The survival genre is straining, creaking under its own open-world, Early Access weight. Thankfully, The Solus Project is a little different, a throwback to when survival meant more linear experiences like Resident Evil - solving puzzles, exploring and trying not to die in a hostile environment. It is still on Early Access though, coming in February, and swaps the mansions and dungeons of days past for a planet out there on the frontier, where you've been sent in a big, warm, friendly ship to save humanity by colonising it. Obviously, it crashes and everyone dies.
Plenty more horrible deaths to avoid in the best zombie games.
Except you! The magical gift of protagonism comes through once again to make sure you've got things to do. Wandering from the wreckage, you discover a planet that has clearly known life before, with the human-like alien remains scattered around and many a building dotting the landscape. Here's the developers calmly explaining all that:
For obvious reasons, it reminds me of Lifeless Planet, the exploration/survival game about finding a mysterious Russian base on a distant planet lightyears from Earth. I enjoyed that a lot, the sci-fi and well-told mystery being just interesting enough to keep me moving forward. There's infinite possibilities when dealing with a totally alien world and I want to see what they'll do with it.
The folks making it are those who originally made The Ball, which long-time indie fans might remember as an Unreal Tournament 3 mod that became a fully fledged game in 2010. They're calling it a spiritual successor to that, so I'd expect a little more than wandering around required in puzzle solving. You can read more about it on Steam, where it will be hitting Early Access some time early next month. Jeremy also interviews the developers of The Solus Project last year.