Developed by Ironward and published by 505 Games, Red Solstice 2: Survivors is the direct sequel to 2015’s tactical squad-based RTS The Red Solstice, continuing the story of its predecessor and expanding its gameplay.
With Earth ruined, the surviving members of humanity have moved to Mars in search of a safe haven. Needless to say, they didn’t find it. It is the year 117 After Earth, and you are an elite soldier, the Executor, who was given an extremely important mission.
You have to assemble a special task force to fight against the threat of the STROL mutant invasion. However, it doesn’t mean that you just get to grab the biggest gun and shoot the encroaching hordes of monsters of various sizes!
In addition to selecting your loadout and actively taking the missions in the company of other players or assisted by AI squadmates, You will get to explore the entire surface of the planet, research technologies, and more.
Red Solstice 2: Survivors is scheduled to release on PC via Steam on June 17.
Upon entering the game, you can choose whether you want to start the Campaign or dive into Skirmishes. Red Solstice 2 then offers a number of difficulty settings with some additional options such as the Iron Man challenge.
Depending on your chosen difficulty, certain missions can feel like hell on earth or a repetitive snooze-fest zerg rush, so make your choice carefully!
If you have decided to jump into the campaign, the game offers to take you through a brief tutorial mission that, admittedly, does not present it too well and amounts to “right-click to move and interact, left-click to shoot” with a few additional tips about ammo, equipment and more.
This lack of guidance is especially felt once you can choose to move to the world map and open access to armory, research center, gathering new info, and more. The outside-the-mission stuff at the moment feels more like an additional chore keeping you away from the fun stuff instead of an intricate part of the overall gameplay.
This is where the missions come in: as the Executor, you will get to lead your team on a variety of tasks on the surface of the planet. The developers promise over 15 main missions and more than 20 side missions, with each having a different mission type (exploration, stealth and survival).
You can invite up to 7 other players to join you in these missions or approach them solo with AI companions of various classes: Assault, Demolition, Heavy Support, Marksman, Medic, and Recon.
Teamwork and taking advantage of your surroundings is the key to successful missions in Red Solstice 2: Survivors.
If you are not paying attention, you can easily get your squad surrounded and mauled to death by the increasingly difficult waves of mutants. On the other hand, hiding behind covers for a boost, placing turrets or explosives in bottlenecks or even destroying some of the surroundings can give your team a breather.
You can issue orders to your teammates such as Follow Me or Move To, although sometimes the way AI approaches it is unexpected – like crouching by a cover on the side where the mutants are coming from and refusing to move.
As Executor, you can seamlessly swap between the manual mode and the so-called Overwatch mode. While you have the former active, your character will not shoot at enemies unless you are manually left-clicking on target. While the Overwatch mode automatically shoots at enemies within your fire range.
During the presentation by the developers, it was revealed that the game’s levels are procedurally generated, giving players new experiences every time they go for a mission.
Red Solstice 2: Survivors includes all the features you would expect from a tactical squad-based RTS: customization & leveling, direct control of your squad (if you decide to wing it solo), interaction with your surroundings, and more.
However, as far as the alpha version of the game goes, doing missions in the company of AI on a normal level of difficulty felt a bit dull. Perhaps the company of other players or a higher difficulty can change the impression – as long as the developers find a way to make it welcoming to new players.
In its alpha state, Red Solstice 2: Survivors has the foundation of an exciting action-packed tactics game. There were a few bugs I have encountered during my few hours of running the missions, but nothing game-breaking.
Note: the Steam Alpha key has been provided for the purposes of this article.
- Deep tactics
- The music is barely present
- A lot of talking, not a lot of showing
- Can get repetitive on lower difficulties