For fans of Overwatch and older fps games like Quake or Doom, compelling VR titles are probably hard to find. Luckily, there’s a game just for this niche! Solaris Offworld Combat is a VR shooter that combines fast-paced arena combat common in old-school fps games with the visual flair of Overwatch.
Let’s take a look at the game and see where it’s at today.
Solaris Offworld Combat is a game released for Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, and PSVR in September 2020. It’s an arcade shooter that takes place in a time when competitive gaming has been taken to virtual arenas called Virtual Holofields. You are an Athlon, a soldier working in a team of 4 to defeat the enemy.
There’s only one mode in this game. In it, you take a Control Point and hold on to it to gain points. The game is very efficient in its presentation and gameplay, emphasizing fast-paced and straightforward gunplay over anything else.
There are seven arenas to play in, several weapons and powerups to use during matches, and some cosmetics for your character to wear. Solaris also has a level system and weekly challenges to complete.
SOC has a straightforward control scheme that anyone can pick up quickly. All you have to do in the game is move and shoot with one hand. You use your left joystick to move, turn around physically and fire with the right trigger.
There are a couple of other moves you can use to play:
- The left trigger allows you to place shields down.
- Pressing down on the joystick allows you to sprint.
- You can slide by pressing the A button while sprinting.
Unfortunately, there is no jumping, and you can’t use your in-game left hand for anything. The left hand isn’t tracked at all and therefore can’t be moved.
The game can be played by sitting or standing and supports crossplay across different headsets.
Solaris Offworld Combat is all about getting into matches quickly and easily. All you have to do is press play, and you can hop right into a game.
The Control Point concept is SOC’s version of king of the hill. You need to take a point placed somewhere on the map (indicated on your HUD) and hold it for as long as possible by staying within the point’s bounds. You’ll gain points over time while you’re there, and having more people on it means more points.
If no one on your team is on the point, you don’t gain any score. The point will also teleport around the map, so you’ll have to chase after it. The white teleport points on the map make movement a little easier, so use them where possible.
If an enemy kills you, you will be ejected and respawn after a few seconds. Kills in the game will give you points separate from the objective. Holding the objective and assisting other players gives you these points too. They determine which player becomes the MVP at the end of the match.
Each game lasts five minutes and takes place in one of the seven arenas. After the game, an MVP will be picked from either team, and another match will begin after a few seconds.
To effectively defeat your enemies and hold the point, you’ll have to take advantage of the items placed around the map. These include:
- Deployable shields, which are purple. They can be thrown down using the left trigger.
- Red health powerups that increase your life bar.
- Yellow weapon drops give you different weapons, including a rifle, a grenade launcher, and a rocket launcher. There’s also the starting pistol which you can use if you don’t like the other weapons.
- Blue shield powerups which increase your armor
- Purple proximity mines that blow up when enemies are close
Something to note about SOC’s weapons: there’s no reloading. I guess the developers were trying to focus on frenetic gameplay.
This game is about moving and thinking quickly, as well as staying on the objective. It’s similar to competitive shooters like Overwatch in that it is all about proper shot placement and focus. Here are some things to consider:
- Shooting in the head does more damage than body shots, so try to aim for the head.
- The grenade launcher has bullet drop and a delay before exploding, so figure out how to effectively time your shots if you get it.
- Use close quarters areas to your advantage. SOC has a lot of hallways, corners, and big multi-level rooms that you can use to gain a vantage point over the enemy.
- Try to take advantage of the sprinting and sliding mechanics as much as possible. Sliding can help you avoid gunfire as much as possible, and sprinting is useful for almost everything, especially for getting to the objective quickly.
- Stay focused on the objective. Your chances of winning depend on how quickly you get to the point and how long you can stay there.
- Work with your team. It’s much easier to win if everyone is working towards getting to the point, so try and coordinate.
- Refresh your shield and health powerups. You’ll be getting into gunfights often, and since they usually end with one person dead and the other injured, keeping your life bar up is essential. The deployable shield is also helpful in a pinch.
- Avoid dying. This is probably common sense, but try not to die too much. Every time you die, there’s a delay before you can reenter the game. Since this is a fast-paced game where every second counts, you don’t want to be out of the action for too long.
State of the Game
I’ve got some bad news regarding the game in its current state. Unfortunately, the developers have abandoned the game and aren’t responding in the official Discord. This means that it isn’t being updated and remains stagnant.
The player base has also decreased since its launch in 2020. It hasn’t remained very popular, especially not since the devs gave up on it. The game is still for sale, but I recommend you find people to play it with first or avoid it entirely.
Question: What’s the Best Gun?
Answer: As far as I can tell, this game doesn’t really have a meta weapon. They all have different benefits. Try all of them and see what you like.
Question: What About the Best Headset for this Game?
The game is identical on all of its supported platforms, so just use whichever one you have. The crossplay also lets you play with any other supported headset, which is cool.
Question: Can I Still Play it?
Technically, yes. The tricky part is getting matches, though. The game is very inactive right now, so you’ll probably have to wait a while.
And that’s it! Solaris Offworld Combat is a pretty simple game that anyone can pick up. I would love it if there were more to it, but I guess it was designed a certain way on purpose.
I like that it channels retro shooters like Quake. Those early shooters are pretty cool to me, even with their simplicity and occasional clunkiness. SOC is a more fluid version of those games, so it definitely has something going for it.
The sad part about it is that it’s so inactive now. Some people are hoping the devs will return and update it again, but that seems to be up in the air right now.