Lone Survivor PC Review
Peter Donnell / 5 years ago
I stumbled across this game late at night on Steam, mostly out of not having any time at all to play some of my larger retail games, its been a busy few weeks and I wanted something I could enjoy in a couple of hours or when ever I’m taking a break from work.
Created by Jasper Byrne, who is also the creator of Soul Brother and Soundless Mountain II and has been making games since the 80’s, not counting the 12 years break he took to become a DJ and producer, comes “Lone Survivor”, an original and mature psychological horror that as far as appearance goes is akin to what Silent Hill would be like if it had come out on the SNES.
You take the role of an un-named man, who is trying to escape from a city ravaged by disease, of course trying to escape from a nasty rash or something wouldn’t be that exciting a game, this disease tends to turn its poor victims into monsters, the zombie like creatures, have a taste for flesh, unlucky for our Mr No Name then that he happens to be a tasty human.
We’ll call our nameless friend Bob from now on, Bob is having a rough time you see, his only stroke of luck being that he hasn’t been killed or turned into a Zombie, he wears a breathing mask over his face as a minor hope of keeping himself disease free, but that mask is not going to stop him from starving to death or being mauled any time soon.
Focusing on a survival horror gameplay style, not unlike Silent Hill, Resident Evil and many other entries to the genre, with the added twist that the game is a side scrolling room by room platformer.
Best I can tell of the story, which is purposely vague due to the fact that Bob seems to be having memory troubles, poor Bob. Your first problem as you awake in your bed is that you need supplies, gathering up food, a flash light and a few clues along your way in the early parts of the game, the bare essentials for survival, but not weapons just yet.
The game is fairly straight forward, walk from room to room, collect any required items that may be in that room, keys, pills, batteries and various other little items that will help you open locked rooms and solve problems to get Bob through his day, through the building and just as importantly find his dinner.
Eating is important in the game, but food is scarce, Bob will complain of his hunger more and more if you don’t find any. Sleep also plays a big factor, needing daily rest to refresh himself, but don’t eat and poor Bob won’t sleep well and will wake up feeling even worse, you basically wont survive very long if you don’t look after your self.
Food does run out quickly, leaving Bob to turn to drugs, drugs to give him a boost, drugs to help him sleep when he hasn’t had any food as well as general medicine to cure injuries.
Unlike a lot modern survival horror games, gun play isn’t the most important thing in this game, your able to sneak through most sections without firing a shot, I didn’t even get a gun until 45min into the game, using things like rotten mean to coax zombies past you while you hide in the background is just as effective as putting a bullet in their heads.
The graphics are beyond simple in this game, but not without their charms, the heavily pixelated appearance seems simple at first but plenty of details have gone into this game and it definitely gives it a sense of atmosphere, I thought it would just give me eye strain playing it, but as you might expect, everything flowed at a perfect 60fps and I personally think the game looks fantastic, the screenshots don’t do it much justice, which is why I have included a 5min video of my playing the game, which you can find at the bottom of the review.
There are over 120 hand painted locations in Lone Survivor that when coupled with the games unique mix of retro and modern graphics certainly add up to giving this game a unique feel, plus Jasper Byrne has also made around 30 pieces of original music for the game, giving it a brilliant sound track to go with the hand painted graphics, he’s clearly put a lot of effort into creating this title and it definitely shows.
I’m giving Lone Survivor our gamers choice award, the game its self has been over four years in the making, the end result being a stunning Indie title that has won a place in my heart, with 4-6 hours worth of story and two entirely different paths through the game, each plenty of variations along the way, both add up to making a great excuse for having a second play through which makes this game great value for money. Covering adult themes, humour and even a pinch of psychology throughout to keep you interested. But will you search for others in need of help, or will you just make a run for freedom before poor little Bob goes crazy?