It's one of the freshest, boldest and most rewarding entrants in a genre many had left for dead, and anyone pining for a true Silent Hill experience needs to experience what Byrne has to offer. Lone Survivor deserves to be massive, because it might just be the most interesting thing I've played all year.
The game's best narrative trick - again borrowed from Silent Hill - is its mystery, leaving itself open to interpretation and examination. Who was the Man Who Wears A Box? The Seated Figure? The White-faced Man? Who was the brown-haired girl I held hands with in my dreams? The answers aren't overtly clear, but I can't wait to play again to find out.
Best movie I've ever seen in my entire life.
Shows the hardships and grief that our loved ones have to endure to provide peace around the world.
People should appreciate how we're helping to rescue people from oppression and that there are good people who truly need our help.
All that aside, Lone Survivor is solid. It delivers in all the areas a horror game should. You'll feel fear, loneliness, desperation and those of you who aren't familiar with the Silent Hill formula will also be intrigued by the narrative.
I have no problem with an ambiguous story left to interpretation, but I feel that Lone Survivor is just a little too vague to make sense of all that occurs when the credits screen finally comes rolling, at least that was my impression after playing only a single playthrough that took me roughly 4 hours to complete.
Not only that, but I think some gameplay mechanics aren't explained particularly well within the game either. For example, besides a vague description of making you 'duller' or 'sharper'. it isn't clear what each pill does EXACTLY and how it affects your mental health.
Additionally, Lone Survivor is called a survival horror, and while it fulfills the survival part in a solid enough manner, the psychological horror aspect is rather lacking. There weren't many instances where it felt particularly horrifying and suspenseful.
Last point, I don't usually mind retro visuals, but I felt that the game was just a little too pixelated for my liking, though the sound design is excellent and reinforces the game's isolating atmosphere.
Overall rating - 7.1/10
Great atmosphere, nice and immersive storyline and a wise game-play to keep the tension constant. It would have been a 8 or a 9 but i've found the latter part of the game kinda slow and repetitive and i was disappointed by the ending (i don't want to spoiler but for me it wasn't clear where the "choices" took places in the game). Knowing that all game comes from the mind of a single designer is remarkable and my personal opinion aside this is a gaming experience that everyone should try, even if the genre doesn't suit you. I played it straight until the ending line.
After having finished this game (in 4 hours and a half or so) I can only use one adjective to define it: lazy.
Some people will say it doesn't do justice to the colossal work of a 1-man team, and in this they're probably right: the retro, pixelated graphics are good. Not excellent, but they work just fine. The music score is well chosen and well placed, the sound effects are really good. So what's so bad, what's so lazy about this game?
Gameplay, for once. It places a strong emphasis on the survival aspects but it makes no efforts whatsoever to make it even remotely bearable for the player. I mean, a game where you run out of food, batteries and fatigue is good, but no effort has been made to look for a hint of realism. Your character will easily tire out after a 5 minutes walk, and he'll constantly remind you of his needs so much that it feels like playing The Sims.
Originality is another factor of laziness. This game is more Silent Hill than it is Lone Survivor, and it's a pity because the premises were good.
But the laziest, duller of all things is the plot. I won't spoil it here, but after finishing it I feel cheated. It's a huge cliché and you can see it coming from two miles. It involves things being not exactly what they look like, of course, but no effort whatsoever is made to link elements and characters together. The game's resolution is a massive hole for you to fill with huge amounts of speculation. Now, I understand this is a matter of personal preference but while I don't particularly like this genre I recognize there are some games that can pull it off (like Braid or even The Binding of Isaac) and this one failes to deliver so hard that it mocks the entire experience of the player.
Why? Because the creator couldn't be bothered to come up with elements that made sense in his established setting.
I'm sorry, but this is just a no. This game starts with a lot of personality and ends up underplaying its qualities.
Color me disappointed.