Some days you just want to kick back and slaughter hundreds of slimy mutants on Mars, because that’s what people do there most of the time, right? (Media portrayals of Mars might be slightly one-sided.) In that case, Solstice Chronicles: MIA – successor-but-not-sequel to 2015’s The Red Solstice – has got you covered… in gooey mutant gibs, mostly.
So here’s the deal: a deadly virus has driven humankind from Earth, and everyone who’s not been turned into an evil space mutant is now living on Mars. Except that the virus breaks out there as well. That’s… not very good. You play as a lone soldier, abandoned by his squad, as you fight your way through mutant-infested facilities.
On your way you meet a rather chatty drone that can help you with various abilities. You can send it scavenging for supplies, pushing away the enemy hordes, or – if you’re feeling cocky – drawing them in so you can shoot them better. This sounds like a bad idea, but then, it actually helps you reduce the overall threat level and keeps the baddies from overwhelming you.
Managing the threat level is where it gets slightly tactical, and there’s a constant need to keep the onslaught under control. Everything else is pure, unapologetic twin-stick shooting, using an arsenal of rather satisfying weaponry. It gets a bit more complicated later, with barricades and skill upgrades and whatnot, but at its core, Solstice Chronicles: MIA is all about shotguns and assault rifles and flying mutant body parts. As it should be.
You can also grab a co-op partner and brave the mutant hordes in the game’s survival mode, which offers large areas with random objectives and more enemies than you can, uh, well, shoot. Either way, if you like atmospheric action games with a touch of tactics thrown into the mix, Solstice Chronicles: MIA deserves your full attention.
You can purchase Solstice Chronicles: MIA from Steam for $19.99. For more information, visit the game’s website or follow developer Ironward on Facebook or Twitter.