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Critic Reviews 83% add missing review
Calm Down Tom (9 out of 10) (90%)
I realised I’ve lavished quite a lot of praise on what might appear to be quite a simple wee indie game. To me though, this little indie game is absolutely full of personality, great design and originality; just what is missing from the modern Silent Hill games. What I’m saying is you don’t need to keep buying Silent Hill games in the hope that Konami will finally release one as good as the originals. Someone else has already done that, and his name is Jasper Byrne.May 14th, 2012 · Windows · read review
Destructoid (9 out of 10) (90%)
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.Apr 2nd, 2012 · Windows · read review
GameSpy ( ) (90%)
Lone Survivor, then, made me feel a lot of things. Frustration, rage, stress, exhaustion, fear, joy, hope, pride, sadness, wonder. Four hours and twenty-six minutes – plus some trial-and-error-based change. But this game's going to stick with me much, much longer than that, and there are few higher forms of praise I can offer.Apr 6th, 2012 · Windows · read review
videogamer.com (9 out of 10) (90%)
Lone Survivor isn't just one of those interesting art games, though, it's a proper video game, one with mechanics and systems and gameplay backing up its copious ideas and abject nastiness. 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.Apr 16th, 2012 · Windows · read review
VentureBeat / GamesBeat (89 out of 100) (89%)
Clearly, Byrne draws heavy inspiration from Silent Hill — most blatantly, he borrows from Akira Yamaoka’s soundscape of scraping machinery and gnashing teeth throughout Lone Survivor. More importantly, 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.May 7th, 2012 · Windows · read review
4Players.de (85 out of 100) (85%)
Jasper Byrne lässt viele Fragen offen. Ich gebe zu, ich weiß noch nicht einmal, ob er dem Verwischen der Grenze zwischen Spiel und Spieler einen tiefen Sinn verleiht. Will er mich nur zum Selbstzweck verunsichern? Falls ja, gelingt ihm das jedenfalls hervorragend! In der ständigen Suche nach Nahrung und Schlaf oder einem Ersatz für beides, entsteht eine verständliche Extremsituation - durch den verzerrten Horror wird sie drastisch überhöht, mit der Ansprache des Spielers entsteht eine ungemütliche Unruhe. So kommen Spiel und Angst zusammen, ohne dass der Kampf gegen die vielen Monster eine zentrale Rolle spielt. Byrne vernachlässigt Handlung und Spannung zwar eine Idee zu sehr, um mich auf der spielerischen Ebene mit Haut und Haaren zu packen. Trotzdem ist sein einzigartiger Überlebenskampf eindringlicher als jener Horror, dem seine Unwesen wichtiger sind als seine Charaktere.Apr 13th, 2012 · Windows · read review
IGN (8.5 out of 10) (85%)
Regardless of how you approach it, Lone Survivor is one of those games that remain on your mind long after you've finished it. Even if you don't share my predilection for nightmares, you'll find that Lone Survivor's masterful dedication to ambiance and setting far outweighs any concerns about its retro aesthetic. Embrace it on its own terms, and you'll find a game that comes the closest a survival horror game has come to replicating the experience of the first Silent Hill game in recent years; indeed, in some ways, it's even better.Apr 20th, 2012 · Windows · read review
Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20) (85%)
Lone Survivor, c’est le genre de jeux porté à bout de bras par un seul homme pendant plusieurs années. Le genre qu’on a envie d’aimer mais point de pitié ici puisque la création de Jesper Byrne a définitivement des allures de grand avec sa richesse de gameplay et son ambiance unique. Downpour n’arrive pas à vous emmener là où les premiers Silent Hill vous ont laissés ? Silent Hill HD Collection vous a déçu par son contenu ? Eh bien Lone Survivor offre une très bonne alternative à 9 € pour tous les amoureux d’ambiances horrifiques et malsaines.Apr 18th, 2012 · Windows · read review
Indius (17 out of 20) (85%)
Lone survivor se révèle être un excellent jeu. Par une maîtrise totale de tout les fondements du jeu vidéo de sa création à son aboutissement, le soft risque de vous tenir en haleine jusqu'à sa fin. Même si on aurait souhaité une durée de vie un peu plus conséquente, le jeu constitue un très bon investissement pour tout gamer.May 2nd, 2012 · Windows · read review
RETRONUKE (8.5 out of 10) (85%)
Overall Lone Survivor is an 8 bit twist on the survival genre with excellent writing, a unique and nostalgic art style, and enough tension to make a divorce lawyer sweat. If you’re looking for a good scare with a great story and have a love for the old school, then you’ll love Lone Survivor.Dec 13th, 2012 · Windows · read review
Gamer.nl (8 out of 10) (80%)
Lone Survivor is een van de meest bizarre en verontrustende survival horror-games van dit moment. Van begin tot eind neemt het je mee op een wazige trip in de wereld van de 'enige overlevende'. Ondanks het tweedimensionale uiterlijk zet het een uiterst sfeervol en beangstigend spel neer dat je constant aan het denken houdt. Dat doet het op een unieke manier door je op een psychologisch niveau uit te dagen.Apr 10th, 2012 · Windows · read review
Eurogamer.net (UK) (8 out of 10) (80%)
It's true that Lone Survivor owes a lot to the atmosphere of early Silent Hill, and there are a few thematic nods to David Lynch's '90s weirdo drama, Twin Peaks. But beneath them lies an intricate and unique game that takes the best of old-style survival horror and warps it into something all of its own. It's brave, uncompromising, and a little bit knowing - and, crucially, it's got more than enough substance to back up its style.Apr 25th, 2012 · Windows · read review
PC Gamer (79 out of 100) (79%)
A smart, unembellished survival horror adventure which rewards patience and inspires introspection.Apr 19th, 2012 · Windows
