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Lone Survivor Director’s Cut is a indie psychological horror that takes a huge nod to Silent Hill series. It also takes a lot of inspiration from Survival Horror classics and does them in a extremely neat way. This is all came to life on screen in the form of beautiful pixel art.
Lone Survivor Director’s Cut is a work of acclaimed indie developer Jasper Byrne. It originally received a release on PC and was announced for PlayStation Station 3 and PlayStation VITA in the form of “Director’s Cut”. The Director’s Cut adds new content to the game in the form of alternate endings, extended scenes and a new game + option.
The question is, will this new content justify a separate purchase if you already own it on PC? The answer to the question is, YES. If you own a PlayStation VITA, there is no excuse to miss out on Lone Survivor. It is a fantastic port on PlayStation VITA and with the option to cross-buy this game, you get it for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation VITA for the price of one.
Lone Survivor is about a masked protagonist, who is stuck in a city, that is infected with some sort of mysterious disease. The mask initially makes it looks like he is smiling, which actually adds to the creepiness of the game. Through out the game, we begin to question the sanity of the main protagonist as he begins to witness strange events. The game has a well written opening that not only does a good job of introducing us to the bleak world of Lone Survivor, it also sets us up neatly on how we can survive in it.
The game is a 2D sidescroller and strangely works very well this way. The best part is that despite the pixel art and 2D side scrolling elements, the game manages to deliver genuine creepy feeling. There are nods to survival horror classics especially Silent Hill with references like “Hole in the Wall”. The surrounding environment is also changed from normal looking world to a hellish nightmare just like in Silent Hill.
The Inventory in Lone Survivor has a lot in common with classic Resident Evil/Silent Hill series. We can look at or use items. Weapons work in similar way. The ammo is limited so headshots are crucial. You can also distract the monsters using meat just like in Silent Hill. Through out the game, we can come across various monsters and we have the option to confront them or hide in the shadows and sneak around. The ammo is limited so don’t expect to blast your way through every encounter.
The map in Lone Survivor also takes a huge inspiration from Silent Hill series. The way we see locked doors marked as red and the ones, who we haven’t checked yet, as greyed out, it definitely evokes the feeling of playing a Silent Hill game. We also carry a torch around us, which is crucial to the core of the game since we can neither pick, nor look at anything in total darkness. So if we don’t want to miss any items, we have to use the torch. The torch runs on batteries hence it is important to use it strategically. It can also attract monsters.
When it comes to general gameplay, surviving is more important than killing monsters. Unfortunately, this also adds a lot of repetitiveness to the game and results in tedious encounters. Since you can get yourself killed easily, you will always be at the edge of your seat trying to survive in the world.
The 2D side scrolling also results in a huge negative as it usually results in a lot of confusion when navigating the world of Lone Survivor. Often times, we can get confused on which is the exact path to follow since there are usually a lot of places to go to. Surprises await behind each door, often times, it results in a brutal death of our main protagonist. But these surprises and shocks are the best part of Lone Survivor Director’s Cut.
For what’s worth in the end, the director’s cut adds alternative endings increasing the replay value. This means that with the option of new game +, each of your playthrough can result in a different experience each time. This not only adds to the replay value of the game, it gives more incentive to do specific tasks in order to get the ending you desire. The added replay value is pretty handy since the game is extremely short. At most, you can finish it in 5 hours but with alternative endings and new game +, you can enjoy it a lot more.
Lone Survivor Director’s Cut is a game which invokes a feeling of despair and sadness and at the same time, it manages to scare us through subtle use of its pixel art and gameplay mechanics. Jasper Byrne has delivered a true classic, taking inspiration from other games and molding it into something that clearly stands different from them.