I have enjoyed playing Solaris.
The worldbuilding is great, I quite like this setting that was presented to the player, and you can relate to the world and characters you interact with, in a certain way. Shouldn't say too much, so I guess I'm immersed in it? Felt like being Germany and Britain before Churchill declared war.
The main course of the game - ships: Big, bulky, human designs, ARMORED LOOKING, BLACK COLORED! They look imposing, feel imposing and shoot imposing. Ship to ship combat is slow and methodical, and the player must play an active part in the bigger battle so their friendly fleet survives, no BoEs here. You need to learn the blind approaches to the enemy ships well or you're shredded, then your friendly ship will. Big ships are armed with big cannons with big impacts. They're gonna mess up your friendly fleet bad and the FX look amazing. The turrets on each ship too, they're so bloody beautiful. Almost makes you wanna adore it while you're frantically trying to destroy it. But what's more important are anti-ship missiles that they also launch...
They're the big thing about this TC, and particular attention has been placed on their importance. Huge ass missile flares and super long trails really hammers in how amazing anti-ship missile launches are and the threat they pose to your friends, words do not suffice. The ASMs launched here have a powerful visual impact and are done with a purpose...it actually MATTERS when ASMs are launched. Nothing like teeny tiny torpedoes or fusion mortars in FS where they're so underwhelming with small trails and stuff, being launched by the dozens or hundreds. I can't go back to boring small tiny missile launches in ship to ship combat anymore!
Big things, when killed...they don't explode into two pieces like FS. They leave a big hulk of themselves...no idea how they did this, I cannot state how much I love this. It really adds into the atmosphere of the mission/TC and feel that something big just got destroyed and the remnants are there - not big, empty space or weird pieces of large debris flying off to god knows where. I hope this gets used much more by the community. Love this design decision. It made the atmosphere of one mission with a lot of hulks very appreciable.
The flight model is...hmm. It's fast and I love it, but you have to get a good feel of how 'drifty' it is or you're gonna be a space rock bouncing off someone's armor plating. But everyone else is fast and slick, drifty and maneuverable too...so there is no room for error in this total conversion. The TTK for the player is measured in less than five seconds. If you get into fights without a plan, expect to see the restart screen often (I know I did!).
My playstyle...I played on maximum difficulty and barely killed enemy strikecraft. I'm a terrible pilot and this flight model is punishing, but as long as I didn't die...right? I took the boring but pragmatic approach to combat in this TC - sit back, let the fury AI rip themselves apart and hide behind rocks/capships. I'm certain that I have less than ten kills, doing what I did in BP Act 3...just don't fight the fight that AIs rule supreme in. Why do I even play on hard mode?
Couple of LACs, maybe
one or two straight-up dogfight kills and the rest were probably just me snagging stragglers. I admit I like watching other people kill stuff, so I have that going for me. The missions say you'd have autoaim, with less autoaiming as difficulty goes up. I suppose I had no autoaim...how did I even hit anything!? Watching long bursts of CIWS fire just tear the enemy apart and shoot down ASMs is so beautiful. I must sit back some more and enjoy the show instead of fighting...
Hey, this TC is great. Play it.
Potential bugs below...?
The mission where you stumble on Osiris getting chased? I could never accomplish secondary objective Veritas because she couldn't get killed. My method was stealthing over to the engines and knocking them out, then CIWS and weapons. She is probably guardianed at 18% HP, so she would never die, Osiris getting close would never hit her with ASMs due to their turn rate and the mission will fail when Longview gets pummeled by Vindicator's kinetics after a while because Osiris doesn't get triggered to attacking Vindicator and player never gets orders to hit the kinetic batteries.
Do hulks have hitboxes? I tried hiding behind some in that wreckage mission but still got killed by those damn Hunters. Maybe I just suck at hiding.