Legs - What is going to keep people playing?
The Red Solstice has much to offer to keep players coming back for more. Each scenario is randomly generated; the missions, enemies, and locations will be different every time you play. This is critical since The Red Solstice is all about playing over and over again, and randomization forces players to change tactics on the fly. A side mission you completed a couple maps ago will be in a different spot, or surrounded by a variety of enemies. These side missions will be repeated from scenario to scenario, but with matches lasting around thirty minutes on average (less when you fail), the game does a good job of mixing things up so it doesn’t become stale.
The lasting power also comes in the form of a class based system for your marines. There are eight different classes which on the surface do not feel like they play drastically differently. When you incorporate their specialized weapons, and start changing skillsets each class can be outfitted to fill a specific role. Classes range from front line fighters, to back row damage dealers, all the way to support medics buffing and healing. However, as each class is levelled through experience points different abilities and gear become available. The range of classes, and within each class the specializations you can unlock make every match different in The Red Solstice.
Heart - What makes this thing tick?
It is important to know The Red Solstice was built with co-op at its core. The eight player co-op is the heart of the game and really where it shines. Sure, you can learn the ropes and test out strategies in single player but The Red Solstice is meant to be played with many people. A balanced team is essential to success, as squads will run across situations where only a specialist can advance the squad.
Additional classes are unlocked through experience, therefore more experienced players will be playing the more advanced classes. I think this is a smart way of progressing as it will give new players a chance to learn each class and understand their role and how they interact with the rest of the team.
It is awesome to see a game like The Red Solstice where it is rooted in co-op. This is a great example of how good teamwork can get lead to success and bad teamwork will result in failure. Sure some players will be discouraged because it doesn’t hold your hand, but instead of just letting you win (which we see far too much in games these days) it forces you to work together as a group.
Throughout my whole experience with The Red Solstice, it never loses focus on what it was built around, teamwork. Players looking for a challenge will be right at home, and anyone who wants to experiment with different strategies will find a wealth of variety here. They manage to succeed in delivering an atmospheric tactical strategy game where friends become allies and allies become monster food. The game is all about maintaining momentum, balancing risk and progress, remembering there is no solace during The Red Solstice.
The Co-Op Experience: In The Red Solstice you control one of the eight space marines that are trying to find out what happened to human colonies on Mars during the huge storm called The Red Solstice. Choose from 8 different classes and level them up in an experience-based character advancement system
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.