PC PowerPlay Australia (7 out of 10) (70%)
A surprisingly rich survival horror game that doesn't try to frighten you so much as leave you feeling slightly uneasy.Jun 2012 · Windows
ActionTrip (7 out of 10) (70%)
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.Apr 20th, 2012 · Windows · read review
Edge (7 out of 10) (70%)
Eventually, however, hope begins to take root amid the delirium, and it’s a more than satisfying restitution for the struggle. Lone Survivor is an uncompromising game - perhaps braver than it is strictly enjoyable - but without that bitter pill it wouldn’t be able to offer that feeling of transcendence. Its clumsiness of presentation and lack of explanation might be partly excused as aesthetic choices that enrich even as they frustrate. But perhaps its truest accolade is in returning the horror of survival itself to the survival horror genre.Apr 24th, 2012 · Windows · read review
Van alle indiegame toppers die we de afgelopen maand hebben gespeeld, is Lone Survivor de game die bij ons het meest onder de huid is gekropen. Speldesigner Jasper Byrne (Soul Brother, Soundless Mountain) slaagt erin om met zeer minimalistische graphics een sfeer op te roepen die zo beklemmend is dat het vele Triple A survival horror games het nakijken geeft.Apr 27th, 2012 · Windows
At first this game was very promising to me, from the second I booted it up it had my full attention. The reason for this was a very interesting opening which instantly set the tone for the rest of the game, a tone I like to refer to as "genuinely fucking scary". Unlike Resident Evil 4 and Left 4 Dead, this game actually serves you with a very horrifying atmosphere; areas are gruesome, monsters look distorted and the sound-effects send chills down your spine. I can easily see this game turning into the next main horror franchise.
Gameplay nicely balances fighting and hiding when you encounter monsters, unlike Amnesia: The Dark Descent. There are several hiding spots which you can enter and guarantee that monsters won't see you. However, you also have a gun which is very effective against the monsters, but also runs out of ammo rather fast. This makes sure that, as the player, I am constantly reconsidering my options: Shall I shoot this zombie or sneak past him by luring him with some meat and save myself some ammo for later?
The game does a very good job at steering you towards the locations that progress the story, while not immediately grabbing you by the nose and dragging you through.There is always plenty of room to explore the many chambers and areas you get to visit for ammo and other supplies, but at the same time your map clearly displays the next main objective and the character frequently mentions his intentions.
The graphics have a very odd style that I haven't seen before, with which I am trying to say: "the game looks like absolute ass". Areas are hand-drawn, just like in Braid, but due to the pixelated aesthetic I can't make out any of it. Sometimes I'd even get headaches from having to concentrate on the very dark blocky graphics and this forced me to play the game in very short bursts.
The character has realistic needs, which means you will have to eat and sleep in order to stay alive. I agree that this is realistic, but the time it takes for him to remark on his hunger or sleep is certainly not. Sometimes you can barely walk across the hallway and back without him growing sleepy again and demanding you to return to home. Food is a slightly smaller problem because you can eat at any time, but it's still obnoxious when you're in the middle of combat and your character suddenly expresses his desire for some crackers.
A horror game is at its best when we can relate to the character and genuinely wish to keep him out of arm, on that note this game falls flat on its face. Aside from growing hungry or sleepy every ten minutes, the character is also not really informed on how survival works. On many occasions I ran into containers that maybe contained items that could be of use to me, but captain pancake here refused to search them because "This isn't mine". Not stealing items is definitely commendable, but not when the whole world is dead and trying to eat your face.
Quite often I didn't experience the game as been entertaining, but rather frustrating. Sure it's scary, sure the gameplay functions, but when I sneak and fight my way through four zombies, only to run out of ammo right after firing a single bullet at a zombie, there is no entertainment value to be found anymore. This specific problem relates back to the lack of a visual interface, but there are so many examples of frustrating moments in this game, such as thinking you're in a hallucination scene and can't actually die, only to find out this isn't the case.
To add salt to injury, there is no pause function. When you open your inventory or map the game just kind of goes on and all the zombies aren't polite enough to wait for you to finish your business. It reminded me of Resident Evil 5 in that regard, but in that game there was at least an actual pause button that did stop the game from moving on.
The Bottom Line
This game is the perfect simulation of what would happen if you were a mentally unstable person stuck in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. It's frustrating, obnoxious and it's likely to give you a good headache. A good atmosphere and functional gameplay are a good start for the game, but many of the design choices suck the fun out of the interaction and leave me with another abandoned game in my Steam list.
If you are a zombie fanatic then you can go ahead and give this a try, if you are not, then I would sooner recommend something like F.E.A.R. for your daily dose of horror.
by Asinine (957) on Jun 25th, 2012 · Windows
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Cavalary, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, jaXen, Alsy, lights out party.