How would I sum up Lone Survivor? If you take survival horror, throw in a fun inventory management system and 8 bit style graphics, you have yourself a pretty good idea. Lone Survivor: The Directors Cut is a port of the game that came out previously on PS3 and Vita, and now is available to new adopters who own the current gen PS4. Coming from the mind of developer Jasper Byrne, Lone Survivor is a excellent entry to the survivor-horror genre and is truly tense to play.
You play as a guy who has holed up in an apartment complex after the events of a virus that have turned every one into these slow moving creatures eager to tear him apart. When supplies run out, and loneliness intensifies, the man decides it best to search out for others. As your character enters the dark hallways and tries to cope with his surroundings, the poor state of his mental health becomes increasingly evident. Apparitions appear, and he carries out conversations with people that disappear shortly after they finish talking.
Exploring through the different apartment rooms lets you discover new items which can be combined or used. Find a green pill on the ground and down it with a glass of water before bed may net you some rather ominous dreams. Eating a bag of prawn chips may not be the most tasty snack ever, but it will keep your character alive. While venturing away from your main apartment, combat is tense and frightening. Resources such as ammo and health are limited and having to decide whether you want to slowly sneak past enemies, distract them with rotting flesh, or run and gun are all left to you.
The combination of scarce resources, dark, hard to see areas, and relentless foes all add to the sense of foreboding that something is lying behind every closed door. The game is more of physiological horror that gets into the players psyche. Playing in a dark room with headphones is a must. The game literally tells you this in the opening scenes and I agree with the developers decision. The game is only saved whenever you rest at your bed, and once this is done it changes to the next day which moves the game forward. Sound is also an important part of the atmosphere and makes the game increasingly eerie.
Lone Survivor is a game that can be completed in short order but encourages players to play more than once. With the hindsight of what you learn at the ending there is a new reason to replay. When you include multiple endings based on your past choices, the game is short, but meaningful. Although you could just play the game on Vita, if you’d rather you could just remote play from PS4 and take your Vita to your bed. Playing in the darkness with only your covers to protect you may be all you need to scare insomniacs into finally sleeping. Then again, it may just give you more to think about. Pick up Lone Survivor on your platform of choice and put on your headphones. This game earns my seal of approval.
A review copy of Lone Survivor: The Directors Cut on PlayStation 4 was provided by the Curve Studios PR team.