By: Staff Writer Thomas Balgairies
You’re the last man alive, or so you think. You’re alone in your apartment complex with limited food and no way of defending yourself. There are terrifying shapeless creatures waiting outside your door ready to eat you alive. Guess it’s time to get out of here. Welcome to Lone Survivor.
In this 2D survival horror game you play as a man who is just trying to get by after the apocalypse presumably wipes out the rest of humanity. Now, before we go on, that is right I said 2D; this is a side view 2D survival horror game. Oh and it’s in 16 bit. Now you may be asking yourself just how this could be a scary game. Well, it pulls it off and it pulls it off very well. There is an overbearing sense of dread and despair throughout your time with Lone Survivor and this is mostly due to two things. First the music is truly chilling focusing on ambient noises and a large emphasis on sound effects. When the music does kick in, it gets your adrenaline going and you know you’re in trouble. The second is just how dark and gross the game world is. One of your main tools is your flashlight, which illuminates your path and warns you of upcoming danger. Now there is also a downside to having your flashlight out, monsters can see you, and you really, really don’t want that.
The creatures in the game are fairly simple. For the most part they are faceless monochrome human figures that can’t see in the dark. The bosses are more grotesque figures, one resembling something straight out of Alien and a second being a large lanky figure with scythes for arms. The monsters are not necessarily there to scare you but they are there to worry you, and they accomplish that task. For most of the early portion of the game you have no way of defending yourself from these creatures and so you have to resort to baiting and hiding to evade your foes. This adds a lot of tension to the game. As you creep through the shadow you know that one wrong move means death. This tension does not dissipate when you do acquire a weapon though because ammunition is very limited.
Lone Survivor also explores the psychological aspects of being a survivor throughout the game you find pills of varying colors which upon returning to bed (your save point) provide you with strange cryptic dreams. These dreams serve several purposes from providing you with ammo, batteries and sometimes even flares. These sequences are both there to aid you and provide more insight into the emotional struggles that your character is going through.
One complaint that I do have about the game is that some of the back tracking can get a little ridiculous. This can be overlooked if you are truly entrenched in the story but for less involved gamers this may be disheartening. Overall though, I found the experience to be truly engrossing and enjoyable and I never wanted to stop playing because I wanted my guy to survive, and I think that’s what you want from survival horror.
8.0 out of 10