Solar Ash was one of the most anticipated independent games of 2021. In this article, we will critique this platformer title and examine it from different angles.
In my opinion, the gaming industry is one of the mediums that has always been moving forward. It is true that in some years we see better games, and in other years (such as 2021), the number of good games is less, but one can not deny that with the advancement of technology, game makers have opened their hands to make bigger and better games. Every year, we see the release of high quality games that make every gamer more hopeful to continue. Some of these games are made with a budget of several hundred thousand dollars, and others are the result of the hard work of a small team with limited budgets. While more budgets allow developers to better implement their ideas, there are plenty of lower-budget studios that create quality games.
Independent studios are the beating heart of the gaming industry. When large companies become inefficient for any reason, the creativity and innovation of these studios becomes more apparent. In recent years we have seen the release of standalone masterpieces such as Disco Elysium, Celeste and Inside, which have received even more acclaim than some AAA games. In fact, the world of independent games is a place where developers can challenge their weird ideas without fear, and their thoughts and thoughts are not just the high sales of the game. This is where artistic games come into play and buy the reputation of the gaming industry.
The title we want to explore today may not be a masterpiece, but it is a title that, with its unique world and gameplay, is definitely worth a try. Solar Ash, the latest independent studio game Heart Machine Before this game, called Hyper Light Drifter, had shown its ability to make special games to the world. Unlike Hyper Light Drifter, Solar Ash is a fully 3D game, and the elements “movement” and “speed” are the best words to describe this game. In the following, we will be at your service with a brief review of this game. Join us if you are interested in specific independent titles.
In Solar Ash, you play the role of a warrior named Rei who intends to save his planet from destruction. Rei is a Voidrunner and, like the other Voidrunners in the game, pursues a specific goal in the dark but beautiful world of Ultravoid. His goal is to close the black hole that has exposed his planet to destruction. Rei hopes to save his people before the black hole engulfs his planet and turns it into a ruin. Rei faces a lot of difficulties along the way and has to cross the barrier of giant creatures called Remnants, who are in fact the game bass. Although Solar Ash focuses more on gameplay, the story is strong enough to keep you entertained throughout the game (something like 8 hours). For those who want to learn more about Ultravoid and its theorems, there are many audio and text files in the game world that complete the game’s story. The ending of the game is also strangely impressive; Something I might not have expected at first from a game-centric game like Solar Ash.
Solar Ash gameplay, while not perfect, is very enjoyable and unique. Solar Ash gameplay philosophy is based on “the route is more important than the destination” and you can see this in all game mechanics. What brings the most fun to the gamer in Solar Ash is neither the game battles nor the completion of the goals of each stage. In Solar Ash, “movement” is the first and last letter. The game world is full of rails on which Rei can skate and move quickly from one point to another. Rei’s movement is so smooth and clean from the water that your heart wants you to be carefree and squat for hours! The development team focus on this mechanism is really commendable, because a platformer game has to be just as fluid and engaging.
Apart from skating and gliding through the various sections of the Ultravoid, Rei walking and jumping are also very special and smoothly designed. Rei can use his Grappling Hook to attach to clips in the game space and even fight enemies in the air. It may seem strange to you to define such simple mechanisms as running, jumping, and gliding so much, because these are basically the basic mechanisms that exist in all games. But if you play Solar Ash, you will quickly realize that the greatest pleasure of the game is the same movements and crossing the obstacles of the game.
The game’s combat system is more about its advantages. Of course, you will face other enemies during the game, but these enemies will usually not pose a particular challenge for you. With a few blows of the sword, Rei destroys the normal enemies of the game, and it can be said that these enemies make your task in scuba diving more difficult than they themselves want to be a threat to you. But the advantages of the game are really challenging and attractive. Some of these basses are so giant that you can easily skate on their bodies! These giant basses can remind you of games like God of War, Doyle Mike or Final Fantasy. I say this as a very positive point, because I think these games have some of the best features in the history of games. Although fighting with the bases of the game has a relatively repetitive pattern, but this pattern does not lose its freshness during the 8 hours of the game.
The only thing that annoys the pros is the camera angle and not-so-proper Rei control, which may interfere with your game. Unfortunately, there are moments in the game when you just want to skip that step and take a deep breath. This comfortable breath is not because of the challenge of that stage, but because of the improper control that deprives you of the pleasure of the game. This is especially true in the second half of the game when the bosses become tougher and you have to hit your sensitive shots in less time. Benefits are usually done in three stages, and if you lose in the final stage, which is the most critical stage, you have to start the whole stage from the beginning. This is where the problems of the game get a little nerve-wracking, and your losses will be more the fault of the camera and improper control of the game than your fault.
In Solar Ash you can find valuable items such as new armor from the game environment. These armors and other collectible items in general will have a great impact on your progress in the game. For example, one item can dramatically increase the filling speed of your Boost bar, another item can increase your resistance to enemy blows, and another item can have a positive effect on the game’s movement elements (such as jumping, skating, etc.). . It’s really commendable that in a platformer game so much importance has been given to such things, but its implementation could have been better. For example, some very valuable armor of the game will reach you in the last hour or two of the game, and until you come to enjoy the power that the game has given you, you will see the final titration of the game!
I have said very little about the design of the environment and the artistic style of the game. Solar Ash is a very fun and colorful game. Heart Machine Studio, with its unique art style, can easily open the heart of any gamer and attract him to his world. Solar Ash, with the pastel colors used in its surroundings, the impeccable design of the appearance of its bases, and the surreal design of the Ultravoid world, evokes only one word in the mind of the audience, and that word is “art”. The paradox of the dark world of Ultravoid and the vivid and captivating colors of its surroundings creates a mysterious atmosphere throughout the game that forces you to accompany Rei to the end of the path.
The music made for the game also helps to convey this mysterious feeling and immerse you as much as possible in the sci-fi world of the game. The game’s sound effects and sound are no less than its beautiful music, and every move that Rei makes in the game is accompanied by an attractive sound effect.
All in all, Solar Ash is a well-crafted, fun-colored, and unique game that you will not regret experiencing. It is true that some parts of the game need serious improvements, but after the game was over, the only feeling I had left was a sense of satisfaction with the hours I had spent playing the game.
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