hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Lone Survivor

Online gaming photo
Online gaming

Lonely Chinese gamers can hire escorts for the feels


What a time to be alive
Apr 22
// Robert Summa
The Chinese can take gaming very seriously. So seriously in fact that they have created an entire industry revolved around keeping lonely gamers happy while grinding away in their virtual wastelands. While in places like Amer...
Lone Survivor photo
Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor, Stealth Inc. 2, The Swapper hit Wii U this holiday season


Curve Studios offering Nintendo fans plenty of indie action later this year
Aug 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Lone Survivor is creeping onto the Wii U eShop this November, Curve Digital tells Destructoid. "We're not adding any new content to Lone Survivor, as we added such a huge amount when we originally made the Director'...
Awesome PS bundle photo
Awesome PS bundle

Curve's four game PlayStation bundle is a great deal


Proteus, Thomas Was Alone, Lone Survivor, and Stealth Inc., all cross buy PS3/Vita
Jan 29
// Steven Hansen
Looking for something to play on your PS3 or Vita? Maybe both? Curve Studios is bundling four good games at the budget price of $15. $13.49 for PlayStation Plus members. All four games are Cross Buy as well, meaning you get access to the PS3 and Vita versions. Not bad. The four titles in question are Proteus, Thomas Was Alone, Lone Survivor, and Stealth Inc.

Lone Survivor photo
Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor Director's Cut DLC will be free on PC/Mac


Halloween launch detailed
Oct 21
// Jordan Devore
Oh, that lovable Jasper Byrne. Following the release of Lone Survivor for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, the designer is bringing the Director's Cut content back to PC and Mac -- and he's doing it in a terrific way. The DLC is g...
Experiment 12 photo
Experiment 12

Super Hexagon, Lone Survivor creators team with 10 indies


Experiment 12 is a freeware collaboration between some big indie names
Jul 26
// Steven Hansen
Here's a thing we don't necessarily see too often in videogames: anthology. Experiment 12, which you can freely download right here, right now, is a collaborative effort between twelve different indie developers, including Su...

Sup Holmes burns bright with Jasper Byrne

May 19 // Jonathan Holmes
[embed]243254:46550:0[/embed]
 photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
[Update: Full re-run of this episode here.] The last time we had Jasper Byrne on Sup Holmes, he had just released his critically acclaimed survival horror title Lone Survivor. Like his Silent Hill 2 remake Soundless Mountain...

Lone Survivor photo
Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor features exclusive content on PS3 and Vita


Will you be my cat forever?
Mar 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Lone Survivor is coming to PlayStation 3 and Vita. But you already knew that, didn't you? In addition to finding a new home on Sony platforms, the pixelated horror title has been supplied with additional content to help our n...
 photo

Jimquisition Awards: Lone Survivor


Five Days, Five Games, Five Awards
Dec 18
// Jim Sterling
The very first Jimquisition Awards are here! Five days, five games, five awards! The Jimquisition Awards aren't just here to honor the big AAA retail games. This winner is a humble indie release from a single developer, but it is worthy of standing tall alongside the biggest and most explosive games of the year. This is how you do survival horror, folks!
 photo

Jimquisition: Photorealistic Sociopathy


Aug 06
// Jim Sterling
Are photorealistic graphics the key to advancement? Do we need believable visuals in order to convey believable emotions? Is a console generation over as soon as you've pushed the systems to their technical limits, or is the...
 photo

PSA: Lone Survivor now on Steam


Apr 24
// Jim Sterling
If you've been holding off on nabbing Lone Survivor in hopes that it'll come to Steam, you might like to know that it is available for purchase on the digital service right now. Jasper Byrne's excellent survival horror is wel...
 photo

Lone Survivor breaking your mind? Get the survival guide!


Apr 06
// Jim Sterling
Lone Survivor creator Jasper Byrne has put together a small survival guide for newcomers to his game. It gives a brief rundown of the controls, the characters, and shares some tips for those two scared to step out of their ap...
 photo

Lone Survivor's OST now available for purchase


Apr 03
// Daniel Starkey
Lone Survivor, the game Mr. Sterling-the-Hutt claimed was more Silent Hill than Silent Hill, has a soundtrack that is available now on BandCamp. The album is $6.99 and has 19 atmospheric tracks. Also, of note for those audiophiles out there, FLAC is a download option. So, if that's your jam, you should probably get on it.

