Solar Ash – Everything we know so far…

Solar Ash is a game from Heart Machine that immediately caught the eye when it was first shown off last summer. Today I am going to look at all the info we have on Solar Ash, and looking forward to this very stylish and fluid game coming soon.

Heart Machine previously worked on Hyper Light Drifter, which is one of the best games of the last generation, and if it passed you by then you should definitely go back and check it out. Solar Ash is a little different, with Heart Machine bringing their next game into the 3D world with high-speed movement, endearing characters, surreal environments and huge enemy encounters.

Originally announced last Summer, Heart Machine followed up with a gameplay trailer in February 2021 during the Sony’s State Of Play. This looks somewhere between The Pathless and Shadow of Colossus, which is looking to create its own unique take on a platforming adventure.

While the name didn’t immediately grab my attention, the fact it was made by the same developer who created Hyper Light Drifter made me sit up and take notice. I was late to the party on that one, only playing it late in 2020, however, I don’t intend to make the same mistake with Solar Ash.

Solar Ash has been in development for about 4 years and is set to arrive sometime before December 2021, but we don’t yet know precise date details… there will no doubt be more information in the coming months as we speed towards E3 the next Summer of Gaming events. This is likely to be a big draw, although most likely given a feature on the State of Play again, given Sony won’t be taking part in E3 Online.

Whereas Hyper Light Drifter was a 2D, top-down RPG with a pixel art style, Solar Ash takes the action into 3D, but elements of Hyper Light Drifter remain with the bright and vibrant colour palette, as well as the dream-like visuals and captivating music. There’s no direct connection between the game’s stories, but they do appear to be in the same video game universe. Another change from Hyper Light Drifter is we’re going to get dialogue from the main character, which we didn’t see or hear in their first game.

Solar Ash is set for release on PS5, PS4 and PC via the Epic Game Store sometime in 2021. It’s not going to appear on day one on Nintendo Switch, but hopefully, Heart Machine will be persuaded at a later date, as I imagine it’d feel right at home on Nintendo’s premiere console.

In terms of the story, Solar Ash takes place inside a giant black hole known as the Ultravoid, which has been destroying everything in its path (as black holes tend to do). The game’s protagonist, Rei, is an interdimensional being called the Voidrunners and she has awesome agility, speed and also the ability to unleash a series of attacks on enemies via her blade. It’s down to Rei to venture into the Ultravoid and stop a supernatural corruption fueling the Ultravoid.

Sentinels are a huge part of the game, which are massive boss-like enemies Rei has to battle throughout Solar Ash. It’s likely we have to defeat a series of bosses to calm the Ultravoid and restore balance back to the universe. In the latest gameplay trailer, we’ve seen Rai battle a huge skeleton snake-like creature that lives in the sky.

The gameplay in Solar Ash is focused around the traversal of the environment with Rai’s speed and agility. Getting from place to place seems like a breeze for Rai and the world Heart Machine have created looks absolutely stunning. Ashen Clouds are found all over the Ultravoid, which look like some kind of evil, thick liquid. Rei skims across the surface of this material to make her way across the environment. Rei also has a grappling ability which appears to work on the white substance found in the world, allowing her to swing to reach higher places. Players will have to master Rei’s abilities to successfully navigate the environment as well as get out of the way of incoming attacks.

Solar Ash appears to have an open-world structure, where you are directed around the world with a pink goo substance. We don’t know too many details as yet but this could be a way to power up Rai’s abilities or a simple navigation mechanic.

Solar Ash’s combat has been described as “simple, fast and fluid” and the whole package looks very inviting, mysterious and the gameplay looks like a lot of fun. I think it’s going to be one of 2021’s best games, and I’m really looking forward to more details from Heart Machine coming soon, and hopefully filling in some of the blanks regarding Solar Ash. I was to know more about the world, the lore, and the characters as I’m sold on the gameplay. I’ll keep you posted as to when we’ll find out more as soon as I know.