I never played the original Red Solstice so I can’t offer an opinion on its merits, good or otherwise, but Red Solstice 2: Survivors seems like a solid real-time action game with RPG mechanics. It’s set on Mars where you control a battle-hardened marine having to help repel an invasion by the mutant Strol.
I get a real X-COM and perhaps Warhammer vibe here, with your hero – the Executor – fighting his way through mutant hordes to rescue soldiers or acquire vital equipment. You arrive planetside in a giant landing ship that you use to travel to missions around Mars and that you can upgrade through research.
As you complete missions you earn skill points. These you can use to upgrade the Executor’s combat suit and your squad’s genetic implants via a skill tree.
Going into Red Solstice 2 cold, I actually found it rather engaging and the Executor has a number of combat abilities such as overwatch, which will let him automatically fire on enemies when they enter his field of view.
If you can’t beat ’em…
Rather than animated cutscenes, Red Solstice 2 has art panels that tell the narrative. I couldn’t help but think that the main character and his army were heavily inspired by Halo as their appearance has a strikingly similar look to a certain other game’s space marine.
Missions are assigned through the game’s world map, which also provides useful mission information and objectives. A huge roster of enemies ranging from cannon fodder ramblers to enemies with razor sharp limbs and cloaked mutant dogs makes sure the action remains enjoyable.
At times the combat seemed unbalanced, especially in some of the optional side missions, but the development team are listening to feedback from fans. There have been a few patches fixing balance and minor bugs since it I started playing. The story might not be original and the gameplay is nothing new but Red Solstice 2: Survivors is an enjoyable romp in a sci-fi inspired universe if you’re a fan of X-COM and it’s ilk.