“Move apart Dante, Briar is here!”
- Management: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
- Developer: modus games
- Developer: North Game Studio
- Release Date: September 20, 2022
As much as we love Dark Souls or Elden Ring, we’ve always had a strong desire for quick-paced action games like Devil May Cry and God of War. The feeling of gut-biting an enemy at hyper lightning speed is so rewarding and satisfying that we can’t get enough of fast action games. So when we heard about Solstice from developer Reply Game Studios, our eyes went wide and we were praying we’d get a chance at this amazing-looking title. Clearly inspired by the Devil May Cry series and Bayonetta, Solstice aims to show you the respect you have for indie developers and feel like they can match the greatness of Triple-A developers. Is Solstice the next Devil May Cry competitor or will Dante always rule the hack and slash action genre? Let us find out in our review of Solstice for PC!
The first several seconds of Solstice might make you think you’re about to enter a Dark Souls-like story, when you hear about mighty warriors ravaging kingdoms and reclaiming lands. Then a hot girl—whose face resembles that of Milena from Mortal Kombat—jumps through a stained-glass window and falls into a bunch of floating debris. It’ll hit you then, no, it’s similar to the opening found in both Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, and that our MC of Solstice, Briar, isn’t messing around.
Solstice plays a lot—and we mean a lot—like Devil May Cry. As Briar, players have a range of moves that are unlockable using red orb-like collectibles such as light/heavy attacks, the ability to dodge, a launcher move, and through a shadowy-looking “observer”. Skills reach. We absolutely loved the controls and fast-paced action that might echo Devil May Cry but equally enough to be our own unit and something we’re proud to see.
Briar is not alone in his fight against the “corrupt” as he has a strange spirit that has merged with him in the form of Lute and fortunately. Lute has few uses, at least at first, other than being a very meek-sounding soul. Lute can attack enemies – outside of your own input – and can even defend Briar using a counter system and special defensive moves. This is where Solstice shows its originality. You’re going to learn quickly that if enemies are behind you they won’t be waiting for you to look at you. More often than not, you’ll need to learn how to counter-attack and dodge from time to time to avoid a backstabbing enemy just waiting to be unnoticed by you. Especially at tough difficulty levels – which are many – where a single attack can almost deplete your health. If you’re used to titles like Devil May Cry, we recommend starting with Night Difficulty.
Solstice blew our minds when we saw the trailers but actually playing the game reveals an even more beautiful title! Each stage may have a similar looking background, but there is a ton of detail in the stages and even the character models. Solstice looks like a triple-A game and we can’t deny that it surprised us a bit. We give Answers Game Studios credit for really showing us and hopefully the world, what an indie developer can do!
Again, like Devil May Cry, games like Solstice require strict bosses that are equally great. Luckily, some of them are good and they’re not a joke. If you haven’t mastered the controls and like other parts of the game, these scary beasts will mess up Briar/Lute, with a quick and scary-game over waiting for those not ready. We wish there were more bosses in Solstice because we think not only are their designs too original but their fights break up the occasional monotony of basic enemies.