Lone Survivor Review: The scariest game in years is a 2D side-scroller?

by Stephen Heller Featured

2 Comments 9 Votes 6971 Views 23/04/2012 Back to Reviews

The scariest game in years is a 2D side-scroller?

The survival horror genre has lost its way in recent years; the heavyweights like Resident Evil and Silent Hill have lost touch with the "survival" part of the genre, opting to go more towards the action-centric gameplay of Dead Space 2. That's why Jasper Byrne's Lone Survivor is such a refreshing addition to a genre that needs to get in touch with its roots. How does this $10 adventure compare against the heavyweights?

What Lone Survivor Got Right

Emphasis on survival - Don't let this 2D sides-croller fool you - Lone Survivor is the very definition of a survival horror. Players will be battling against a number of forces, be it physical enemies or inner demons, along with the need to eat and sleep, just to survive this 3-5 hour adventure. This isn't your typical Green Herb and Typewriter affair, Lone Survivor will test your survival skills to the limit, as each time you leave your apartment becomes a scavenger hunt for supplies.

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.

Check out the official launch trailer!

Psychologically draining - Alone in an apartment building with an unknown number of zombies on the loose is enough to make anyone a little crazy. The psychological side of Lone Survivor is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game. There are moments scattered throughout the campaign that will have you questioning what is real, and what is kicking around in your mind. At the end of a playthrough, not only will you be immensely satisfied, but chances are you'll feel a little drained and tired. That's not a detriment to the game, that is the exact experience it purveys.

Scarier than hell itself - You don't need fancy 3D models to create a frightful game. Lone Survivor manages to be scarier than Resident Evil 5 with nothing more that 2D sprites, a chilling soundtrack and ambiance through the roof. Jasper Byrne has a background in sound and music, and his expertise really shows as the game provides a truly terrifying experience. Sometimes less is more.

Multiple endings = multiple playthroughs - When a game only costs $10 you expect it to be over and done with pretty quickly. Lone Survivor will take most gamers 3-5 hours to complete, and each decision will have hefty weight when it comes to your ending. The game gives you a concise rundown of where you went wrong, or variables that could change your outcome during the credits, which gives the player another reason to come back for subsequent playthroughs.

What Lone Survivor Got Wrong

Map system is a chore - Trying to figure things out using the map system in Lone Survivor is a chore that never becomes easier. While the gameplay is a 2D scroller, the map system acts as a top-down view of the current area which is a little confusing at the best of times. What makes rage worthy however, is when being chased by zombies, the map system doesn't pause the action, making an informed escape route seem almost impossible.

Gunplay might as well not exist - You'll find a pistol early in the game, but it might as well not exist. You can aim for the head, chest or the knees, but zombies have to be close enough that you can smell their breath to cause any damage. Bullets are scarce, and most sections can be beaten without bullets, instead using rotten meat to lure enemies away from your objective. It's not broken. it's just not very fun.

The Final Verdict

If you want a real survival horror game; a game that isn't shy of testing your mental strength and demands your full attention to details, then Lone Survivor won't disappoint. It's crazy to think that one man (Jasper Byrne) could get so many things right in this single game that the major games of the genre get so wrong. Genuinely frightening and strangely unique, Lone Survivor is well worth the $10 admission fee.

By Stephen Heller - Tweet @Heller_MMGN

Lone Survivor

Platform: PC
Developer: Superflat Games
Similar to: Silent Hill
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

Lone Survivor Review: The scariest game in years is a 2D side-scroller? Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
cant wait!! iv been looking for somthing like this ... 4 ages!! but in my mind it was 3d ... 2d is ok.
I really enjoyed this game but I think they needed a better shooting system but all in all its a good game for its money.

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
  • Lone SurvivorLone Survivor Video
  • Lone SurvivorLone Survivor Video

Recently Read

Featured PC Content

Most anticipated game of 2015

Most anticipated game of 2015

08/01/2015 Polls 11 14
Bartronica is Melbourne's newest video game bar

Bartronica is Melbourne's newest video game bar

Tano 14 hours News 6 5
Wargaming eSports director Mohamed Fadl interview

Wargaming eSports director Mohamed Fadl interview

Tano 15 hours Articles 0 1
This Is The Police could be the Breaking Bad of tycoon games

This Is The Police could be the Breaking Bad of tycoon games

Tano 17 hours News 1 3
Bandai Namco jumps aboard the Simulator bandwagon
Tano 18 hours News 2 3
Watch 14 minutes of The Witcher 3 gameplay
Gryllis 1 day News 2 10
The Witcher 3 preview: Hands on with 2015's biggest RPG

The Witcher 3 preview: Hands on with 2015's biggest RPG

Gryllis 1 day Articles 8 6
Need For Speed went full freemium. Never go full freemium

Need For Speed went full freemium. Never go full freemium

Tano 1 day News 4 3
Think you're entitled to the digital game you just bought? Think again

Think you're entitled to the digital game you just bought? Think again

Tano 1 day News 9 9

Community Content

Top 5 Survival Games

Top 5 Survival Games

Zinker 3 days Articles 0 4
Work Experience at The MMGN Office

Work Experience at The MMGN Office

12/01/2015 Blog 10 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

commented on Stranded Deep: First Impressions

Zinker 3 hours ago
Username

commented on Bandai Namco jumps aboard the Simulator bandwagon

Zinker 5 hours ago
Username

commented on Amiibo wave three launches in Australia tomorrow

DarkEnemy 11 hours ago
Username

Pilkingbod, Scott commented on The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask N64 vs 3DS video comparison

Pilkingbod 13 hours ago
Username

gamerguy posted a new review - The Wolf Among Us

gamerguy 15 hours ago
Username

DPhoenix is now Level 9!

DPhoenix 15 hours ago
Username

Zinker's article - Survival games Top 5 has been featured by Tano, great job!

Tano 15 hours ago
Username

commented on Stranded Deep: First Impressions

Tano 15 hours ago
Username

commented on Watch 14 minutes of The Witcher 3 gameplay

Marshal976 16 hours ago