The year is 117 AE (After Earth). After the events of The Red Solstice, your task is to travel Mars and attempt to eradicate the STROL mutant threat. ‘Red Solstice 2: Survivors’ is a real-time tactical battlefield game, developed by Ironward and published by 505 Games. The game features an amazing 8-player online co-op and single-player modes. Red Solstice 2: Survivors released on June 17th and is only available on PC (sorry console players). You can purchase the game through Steam or through the 505 Games website, which will give you a steam code. Red Solstice 2: Survivors is the 3rd installment in the Red Solstice universe, with The Red Solstice and Solstice Chronicles: MIA coming in before this release.
You are the ‘Executor’; a cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier awakened by a mysterious secret society called ‘The Founders’. As the Executor, you are placed in charge of an elite task force called CELL. CELL’s main objective is to fight the corporations that rush to take dominance over the last survivors of humankind, while also fighting the STROL invasion. STROL mutants are a plague on the surface of Mars and CELL must find a cure to secure a stable and habitable planet for the remnants of mankind. As you deploy from your massive mobile landship and embark on missions to secure footholds and clear the plague, you will encounter ever-changing hardships along the way. The longer you are deployed, the harder it is to survive.
As you venture through the barren, mutant-ridden land, you will encounter an abundance of enemies, and there are a lot; in the realms of 33 different types of mutants which are all different. There’s none of the old “reskin & harder difficulty” type enemies that a lot of games have. The longer you are deployed the harder the enemies get through the use of a wave system, and it isn’t hard to get overrun and start to run out of ammo.
As you travel across the areas attempting to complete missions, various side missions appear the deeper you venture, but keep in mind the longer you stay the more enemies appear and harder they become. It wasn’t hard to get lost within the levels and forget why I was there in the first place, like an easily distracted dog seeing a squirrel, or in my case, even a goldfish. There was always something new happening in the areas I was exploring and would always get sidetracked from the task at hand.
My playstyle was down the lone wolf path, only taking my Executor into battle and attempting to single-handedly take down the STROL threat. I soon found out this was not going to work going forward (they call it a “tactical battlefield” for a reason). As the Executor, you can take 4 soldiers into the thick of battle, each with different attributes, weapons, and classes, but be careful, if they sustain too many injuries and fall in battle too many times they will die. I found that out the hard way.
As you explore you may find new recruits and develop their skills and attributes through research along with your own, and as they level up in battle, you can also level up their skills which help greatly. I mean, the game really is a real-time strategic battlefield with traits from roleplaying and survival games all viewed top-down like a D&D or the original Warcraft games!
The apocalyptic space visuals were gorgeous, running the game on epic with an RTX 2060, 9th gen i7, and only 16GB of RAM, the game performed flawlessly and I held a constant 60FPS. It ran so smoothly and looked absolutely amazing that I didn’t even think to check my graphics settings to see if FPS were capped, or if I could make it look better purely because it performed so well, especially with an abundance of over 50 odd mutants rushing me and a random soldier I picked up on a street corner to help out.
I noticed no imperfections, besides my gameplay and poor strategic planning when I quickly ran out of ammo and had to Forest Gump out of the area being chased by mutant, four-legged, hellhound type abominations; the immersion had me stressing.
The areas were very well designed and it felt like I was watching a squad of ‘Doom-Guys/ Halo Spartans’ ravage the STROL threat from the comforts of my command tower. Although the areas did end up feeling awfully repetitive, with the interior of most buildings being very similar. I mean, how many scientific areas/laboratories are needed in one town? I felt like I was going into a lab every few buildings I entered while I was attempting to scavenge for just one more satchel charge or some well-needed ammo.
The audio within the game really made it extremely immersive. The doom and gloom were really pronounced with an eerie level track, which started to get progressively upbeat the more I got overrun by the filthy mutants. The voice acting was extremely well done and really gave the characters within the game a deep atmosphere around their being and added to the immersion within the game. The sound effects from enemies weren’t overwhelming and didn’t get annoying as some games do. Weapons and explosions sounds were on point and actually sounded like I was handling a massive shotgun capable of splitting enemies in two.
All in all, the game was a splendid change for me to play, as I mostly delve into FPS and realistic tactical shooters. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing Red Solstice 2: Survivors, but now I want to get the previous 2 titles in the series to fully understand the struggles and hardships that have been happening on Mars. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the story and universe of the Solstice!
- Great voice acting & audio
- Stunning visuals
- Immersive gameplay
- 8 Player - Multiplayer
- Repetitive area designs