Fort Solis review

by on August 22, 2023
Release Date

August 22, 2023


The mysteries of Fort Solis are forever central to the story, and while I was forever hoping to find out why the station was so quiet, it was the acting that kept me engrossed in this third-person narrative science fiction thriller. All three of the main cast acted their hearts out, and when a game featuring both Arthur Morgan and Joel Miller comes out, it’s hard to ignore what that might be like. While there was one element of Fallen Leaf and Black Drakkur Games’ title that did frustrate me, it featured enough intrigue and style that I was left impressed once I’d finally uncovered what was going on.

Fort Solis is a slow burner. After you receive an alarm call from a nearby base on Mars, you’re sent to investigate it. You play for most of it as Jack O’Leary who goes in with little knowledge about what has happened, but through audio and video logs, as well as some grisly findings, you start to realise something more sinister has happened. With Jessica Appleton, a close friend and colleague on comms, you walk around the base and have some friendly banter about zombie tv shows among other things, but as your findings get more serious, the mood shifts, and disaster strikes.

To avoid spoilers, I shan’t ruin why, but there’s a natural rapport between Jack and Jessica, voiced wonderfully by Roger Clark and Julia Brown. Although you know things are getting worse, you hope nothing bad will happen to them, despite knowing it absolutely will. Why have all the crew disappeared? What happened on Fort Solis? Who is Wyatt Taylor and what has he done? Things become clearer, and Troy Baker is in full-on villain mode, something we’ve seen him do so well before. The interactions between the three feel iconic, and their effortless delivery of the writing makes it one of the highlights.

It helps that the animations are utterly stunning. Much like the delivery of lines in titles like The Last of Us, you believe the characters and gravitate towards them. Every frown and worry, or roll of the eye and smile. Emotions are worn well across the character’s faces, and the technology within Ureal Engine 5.2 makes animations look so good. This carries over to the base itself, and the surface of Mars. The lighting is exceptional, and the level of detail in each room, be it the rec room, medical bay, or greenhouse, it’s simply gorgeous. Presentation and the acting are two of the standouts, but the game does falter in a couple of areas.

Walking around is so slow. I didn’t expect to run around everywhere, but an option to at least jog or walk faster would have been appreciated. There are times when you need to walk a fair distance, whether down long corridors or from the entrance at the atrium to the drill bay, and walking at a snail’s pace becomes less and less appealing. It’s even more frustrating when certain cutscenes see Jack running within an inch of his life to avoid an oxygen purge of the station. Listening to audio logs features an animation where you take USBs out of devices and load them up, and they could have been a little faster as well.

To build a sense of dread in Fort Solis, I understand the need to do so intermittently and slowly, but getting around could have been done with a bit of speed. Despite this, it’s still an impressive game. You never struggle with where to go or what to do as markers pop up with things you can interact with, be it a door that can be opened or another log to read/watch. The gamier moments come from some QTE events where you use your interactive console on your wrist. Some of the button prompts during heated interactions happen quite fast, and I would miss them which led to a punch in the gut or the face.

There’re a few puzzles scattered across Fort Solis, such as a room with servers that need to be switched on in a certain order, but the main focus of the game is to tell an engaging story through the strength of the script and its writing; something which is done very well. While it lacks a sense of urgency, the acting, specifically that of Troy Baker, offers some excellent moments of clarity and despair. Add in the spectacular visuals and animations of the characters, and you’re left with a solid narrative experience that takes its inspiration from television more than the gaming medium.


Superb acting
Stunning visuals and animations
Enjoyable story


Slow to get around
QTEs are too quick

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Fort Solis features some of the best voice acting I've heard, and an engaging story that carries you through to the tense reveal at the end.