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Watch us play The Solus Project, a survival game set on an alien world

The survival genre takes a giant leap into science fiction

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

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Survival games are a dime a dozen right now on early access platforms, but The Solus Project aims to differentiate itself with a strong science fiction theme. Earth is dying, and players take the role of a deep space survey mission searching for a new home for humanity. I had hands-on time with it all last week, well ahead of its launch on Steam and Xbox One on Feb. 18. What I found was very intriguing.

We first learned of Solus during last year's E3 when the team behind it was already well underway. The game shows a lot of polish on PC (not so much on Xbox One) but what sets it apart is the linear nature of its narrative. This is a survival game with a story, a single-player experience focused on the exploration of a completely alien world. Players have to keep fed and watered in order to make it to the next save point, all the while completing tasks and solving environmental puzzles.

But the strange planet you've landed on holds many secrets, as well as some fearsome environmental dangers that have turned the aboveground landscape into a charred slag heap. Join Nick Robinson and I for a walkabout, and please do watch your step.

The next level of puzzles.

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