Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut Review: Riveting survival horror
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A riveting survival-horror adventure, Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut is the best way to play the utterly terrifying indie gem.
- Haunting visuals and music
- Survival gameplay to the extreme
- Heightened immersion
- Minimal item explanation
Supply management is disincentive enough to avoid reckless, over-long trips into the wild, but the terror and dread that the game's haunting soundtrack, effects, and visuals instill is even greater. As you boot Lone Survivor up, the game recommends you play in a dark room with good headphones. I couldn't agree more--intensity is built as a combination of the game's varied, unfamiliar design choices, and the character's name (You) hammers home immersion in every screen. I truly felt like I was fighting for my life in every second of my time with this game, and the terror I felt guiding You through the pixelated environments is the most in a generation.
My terror also stems from how literally the "survivor" bit of the game's title is meant. Besides sleeping, you'll need to eat and drink water to keep your character alive. It's a very cool idea, though it means you will often be backtracking to your bed. This process is sped up by mysterious two-way mirrors that can teleport you back, though it's annoying to have to do so much backtracking at all--and if you're gunning for a Platinum trophy, you won't be able to use the mirrors at all. Other items you acquire, like a gun, keep your discoveries surprising, though little explanation is given for how you ought to use them.
It's a testament to the atmosphere and construction of Lone Survivor that I could only bear to play the game in brief chunks--the terror of ploughing through was simply too much. And I'm all the more impressed for it. Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut is an incredible experience and one of the best titles available on PS3, let alone PS Vita. Regardless of the version you play, you're getting amazing survival horror action with all the Director's Cut trimmings, including new endings, items, and New Game+, which introduces meaningful changes and additions to puzzles, items, and story alike. At £9.99 ($12.99), it's a riveting steal.
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