Sol: Exodus – A Review (PC)
I have missed the old space shooter games of my past. Games like Tie Fighter and Wing Commander still bring a nostalgic tear to my eye when I remember how much I loved them. So when Sol: Exodus came down the pipe, I was very excited to revisit this genre. I had hoped that this game would help to reignite the space shooter genre. What Sol: Exodus did do was make me rethink the games of my past and question whether those games were just as dull and boring as how this game turned out. To me, Seamless Entertainment missed a huge opportunity to make Sol: Exodus a huge hit for people like me that wanted to play an engaging space shooter.
The story of Sol: Exodus is pretty much stripped straight from Battlestar Galactica. You are a military pilot that is attached to a space expedition that is searching for a new planet to inhabit, since the Earth is doomed to be destroyed by our Sun. Once you finally find a suitable planet, your expedition is attacked by a religious faction of humans that believe it is God’s will that the Earth is to be destroyed and that finding a new home is in direct opposition of what God wants. The subsequent attack leaves only your battle cruiser intact to carry out the mission.
Sol: Exodus promises so much in the beginning, but fails to deliver on an engaging story through the six hours that it will take you to finish the game. The story could have focused on the feelings of hopelessness of being the only ship left or focused on the religious crusade to prevent you from completing your mission, but in the end the story just fails to be interesting at all. The potential was here for Seamless Entertainment to deliver a fantastic story, but the actual delivery was much to short to make Sol: Exodus anything but another science fiction retread.
Game play for Sol: Exodus is bare bones space shooter. You have your targeting reticule that can switch between targets by pressing a button. Your ship is armed with blasters and missiles to shoot down your targets, and you have the ability to change your speed by using your thrusters. The HUD helps you navigate to your checkpoint or points the way to your next target, but other then that doesn’t really do anything extra. The game play of Sol: Exodus really falls into the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” realm. Seamless Entertainment didn’t do anything here to push the genre into something new or exciting.
The game itself is broken up into eight missions, all pretty much the same thing. You shoot things, defend things, and fly to certain points that the game tells you. The repetition factor here really shows through during your time with the game. The game also does not have an auto save feature with no way to save mid-mission, so if you fail a mission you will have to restart from the very beginning of that mission. I had a hard time wanting to finish some of this missions once, let alone twice because I failed at the end.
Then there are the bugs. Sol: Exodus feels like it was rushed to be released and is filled with game ending bugs. I had a couple of missions that were failed due to my ship clipping into an object and not being able to free myself. With the lack of a save feature mid-mission, this would send me into a frustrated string of well aimed curses, just prior to me walking away from the game. Sol: Exodus just feels unfinished and not ready for release with these bugs. I know that Seamless Entertainment is working on these items, since they are very active on the Steam forums, but this game is just not fun to play.
Sol: Exodus is not a very pretty game, but for some reason runs absolutely terrible on my machine. For a game that is set with lower graphics requirements, I was surprised at how bad it would chug and look during certain game play elements. Other then that, the art direction of the game is very generic. The ships look like other space ships that I’ve seen in other science fictions movies and games, the planets are pretty much look the same, and the graphics of the individuals talking to you are not animated.
The voice acting is decent, but with a generic science fiction story, just does nothing to help bring the player into the world of Sol: Exodus and just doesn’t save the game from being a forgettable game.
Seamless Entertainment really could have hit a home run with Sol: Exodus. The space shooter genre hasn’t had a good game in years and there is a market of people, like me, that remember the good ole days of Tie Fighter. The problems with Sol: Exodus are numerous, from a generic storyline to buggy game play and a complete lack of mid-mission saves. But what Sol: Exodus truly fails to be is fun. I just did not have any fun playing this game due to the many issues with the story and game play that I ran into. When it all comes down to it, if the game isn’t fun to play, then the developers really failed in their purpose.