GAME NAME: Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut
DEVELOPER(S): Curve Studios / Superflat Games
PUBLISHER(S): Curve Digital
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
GENRE(S): Survival Horror
RELEASE DATE(S): October 16th, 2014
Ever wonder what a survival horror game would look like if one was made during the 16-bit golden era of gaming? How would this type of game play? Would it even be any good? Well thanks to Jasper Byrne, SuperFlat Games and Curve Digital we get to answer these questions and experience the art form of a zombie killing apocalypse on Nintendo’s Wii U.
The story at the beginning of Lone Survivor is abundantly clear. You wake up in an empty apartment where the world around you is decimated and over run by hordes of zombies. As you progress through the game the story starts coming together, but at the same time has you feeling even more clueless like watching The Matrix movies. Our no spoiler policy makes it really hard to discuss any facet of the story within Lone Survivor. Let’s just say that you have some issues with your sanity and start seeing visions that make it hard to distinguish what’s real. There is also a new game plus option after you beat the game for the first time and also 5 different endings to add to the replay value.
The controls of Lone Survivor is what in my imagination would’ve been 2D controls for Resident Evil. Once you finally acquire a gun, the aiming (or lack there of) is done by using up for a head shot or just straight ahead for a body shot. You equip your gun with the R button and shoot using the B button. You don’t always have to use your gun to move past zombies though. You can also use spoiled meat as bait to lure zombies in. While they are chomping on the meat you can slip into cover and move past them to avoid a battle.
Also, Lone Survivor will have you micro managing every detail in the game. Whether it be needing sleep or having to eat, nothing is past by. This is a bag of good and bad though, as it gets down to even ridiculous detail levels like needing a can opener before you can open a can. Seriously, who didn’t buy the cans with the pull tabs! The level structure of the mostly abandoned apartment complex is quite confusing at first but after you obtain a map, guiding yourself through the building becomes less of a chore.
I love the 16-bit revival style graphics that the developer decided to go with in this title. There wasn’t a big push for survival horror in the 2D era but this game definitely throws it back to the 90’s and does so brilliantly. I love the attention to detail and the atmosphere that the artist has used to really bring together the dark, zombie filled world. Speaking of atmosphere, the games’ sound and music really creeps up the joint. This game should be played as loud as possible and in the darkest room so that you get the full horror effect. The sound effects are so creepy sometimes that your hair will literally stand on the back of your neck.
Lone Survivor is another case of an indie developer making great use of an older style of graphics and gameplay while bringing it onto today’s gaming platforms and making it work well. If you are into zombie or horror games and are a fan of the 16-bit era of gaming, this game is for you! There is a little too much micromanaging for my taste, but I know others may enjoy the in depth and complexity of the inventory system. While being a little on the shorter side, with multiple endings and a new game plus mode, this game is perfect for your Wii U library and gets you in the Halloween spirit.