Absolutely alone, with nary a friend in the world. Just trying to get by guards and zombies. There are things to pick up that don't initally come over on the subtitled conversations or audio logs, like little computer tid bits, actual audio/video onscreen and a few of the characters. There is every now and then always a sound of a nearby zombie/strogg/idk. Some of the ambience sounds repeat which is a bit annoying but nothing too serious.
The Gameplay can tend to be a bit repetitive in the first half as it introduces its mechanics on the colony. There is a bit of confusion also in the level design in the first half and it made me a skeptic of what else the game had to offer. By the second part, i started getting better and started really enjoying the game, the atmosphere and the story. It wasn't triple AAA but it was entertaining and i liked the homage to the games of the past like System Shock 2. (One of my favorite games of all time.) If i had any tips to give to you, its that guns may seem like a very easy way of taking your enemies out at first and running past zombies is totally possible, later in the game is absolutely not lenient on you. Use the electric back prod, stay in the shadows and keep your guns locked and loaded for something scary or if things go wrong.
I came into Solarix with bad impressions, the presentation of the beginning didn't exactly thrill me after experiencing Ghost Ship CDF, which was also built in UDK and it felt like a very similar vibe. Until i really dug into it.
In terms of horror, at most the game gets unsettling, like you defintely wouldn't want to stick around for an extended period of time. Nothing like system shock 2 where you didn't feel safe at all because of the occassionally respawning enemies. Solarix has a good reason not to do so, because late in the game enemies are much more difficult to handle. Requiring more ammo and different tactics to take out your enemies. It almost turns into a puzzle game of when to strike during the patrol pattern. I grew to like it.
Now, comes down to the bad parts.
The AI isn't very good, and can give you some seriously weird moments where you'll walk directly past a enemy and he won't give a single ♥♥♥♥. Where he'll glance at you for a moment, you'll sh*t yourself and he just walks right past you. Yes, alot of that will happen while you are playing Solarix. So much its kinda jarring. I wanted so badly for the enemies to interact with each other, particularly the mercs and the zombies. Or to see a merc so very rarely, freak out and lose his ♥♥♥♥ and start killing his comrades. Stuff like that would stop the AI feeling like a bunch of patrol patterns and little else.
The story at the start is too overloading, it either doesn't tell you what the point of being there is or who these characters are and what is their purpose. Maybe its a way of not patronising the player but it got confusing for the first half. Some of that confusion is absolutely intentional however, so don't jump the gun and that is as much of a spoiler as i am giving you for the second half of the game.
I'd also say that if Solarix would have been developed in another engine, it would have looked a little better. I mean it doesn't look bad by any means, just not great.
The gameplay feels a bit repetive, just a little. If they kept it fresh towards the end it would have been great.
Maybe add in a another enemy type for that extra challenge towards the end because once i got to a certain point then that was a breeze.
I feel the price point is right, for the amount of fun that i had with it. I would recommend hard for an extra challenge because normal wasn't particularly challenging except for the very end. If you love sci-fi horror games, its still worth the spin even if it isn't particularly scary. If you have played Deus Ex, System Shock 2 or Thief then you will like this game, i am pretty sure about that.
I'll probably come back to it after awhile and replay it on hard, since i had a fair amount of fun with it.
Fantastic for the money provided you like the mediocre mechanics and well crafted story. Just expect it to be a little rough around the edges in places. If you like old school stuff like deus ex, thief, system shock 2 then consider buying it because it is a blast.