Solar Ash: Fixing the Needs of the Game

Solar ash is the latest release from Heart Machine, the developers of Hyper Light DrifterAnd it’s a big, creative step forward for the studio. Solar ash is an aspiring action-adventure platformer with a flexible movement system that allows the protagonist, Rei, to skate across almost any terrain like it was made of ice.

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When Solar ash overall a great sophomore outing for Heart Machine, boasting new gameplay mechanics, an excellent story, and amazing art direction, it still falters in certain places. Whether it’s unrefined mechanics or annoying exploratory work, here are some of the biggest fixes needed in Sun Ash.

8 Increased grappling range

a glowing blue character that jumps towards a black enemy with a tile around it and a prompt button that says R1

Rei, a Voidrunner and the protagonist of Solar ash, has in her arsenal a tool that allows her to grapple to specific points in the world, as well as close distances to enemies for a quick ranged attack. This grappling shot is used several times throughout the game, there are many puzzles and boss encounters.

The problem is that the grappling shot has an extremely short range, making it feel unnecessary in some situations and underpowered in others. A special ability that slows down gives the grappling shot a little more, but even that sometimes isn’t enough. Expanding the base range of grappling will make more Solar ashencounter of much less frustrating.


7 More responsive dance

a small figure skater on green cloudy terrain with cliffs and trees in the distance

Dancing is an important part of solar ash, because the game is like a platformer because it is an action adventure game, the open world is fascinating. Jumping allows Rei to navigate the paths while skating at high speed, and carefully spaced jumps are essential in every boss encounter.

But Rei’s jumps are cripplingly slow, severing any momentum she’s built, and frequently exceeding or lowering the targeted platform. It often feels like it doesn’t match controller input, which can make boss battles doubly difficult. Rei could actually use a more responsive and precise jump.

6 Custom options

suit selection menu with four different options and an image of the selected suit on the left

When Rei discovered Ultravoid, a black hole in the process of colliding with her home planet, she can find Voidrunner Caches left behind by other members of her team. For each cache she discovers, she unlocks part of that Voidrunner’s suit.

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But these pieces cannot be used until the entire suit is assembled, and each suit only provides a passive booster for a specific piece of Rei’s kit. It would be nice to have the option to mix and match pieces from other Voidrunner suits to create a version of Rei to suit any playstyle.

5 Combat has more rewards

a figure standing on a cliff looking down at two tiny, bony enemies in a puddle of green liquid

There is a large amount of combat in solar ash, From small skirmishes with tiny remnant enemies to evocative giant boss battles Shadow of the Statue with their size. While defeating bosses offers rewards as the story progresses, there are there is nothing rewarding about any battle in the game.

There is no experience bar that is gradually upgraded, and the smaller enemies don’t even drop resources for Rei to pick up. Giving combat some sort of intrinsic value will make skirmishes feel more meaningful than just clearing the area.

4 Shorter pulse charging time

a person in a black robe holding a small circular object standing in front of a series of green waterfalls

Rei has access to special pulse technology that highlights targets on the screen. It can be used to find the active Cyd station in that particular area, as well as any weak points for the Remnant boss that Rei has yet to hit in the eye.

The clock is useful, especially if the player gets lost, but it takes a long time to fully charge before starting. Making the trigger pulse faster will make finding the next target point a much easier task.

3 The “New Road” Icon on the World Map

world map with six different zones and a nail with a ring at the top right of the screen

The world map has a lot of information in solar ash, such as the distance along some side quests and Rei’s distance to complete the Voidrunner suit. It also allows Rei to move between areas she has visited.

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What it doesn’t have is an indicator of what area to go to next after defeating a boss. A short cutscene after the boss dies shows a new door opening, but nothing on the map shows where this door is. The clock may show a waypoint on the live display, but the game will benefit from an icon on the world map to make it easier for players to know where they need to go next.

2 Collectibles Tracker

a figure with a black, grimace, and purple cape standing in front of a small open cylindrical mechanical device

There are a number of different collections to find in Ultravoid, and some of them are more hidden than others. Some Voidrunner caches are hidden inside buildings or in caves, negating the blue light they cast in the sky, and log entries have no strong visual indicators at all.

Giving Rei some form of tracking device will make the hunt for the ultimate collectibles much more pleasant. This trackers can be added to the functionality of Cyd or upgrade Rei’s suit, which she can purchase with plasma or unlock after meeting certain criteria.

first Photomode

a man in purple robes looking out over the foggy, ruined city

Solar ash To be a beautiful game with great art direction and environment designand it’s a pity that the game doesn’t launch with built-in photo mode. The scenery is often breathtaking, and the game knows when to pull back and give the player a panoramic view of the surroundings so that the scale of the game sinks in.

All of the characters are sporty fun, the design is engaging, and each area of ​​Ultravoid is heavily used in boss encounters as the bosses themselves fill the entire space. And because Solar ashWith fast-paced gameplay, it’s hard to get the best action shots without a dedicated photography mode.

Solar ash Available now on PC, Playstation 5 and Playstation 4.

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