The idea of cutting flesh is a rather unsettling one. More so the idea of cutting flesh you don’t know who or what it belongs to. If in danger and your life is at risk, you have no worry about cutting though whatever lays in your way. When it’s fixed to the wall however in a gory manner, then you’re in for a rough ride.
Welcome to Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut where cutting through pixelated flesh covered walls is the main focus of the game, it’s probably fair to say that if it makes you uncomfortable, this might be one to miss. Survival horror games have been in a state of limbo for some time now. We have seen the mighty fall and many others try but fail to live up to the standard of classic horror such as Silent Hill 2.
Enter Lone Survivor, a 2D side scrolling psychological survival horror game created by Jasper Byrne. This game released last year on PC and was hit by rave reviews for being a brilliant take on horror games. From it’s pixel gore down to the multiple endings. It was all there. Now, thanks to Curve Studios and Jasper Byrne, we have Lone Survivor: The Directors Cut for PS3 and Vita. Don’t jump to conclusions here and think “This is another port isn’t it?” as by all means it’s far from it.
Those who know nothing about the title should know only this. It’s a 2D side scroller and is not just a horror game but rather a psychological one. You’ll find yourself in control of an unnamed masked player only referred to as ‘You’ in an infected city with only one goal. Escape. The world is dangerous and filled with all manner of horrible looking figures and parts of the world that don’t seem real. Not only will you question what can hurt you, but your start to question your own sanity.
The gameplay isn’t the talking point here for me. Sure, the challenge of navigating the complex world with it’s hidden paths and risky hallways isn’t easy. That, mixed with the endless amount of dialog and countless choices you make, the game is filled to breaking point with so much. You could run and gun, but at what cost to your own mental health will this cause? Sneaking past could land you less conflict, but will you be ready for a fight? It’s a endless battle with yourself to make these choices and it’s perfect.
The beautiful pixel style of the game doesn’t ruin the mood too. You’ll find yourself walking dark hallways afraid to turn on your own flashlight. Behind each door could be something that would offer a challenge but at what risk do you want to face it? You always on your toes and you find yourself trying to meet the perfect mix between ease of pushing through the world and keeping your own mental state in a positive place. I could talk for ages about how making choices in Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut is one of the greatest bits of gameplay I’ve enjoyed in a long time but rather, you should experience it on your own.
Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut isn’t just a complete package, as the name might suggest, nor does it content elements removed from the initial release. It’s better than that, the Director’s Cut is a labour of love by both Curve Studios and Jasper Byrne as an additional six months work was done to add more content to the game. This includes new endings, features, side quests, dialog and so much more. It’s the way that Lone Survivor is meant to be enjoyed.
Lone Survivor: The Directors Cut is a ground breaking game. That is easy enough to see from the moment you step into it’s dark and twisted world. Though maybe this isn’t a review but more of a recollection of an experience. The point stands that I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who has ever wanted to enjoy a solid psychological survival horror game, like those we once had. It’s also difficult to talk about Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut without giving too much away. Even from the moment you step into the world, you will want to face it without knowing what is coming. It’s best that way.
Lone Survivor: The Directors Cut is available now for PS3 and Vita for £9.99 on PSN and is a cross-buy title. Vita comes with some nice touch screen controls too and the PS3 just feels prefect when playing in the dark. What does it mean for you? two things.
Always play in the dark and always wear headphones and remember, question everything you see for it might not just be real.