After making a news article about Jasper Byrne’s Lone Survivor and discovering that it gained high reviews from game critics like Gamepot, GameRanking, Metacritic, IGN and many other authority sites, I got a bit curious. By far, the reviews were at an average of 8 out of 10. So, to feed my curiosity on the matter, I decided to play it myself.
As mentioned in my previous article here, the story centers on a man with no name who is apparently wearing a surgical mask. The mask somehow provides him protection from the disease that has resulted in the post-apocalyptic environment he lives in.
The thing I can compare to with this game is Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Not because it had awesome 3D graphics like the two, but its storytelling is similar to them. At first, you will be introduced to a post-apocalyptic world infested by monsters that looked like byproducts of a recent catastrophe or pandemic like the theme of Resident Evil. But as you progress, things become blurry as to what is real and what is not similar to the psychologically-disturbed theme of Silent Hill. Several references were made on the two games too which confirms that its developer is a fan of the two franchises. In addition, you will also notice references on popular horror flicks like The Ring.
Here are the things I liked about the game:
1. The game definitely defines survival horror because you have to keep the character alive by feeding him, using performance enhancers and by conditioning his psychological state through letting him sleep. Of course, this is in addition to helping him avoid the monsters that infested his world.
2. The story is so bizarre that will keep you guessing up to the end of the game. This is somehow what makes this very exciting to play.
3. Strategy is also a must in surviving this game. It is not enough that you have plenty of ammo for your gun. Though this will help a lot in killing monsters, this is not always a guarantee that you will become victorious in certain areas. Thus, you have to explore plenty of alternatives that will help you distract or eliminate foes along your way like distracting them with rotting meat, blinding them with flare and others.
4. There are multiple endings that you can get based on the moral choices that you have made during your gameplay. There are three of them in the original game for PC.
5. The background music of the game is great too which garnered good reviews from critics.
Though I am okay with the game as it is, some may find these things disappointing:
1. The graphics is only in 2D and the areas in the game can be explored by side-scrolling. This may work well for fans of retro games but new gamers who love stunning graphics will immediately be ticked off by this element.
2. Since the game mainly involves strategy, only a single type of handgun can be used by the character, which will not be made available immediately. This is not for people who love in-game mass destruction like spraying bullets and explosives to monsters.
3. Bullets are hard to stock up during the start of the play. It will no longer be a problem in the latter parts of the game though. But using your gun in killing enemies affects your ending.
4. The overall continuous playtime of the game is too short for me. It only took me a couple of hours to finish it. Then, during replay, I only finished it in more than 2 hours.
Overall, I find the game of Lone Survivor quite awesome because most or all of the elements of survival are there. Though I was a bit biased at first because of its 2D and side-scrolling setting, I learned to love it later as I got to play it because it is quite enjoyable. The short game time makes me wish there was more to it though.