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Simon Hayward - Shaven Wookie

7 October 2023

Fort Solis

Fort Solis elevates interactive experiences to an extraordinary level, boasting a stellar cast, finely-crafted dialogue, and an immersive portrayal of the Martian landscape. This sci-fi narrative-driven game transcends the traditional gaming experience, resembling more of an intense, interactive cinematic movie than a conventional game. Developed by Fallen Leaf and Black Drakkar Games and published by Dear Villagers.


Fort Solis introduces us to its two central characters, engineers Jack Leary and Jessica Appleton, who are stationed on Mars just prior to their final shift before returning home. The plot unfolds as Jack receives an unexpected alarm call from the long-abandoned mining station, Fort Solace. As he investigates the source of the alarm, he delves into the enigmatic occurrences within the nearly deserted station, unraveling the secrets it holds.

Throughout most of the game, players assume the role of Jack, brought to life by the exceptional Roger Clark. However, much of the game's dialogue is shared with the remarkable Jessica, voiced by Julia Brown, and complemented by an outstanding ensemble of voice actors, including talents like Troy Baker and Jess Kahn-Lee.


The stellar cast helps breathe life into this meticulously crafted world. Fort Solis is heavily focused on its narrative, encouraging players to explore every nook and cranny to unveil the intricacies of the story. Through the use of video and audio data logs, the game's narrative is adeptly conveyed, with even the radio exchanges with your colleague enhancing the storytelling. Occasionally, the leisurely walking pace might test your patience, but it proves beneficial in allowing the game to guide you smoothly through key discoveries. While the first hour may seem slow, it sets the foundation for a captivating narrative, akin to binge-watching a Netflix series, with each chapter resembling an episode that keeps you eagerly anticipating what happens next.


Walking isn't the sole aspect of gameplay; quick-time events play a significant role in portraying intense moments and advancing the story, although their execution can feel somewhat clunky. Nevertheless, the game's world is filled with intricate details that players must interact with to advance the narrative, acting as a bridge of sorts.

A notable character worth mentioning is the mining station Fort Solis itself. The attention to detail in the environments, from the Martian surface to the worn-down sections of Fort Solace, is exceptional. This level of detail creates an atmospheric experience with flickering lights and the howling winds of the Martian storms, all brought to life using Unreal Engine 5.2.


In summary, Fort Solis offers a compelling journey tailored for those who relish story-driven experiences. While it has its flaws, such as the sluggish movement mechanics and clunky quick-time events, these issues do not overshadow the outstanding cast of voice actors, breathtaking graphics, meticulous world-building, and well-crafted dialogue, which could easily find a place in a suspenseful movie.


The Bad

- Engaging storytelling
- Outstanding cast of voice actors
- Detailed and impressive world environments
- Very immersive

- Sluggish movement and clunky gameplay mechanics

The Good

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