Red Solstice 2: Survivors - Proven

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Lluis Enric Mayans
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Here are our first impressions of the game after the playtest on PC.

The Earth as we know it no longer exists within the universe of The Red Solstice, video game developed by Ironward and published in 2014: the new home of mankind is Mars but, as expected, there are also dangers on the red planet. Over a playtest for the Steam version of the sequel to the first chapter, that is Red Solstice 2: Survivors (due out on June 17), we were able to face the threat posed by mysterious mutant STROL creatures as members of the Cell, a secret special team armed to the teeth.

Red Solstice 2 is nothing more than a strategic one that however abandons the shifts in favor of a more action approach: we tell you our impressions gained after several online games, passed to face the terrible mutants in the company of other players.

In Red Solstice 2: Survivors the comparisons are clear and immediate with a series of successful strategists like that of XCOM: the developers themselves highlight this ambitious comparison, in a production that however changes some of the key aspects of the titles developed by Firaxis Games (or from Mythos Games, in case you want to return to the first XCOM: UFO Defense): this time, however, the fights are in real time, with teams that can be formed by a maximum of 8 players, who make up the team that will have to complete missions in online cooperative mode.

During our test we had the opportunity to taste a small appetizer of what will be one of the main modes of the complete game: before throwing ourselves into the fray, however, through an essential tutorial we had the opportunity to become familiar with the main mechanics of Red Solstice 2: Survivors. We therefore felt free to pick up a rifle, and as good newbies with little salt in our nourishment, head fearlessly on the battlefield, ready to become slaughterhouse fodder for the mysterious beings that populate the desolate locations in modernized Martian soil.

During the formation of the team in the lobby, you can also select your role: you can decide to act as frontline fighter as a soldier, or to remain in the rear e support the team as a doctor; once the game has started, just open the game map to find a marker that shows where to go to complete the current objective: the missions in which we participated are procedurally generated, with consequential objectives that make it essential to focus on coordinated movements in groups, especially to cope with the sudden assaults of enemies, who can group and attack the players from behind, making life difficult even for veteran formations and ending that of lone wolves or those who, unfortunately, are left behind (but no fear, respawn is very fast).

The setting is one of the strengths of Red Solstice 2: Survivors. The darkness bathes every single corner and the speed of the enemies requires you to always be on the alert for any surprise attacks. Along the seemingly empty roads, numerous buildings stand out, which conceal various objects and materials through which you can enrich your paraphernalia: you can still breathe a constant feeling of danger, accentuated when facing a mission in adverse environmental conditions, such as a ground covered with snow, which makes the movements of the characters slower and therefore necessarily requires you to face each enemy head-on, not being able to effectively aim at fleeing.

When you are the victim of one of the many sieges of mutant creatures and you decide to fight back, you can use a main or secondary weapon, managing its aim with the mouse pointer. If, on the other hand, you prefer an automated approach (and which greatly simplifies the most excited phases), you can focus on the use of the mechanics of Overwatch typical of turn-based strategy, that is a function that automatically fires at all enemies that make a movement within the player's field of vision.

An ability that can be activated with the push of a button and that helps in an important way, allowing you to respond to attacks at any time, especially while on the move, when waves of enemies can appear suddenly; this solution also helps those who perhaps come from more classic strategists, interspersing the frenetic pace of the clashes, which at some time can be difficult to manage if you do not have enough experience.

A solution of this type also requires careful use of available resources, with ammunition that runs out very quickly under the constant attacks of the enemy hordes. As we have already mentioned, inside the desolate buildings it is however possible to loot a large number of useful objects, ranging from ammunition (classic or special) to healing items or offensive weapons to be used on the battlefield, such as special grenades or mines. proximity. The inventory has a limited number of slots in which to store the tools and it is therefore important to manage your resources very carefully, perhaps also thinking about what are the most useful solutions in reference to the skills and role of the player.

Compared to the first chapter, Red Solstice 2: Survivors therefore shows several steps forward, with a more refined technical aspect which enhances each section more, in an atmosphere where threats loom relentlessly over players and attacks can come from any angle, making the completion of missions anything but a simple outing to Mars. The same interface has been revised, not upsetting that of the predecessor but allowing you to have more control over the situation. In the course of our experience we have had to deal with a small number of glitches and minor bugs, however, nothing that cannot be solved between now and the final product on the market.

Red Solstice 2: Survivors will only be released on June 17th, but what we've got to try looks extremely promising. The possibility of being able to live an adventure that imports some aspects of games like XCOM, revised in the perspective of an action, could conquer several players: an appointment therefore postponed to the arrival of the full game, where we will examine each component in detail.

► Red Solstice 2: Survivors is an RPG-Strategy game developed by Ironward and published by 505 Games for PC and Steam, it will be released in 2021

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