Review: Lone Survivor

Apr 02 // Jim Sterling
Lone Survivor (PC [Reviewed], Mac)Developer: Superflat GamesPublisher: Superflat GamesRelease: March 26, 2012MSRP: $10.00 Lone Survivor is a game about isolation, survival, and overwhelming desperation. You step into the shoes of a nameless character (labeled only as "you" in dialog boxes) who attempts to find answers and stay alive while striking out from his small apartment. An infection has turned most of humanity into violent mutants that twitch and stagger throughout the streets, leaving only the player to forage, fight, and look for anybody left alive.  The narrative is often disturbing, and sometimes confusing, with clear nods to Twin Peaks. The survivor, already mentally fragile, is prone to hallucinations and much of the exposition revolves around his dealings with seemingly imagined characters. A man who wears a box on his head, a taunting old creep on a stage, and a sinister figure with a bright white face act as the primary antagonists, though their motivations are unclear and their words remain elusive. While much of the game is abstract and obscure, it remains compelling, managing to enthrall rather than alienate.  Byrne wears his love of Silent Hill on his sleeve, and its pervasive influence is undeniable. The game is structured around the survivor's apartment, with players leaving its safety to solve item puzzles, challenge monsters, and collect essential supplies. Each new area has a map to discover, which updates as players explore, very much like Konami's horror series. Monsters emit distorted noises to give away their positions, are attracted by the player's flashlight, and can prove difficult to fight thanks to the player's unwieldiness with his pistol. To some, the similarities will border on shameless, but it's done so well, so much better than Silent Hill itself has done it for years, that the resemblance is more than welcome.  [embed]224872:43226[/embed] Monsters can be fought with a pistol found early in the game. Pressing "C" switches the survivor to a fighting stance, and the gun can be aimed up and down with the directional keys. Shooting creatures in the knees sends them stumbling back, and going for headshots require good timing, but deal extra damage. Ammunition can be scarce, however, and the infected must be challenged only when necessary.  Combat is not always necessary, and it's often preferable to use stealth. Creatures can be lured away by dropping rotten meat on the ground, and recesses in the walls can be stepped into, allowing the player to sneak past idle opponents. The system works fairly well, although I've had a (very) rare few instances where monsters had seen me anyway, and camped outside the recess indefinitely, attacking thin air until I stepped back into view. I'd have loved more opportunities to exploit the luring system, too. It feels like rotten meat has a very specific use in very specific locations, and I'd have loved more inventive opportunities. These minor niggles aside, the stealth manages to be surprisingly effective at building tension. Even though opponents can't hurt you while in a hiding place, it still manages to be scary whenever you sidle past one. It's certainly a testament to how unnerving Lone Survivor's creatures are. Resource management is a big part of Lone Survivor's challenge, as players will need to consume food and sleep at regular intervals, as well as ration use of the flashlight to save battery power. Some may find the frequency with which the survivor complains about weariness or hunger a little excessive, but since sleeping saves the game and hunger can be ignored for a decent length of time, players shouldn't feel too pressured. The effect of the survivor's complaints are often more psychological than practical, since one is always mindful about venturing too far from the apartment and may grow paranoid if out in the field for an extended period of time. Two-way mirrors are dotted around the environment at crucial locations, allowing players to teleport back to the safe house when needed.  Much of what makes Lone Survivor so compelling can be found in the optional activities, with players able to maintain a healthier protagonist by making a better living for themselves. A stove can be fixed to cook better quality food, a cat can be befriended, and a plant can be taken care of. Conversely, some activities have less clearly beneficial effects on the player's sanity, so whether you want to talk to a plush doll or attempt to eat rotten food is up to you. Anything you do throughout the adventure is recorded for use in a psych evaluation at the end of the game, and whether you conclude your journey sane or mad is all directly influenced by the choices you make.  One huge contributing factor to the story is drug use. Players can collect red, blue, and green pills, all of which are conveniently left in the apartment's bathroom and mysteriously restocked when used. Red pills reduce the need for sleep, while blue and green pills are to be taken before sleeping, and unlock dream sequences with the game's mysterious supporting characters. Pill usage often rewards the survivor with extra items, but the long-term costs may not be worth the benefits. It's all up to the player to decide, of course, and nobody says you have take any pills.  At times, the survivor's whining can prove a bit annoying, while the map system can be difficult to deal with. Maps are presented in a top-down fashion, but the sidescrolling gameplay often means players will go scurrying off in the wrong direction. It's also fairly irritating that enemies continue moving while the map's open, and there's an infuriating chase sequence partway through the game, which requires a near-perfect memory of the environment. At their worst, however, these are but minor setbacks that ultimately do little to dent the overall enjoyment of a very well made product. Some may even find they help amp up the survival instinct.  Although graphics are rudimentary, the atmosphere is absolutely stunning. Environments look suitably grotesque and the creatures manage to disturb despite -- or perhaps thanks to -- the lack of detail. Sound plays a big part, with some hideous noises made by enemies and some wonderfully astute use of music to punctuate the adventure's most important moments. Again, the Silent Hill inspiration is clear as day, with a reliance on rusted coloration, industrial noises, static sound effects, and a bittersweet soundtrack.  On the first playthrough, it will likely take you around three hours to complete, but there's a good chance you'll only experience a portion of what the game offers. The multiple endings and the influential optional activities will add a significant amount of extra gameplay for those who become absorbed in Lone Survivor's enthralling world. After clearing the game once, I feel like I've got much more of the story to uncover, and I'm more intrigued than I was when I started. Should you wish it, Lone Survivor can be a lot more than it first appears.  Lone Survivor is easily among the best survival horror games that I've ever played, a feat that's truly remarkable when one considers the 2D perspective and visual limitations. Demonstrating that a commitment to ambience and art direction trumps technical superiority, this guaranteed indie classic manages to provoke -- and sometimes even frighten -- as much as the genre's most lauded entries. Its depressing premise, eccentric characters, and engrossing narrative bolster the solid survival gameplay to create a journey that's sure to stick with players for a very long time.  More Silent Hill than Silent Hill, Jasper Byrne's Lone Survivor shows survival horror's best and brightest exactly how it's done.
 photo

Jasper Byrne has made a name for himself with some incredibly clever indie titles in the past, including the brilliant Soul Brother and the famous Silent Hill demake, Soundless Mountain. His latest release, Lone Sur...

 photo

Lone Survivor wants your mind and your dignity


Oct 13
// Jim Sterling
If you played the Adult Swim game Soul Brother, you'll want to pay attention, because Superflat Games has another morbid game in the works that's about a thousand times darker. In fact, whether you played Soul Brother o...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -