Impressions of Sol Survivor for the PC
The graphics for the PC version have been improved and definitely give the game a nicer aesthetic
A PC version of Sol Survivor was released via Steam and Impulse earlier this week, and this port of the XBox LIVE Indie Games co-op turrent defense title is more akin to a serious upgrade than a transference between platforms. The first notable difference between the two versions is the graphics. From the character portraits to the turrets and creeps, everything’s been given a thorough polishing. Even the shadows of the turret and surrounding landscape now lengthen and move, as the sun on whatever planet you find yourself on rises and sets with the passage of time. Aside from making the game visually more appealing, I've also noticed that there have been no frame rate drops when swarms of creeps are being pounded by a variety of turrets, an issue that was an occasional occurrence with the XBLIG version. New to the PC version as well is the inclusion of a Survival mode, where you pit yourself against never-ending, randomized waves of creeps, badges that keep track of various in-game stats like the number of times you kill a creep, and Steam achievements. All of these help to breathe new life into the title and give it some degree of replay value for those gamers that are interested in racking up the achievements.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the PC and XBLIG version, and the one that has some impact on the co-op play, is the inclusion of an in-game encyclopedia that can be accessed between missions, or even right in the midst of one. This encyclopedia includes information about the various creeps, the commanders, and, more importantly, the turrets themselves. Details ranging from a turret's type, recommendations for how to use them, and how much damage they do at each stage of their upgrade are now readily accessible at any point. This lack of information was one of our biggest issues with the XBLIG version, as it meant that players had to go through a good deal of trial-and-error to even gain an understanding of the different turrets and support powers and how best to use them against the invading creeps. With the PC version and the encyclopedia, however, that information is now all readily available and it makes planning a strategy amongst your fellow commanders much easier. The PC version also supports LAN co-op so you and your group of friends can maintain that feeling of "couch co-op" while staring into your computer screens a few feet away from one another.
The in-game encyclopedia provides all the information you need to help plan a solid defense
At $9.99, the PC version of Sol Survivor is a really great deal for tower defense fans and co-op gamers alike. What’s more, it sounds like Cadenza Interactive intends to continue to provide support for the PC version and possibly even expand upon it as the title continues to find its audience. This means there’s always the possibility that future enhancements could include additional maps for the co-op mode, an increase in the number of players on a co-op map, and, one can always hope, additional co-op modes (say, for example, a Co-Op Survival mode?). For now, though, the enhancements Cadenza Interactive has made in this "port" have turned what was a good indie game on the Xbox, into an excellent PC title that can easily hold its own against the many other tower defense titles out there.
The Co-Op Experience: Planning a sound defense with up to 3 of your friends against waves of creeps in the Cooperative multiplayer mode is now easier thanks to the in-game encyclopedia.
Co-Op Score: 4.5
General Score: 4.5
Note about scores: These scores are reflective of the PC version of Sol Survivor only.
The Co-Op Experience:
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.