Graphics:
7.8
Gameplay:
8.3
Sound:
8.2
Control:
7.9
Replay Value:
7.7
Overall Rating:
8.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Curve Studios
Developer:
superflat games
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Adventure
Release Date:
September 24, 2013


With a new release drought coming on, gamers everywhere are checking their backlogs. In the spirit of this backtracking, I thought I'd focus on a few games I missed. This way, while you're looking back, trying to determine which titles you regret missing, you can read reviews I never get around to. See how that works? 😉 In the case of the solid and thrilling Lone Survivor: Director's Cut , I have to say it's yet another game you'll probably want to try. On the upside, it's short.

You probably noticed from the available media that this game adopts the pixelated, ultra-retro style. At first, I didn't think it was the best idea for an adventure that thrives on tension, simply because there's more tension when our brains start to really believe what we see. But after playing for a while, I decided that Jasper Byrne intentionally chose this outdated graphical style, just for the challenge of scaring gamers with old-school visuals. The fact that he succeeded is a testament to his outstanding ability concerning design and atmosphere.

Sound is another big factor and again, the team utilized old-fashioned audio to great effect. In fact, at the start of your creepy quest, they advise you to either play with headphones or with the volume jacked on your stereo, because sound is such a large portion of the experience. From the suspenseful soundtrack to the grating static-y noise that accompanies a dangerous encounter, Lone Survivor 's audio will keep you pinned to the seat. Believe it or not, with this retro palette, you remain unnerved and on edge throughout. That's no easy feat, regardless of the technological advancement (or in this case, the lack thereof).

Something terrible has happened and as far as you know, you're the – wait for it – lone survivor. You live in an apartment building that has been invaded with deadly, otherworldly beings that are similar to zombies. Their exact design is difficult to distinguish due to the heavily pixelated nature of the game, but that only adds to the suspense. "What's that ?" you'll ask, half-seriously and half-frightened. It's all the more terrifying to know that you're hardly a superhero. Letting one of those things get too close is a recipe for disaster and at the start, you've got nothing with which to defend yourself.

You eventually pick up a handgun and some ammo, but this is long after you've come to terms with other, even more pressing necessities: Food, for instance, and sleep. You must find a way to keep the calories coming in, and if you don't get some shut-eye, you could be in dire straits. In this way, Lone Survivor plays more like the adventure games of old, as opposed to more current survival/horror titles like Resident Evil and Silent Hill . I will say that the title in question has more in common with Silent Hill , as there's a similar sense of dark mystery that surrounds the plot and characters.