Super Lone Survivor Review – Remastering Your Nostalgia
Developed by Superflat Games
Published by Superflat Games
Available on PC
The funny thing about nostalgia is that eventually the spell is broken when the item in question is revisited, and you have to face the reality of your favorite game or movie’s shortcomings. But with Super Lone Survivor, Jasper Byrne has remastered the game in a way that elevates it to meet the decade-old image in your mind, without sacrificing the original charm or vision of the 2012 release. This title is an excellent introduction to the world of Lone Survivor, being the most definitive version of the title. But I would argue that this game is a great way for fans to return to the title and see the new surprises for the first time.
Many modern remakes will either completely nuke the original, save for characters and themes, to build a new game from the ground up, much like the modern Resident Evil remakes or the upcoming Alone in the Dark remake. Or simply update the graphics and leave as little else changed like most modern HD remasters have done. Whereas Super Lone Survivor preserves all of the elements of the original title that people would return for and has added a litany of quality-of-life improvements and optional display settings, not to mention new secret areas and quests for those who check every nook and cranny of their environments. While some improvements may be unnoticed by new players, Jasper Byrne has taken care to ensure that to those who played the original the changes will be subtle, but apparent.
As far as gameplay is concerned, Super Lone Survivor takes the standard gameplay loop of survival horror mainstays like Resident Evil and Silent Hill and transposes it onto a 2D world; with pixelated graphics and artificial scan lines reminiscent of 16-bit gaming on CRT TVs. The player is tasked with traversing a desolate, dilapidated apartment complex in an attempt to escape. The Lone Survivor of the title is seemingly the last person left alive by a disease that destroyed the city, unfortunately, he is not alone. Roaming the halls of the apartment complex are a myriad of mortified monstrosities that the player will have to deal with. While the game allows stealth as an option, and often encourages it, as long as you have ammo you are able to gun down the creatures, as you would in other survival horror games.
The mechanics that separate Super Lone Survivor from its contemporaries in the genre are its emphasis on self-care and self-improvement for the protagonist. While so many games will have you find better guns or better ammo for said guns, Super Lone Survivor instead sees the player focusing on their healthy eating and sleeping habits. Players who take the time to make a decent meal over, say, beef jerky and ramen, will be rewarded. Aside from standard inventory puzzles of the genre, the game also presents opportunities to go out of your way for rare ingredients needed to make unique dishes. These culinary quests not only supplement the gameplay but also yield a quest reward worth the effort. For those less inclined to a healthy lifestyle there are also different pills that can be taken to give the player instant results.
Aside from the mechanical aspect of Super Lone Survivor, there is a world of exploration and intrigue, as the game truly requires multiple playthroughs with experimentation during crucial encounters to see all that is offered. The story unfolds through the twisted perception of the nameless narrator as he traverses not only harsh realities of the waking world, but the convoluted conversations of his surreal dreams. The game features multiple endings that reflect the way the game was played. Considering it is on the shorter side, you can most certainly get your money’s worth on multiple playthroughs as you learn over time how to turn your sad, lonely, survivor into the epitome of healthiness and optimism.
To summarize my feelings on the title, I think Super Lone Survivor is a must have for anyone who had never played either the original or the more-widely distributed Director’s Cut, and frankly, I would recommend it to anyone who looks back on that game fondly. I think if you haven’t played the game in a long time, then it is a great way to re-experience it. And if you are someone who still plays the original regularly, then I think you will want to see the extra content that is tucked away in the remaster. While the Switch port of the title has been delayed for the time being, it is still in the works, with information developing daily. In the interim, the title is available on PC through Steam.
If you want to try out this terrifying survival horror game with a Tamagotchi twist, then go pick up Super Lone Survivor on Steam. And if you are absolutely fiending for the latest and greatest in ghoulish and gruesome gaming, then head back to DreadXP and read more of our frightful features!