Fort Solis: Everything we know about sci-fi thriller game Fort Solis including its Scottish star

New sci-fi horror Fort Solis has arrived for PC and PS5 - here is everything we know about the game.

Fort Solis, the highly-anticipated sci-fi game starring Troy Baker, Roger Clark and Scotland’s own Julia Brown, has been released.

Polish company Black Drakkar Games and Fallen Leaf, an independent studio with offices in Warsaw, set out to challenge Triple-A game developers such as Quantic Dream with their “Dead Space meets Duncan Jones’ Moon” story-driven sci-fi thriller.

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Released on Tuesday August 22, here is everything we know about Fort Solis so far including the plot, gameplay, actors, reviews and more.

What is the plot of Fort Solis?

Fort Solis is a third-person psychological sci-fi thriller set on an isolated mining post on Mars.

Players will control Jack Cleary, an engineer who answers an alarm call from the mysteriously deserted mining facility, which he assumes is a system malfunction. He is joined by Jessica Appleton, a companion who is described as his “younger, definitely smarter” and funnier counterpart.

In Fort Solis players control Jack Leary, an engineer who responds to an alarm on an abandoned Mars mining post. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen LeafIn Fort Solis players control Jack Leary, an engineer who responds to an alarm on an abandoned Mars mining post. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf
In Fort Solis players control Jack Leary, an engineer who responds to an alarm on an abandoned Mars mining post. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf | Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf

The creators of Fort Solis have also revealed that you will get the chance to play as Jessica at some points throughout the game.

They will be joined by Wyatt Taylor who, while not the game’s antagonist, is certainly its most complex and important character. He’s a doctor who is strict and by the book, which will create friction between the main characters, but the developers encourage players to empathise with him since “he’s not a movie villain”.

Troy Baker's character Wyatt Taylor will cause conflict. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen LeafTroy Baker's character Wyatt Taylor will cause conflict. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf
Troy Baker's character Wyatt Taylor will cause conflict. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf | Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf

You will explore Fort Solis, gathering clues from its bunkers, labs, crew quarters and even the harsh surface of Mars which is being battered by a dust storm throughout the game to discover what happened to the station’s inhabitants – and all without a weapon.

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What will Fort Solis gameplay be like?

A story-focused narrative game, it will feature many movie-style scenes and action sequences inspired by projects from developers such as Quantic Dream and Supermassive Games, which created Detroit: Become Human and Until Dawn respectively.

Taking inspiration from these cinematic games, but going one step further, Fort Solis' story is told across four chapters and can be binged or savoured like a TV show.

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It is designed to be as immersive as possible and the decision to make the game third person was driven by the wish for the game to be played in one continuous shot, much like film 1917.

Unlike other narrative games which dictate where your character can go to influence movie-style scenes, Fort Solis is fully open.

Fort Solis is fully open. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen LeafFort Solis is fully open. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf
Fort Solis is fully open. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf | Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf

You can explore the whole location from the minute you begin playing. That doesn’t mean you will be able to access these areas without challenge, however, as you must solve puzzles or gain access to buildings through certain actions.

The titular Fort is constructed from nine individual sections, each with levels below ground which are all linked together by tunnels which have been described as “unnerving”, players can also choose to navigate across the surface of Mars, which presents different challenges.

The cinematic “key sequences” of the game not only look amazing, they are fully playable – unlike games such as Supermassive’s The Quarry, you can choose to participate, to be aggressive or to sit back and do nothing – players must choose their path, but it won’t be determined by a “formulaic” Quick Time Event.

Speaking with IGN, Fallen Leaf’s games director James Tinsdale said: “We wanted our really big moments to have really decisive outcomes. Every big moment should change the characters in some way, have some effect on them. There's always a cost to these actions.”

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Your decisions will influence the ending of Fort Solis, with a handful of different endings available.

Fort Solis cast

The key to narrative games are often the performances from their lead actors – something which Triple-A games developers will have little trouble with.

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Quantic Dream games have featured actors such as Elliot Page, Willem Dafoe and Lance Henriksen, while projects from Supermassive Games have starred actors such as Will Poulter, David Arquette and Academy Award winner Rami Malek.

However, Fallen Leaf are rightfully confident in their casting.

Roger Clark won a Game Award for Best Performance in 2018. Image: Getty Roger Clark won a Game Award for Best Performance in 2018. Image: Getty
Roger Clark won a Game Award for Best Performance in 2018. Image: Getty | Getty Images

The success of Fort Solis will fall largely on the performances of its main cast, which is made up of Roger Clark, Troy Baker and Julia Brown.

Roger Clark, while not necessarily a household name, is best known for his award-winning performance as Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2. The Irish-American actor plays protagonist, Jack Cleary.

Playing Wyatt Taylor, Troy Baker will lend his star power to Fort Solis. His credits include games such as BioShock, Uncharted and Final Fantasy. Baker is also known for his role as Joel Miller in The Last of Us, even making a cameo appearance in an episode of the hit TV series as James.

Troy Baker as James in The Last of Us. Image: HBOTroy Baker as James in The Last of Us. Image: HBO
Troy Baker as James in The Last of Us. Image: HBO | © 2023 Home Box Office, Inc. Al

Who plays Jessica in Fort Solis?

Unlike her costars Fort Solis will mark Scottish actress Julia Brown’s first video game appearance.

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Born on March 14 1997, Brown was raised in Edinburgh where she attended George Heriot’s School before enrolling in the MGA Academy of Performing Arts. She earned her first TV acting credit in 2014 on CBBC show M.I. High, with other TV appearances including Netflix historical drama The Last Kingdom and her recurring role as Molly Kilmuir in BBC crime drama Shetland.

Brown starred in 2019 BBC war drama World On Fire as Lois Bennett, the daughter of Sean Bean's character Douglas, which will return for season two later this year.

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The actors involved in Fort Solis not only recorded the dialogue for the game, but also the motion capture – something which was a new experience for Brown.

Speaking during a panel on the Challenge of Game Acting at PAX East earlier this year, Brown said: “It was a real test of the imagination.”

Her co-stars have only said positive things about her performance in Fort Solis. Speaking on the project, Baker said: “You have Julia who comes in, who’s never done this before, and she has to work with us chuckleheads and she just takes to it like a fish to water.

“She’s truly, truly remarkable.”

Julia Brown is Jessica in Fort Solis. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen LeafJulia Brown is Jessica in Fort Solis. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf
Julia Brown is Jessica in Fort Solis. Image: Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf | Dear Villagers/Fallen Leaf

For Brown, Fort Solis provided her with a new experience. She said: “For me [working on a video game] was a bit different. I’m used to working in film and television so coming to act in the volume (the motion capture space) was a lot more similar to theatre work and I think I was just so fortunate to work alongside two greats.”

Brown has also said that since performing in Fort Solis she has had the opportunity to record her second game – something to keep an eye out for.

What do people think about the game?

So far Fort Solis has received mixed reviews according to Metacritic.

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Critics have praised the game's tense atmosphere, cinematic appeal and stunning graphics, with recognition for the cast's standout performances - particularly Baker's "compelling" role as Wyatt Taylor.

On the other hand, reviewers also say that the game lacks narrative drive, relies too heavily on quick-time events while mechanics which initially made the game immersive - such as the inability to sprint - makes it feel like a walking simulation over a thriller.

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One other issue which has been mentioned is the game's optimisation on PC; something to consider as the PS5 version appears to have slightly more positive reviews.

Where can I play Fort Solis?

Fort Solis was released on PC and PS5 on Tuesday August 22, 2023 and is now available on PlayStation and Steam.

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