Just finished this bad boy!
After blood, sweat, and many digital tears, I finally finished Solaris. And boy, was that a ****ing good time! Darius certainly wasn't kidding about needing to unlearn everything you learnt about Freespace 2 combat thus far, and to be honest, it still ****s with my head a bit - but the gameplay and aesthetic are smooth, modern, and most importantly, incredibly fun to play. The UI has been almost totally overhauled and is absolutely gorgeous, the briefing method is new and something I've not seen before, and the inter-mission news reports were great value. And as with all of Darius's work, the soundtrack is pure gold and definitely adds to the feeling of devilish enjoyment the mod gives you with some Star Citizen level 6DOF - but without the 6 degrees of control mapping required to be playable. For a first playthrough, I felt the game really made you work for every kill you got, and offers enough different ways to do things on the more challenging missions that the replay value is pretty high compared to the standard FS campaign. And of course, hats off to Darius for iron-manning a TC and totally nailing it. I was taken aback for the first few hours
of playtime that one man was able to pull that whole thing together.
I still don't really feel like I understood what was going on at any level above a surface, mission-by-mission level, but I did also take about three separate periods spread out over twice as many months to actually finish it, which doesn't help. And also from reading the thread, I fully get that this was intended as a proof-of-concept more than anything, and in my experience of playing it, I sincerely believe it to have been proven here. Besides, the combat in the more hectic missions is basically the 21st Century equivalent of mainlining space crack, and I was way too busy just trying to survive to attempt to pick apart the universe.
So the point of all that? If you haven't played it yet, treat yourself and play it! Potentially with a beer between missions, potentially also turning the difficulty down about 2-3 notches below whatever you usually play to minimise tears and finger sweat. Great work Darius, can't wait for episode II.